The name game

In Liberty Mercian Limited v Cuddy Civil Engineering Limited [2013] EWHC 2688, the claimant argued that the name of the wrong party had been inserted in a contract.

It claimed that the doctrine of misnomer applied and that the contract should be corrected by construction. In the alternative, it argued that the contract should be rectified for mutual or unilateral mistake.


The claim failed but the judge provided useful guidance on the doctrine of misnomer, saying that it required two conditions to be satisfied:


  • first, there must be a clear mistake on the face of the instrument; and
  • secondly, it must be clear what correction ought to be made in order to cure the mistake.

The judgment also contains a useful summary of the rules on rectification.