How can we help?


‘As soon as reasonably practicable’: does it mean anything?

Commercial contracts often include obligations carrying the qualification “as soon as reasonably practicable”.  A case earlier this month has given some insight into how the courts will interpret and apply such obligations.

The 2008 financial crisis generated a significant amount of litigation, much of it about complicated financial products.  One such case is Goldman Sachs –v- Videocon Global.  The precise details of that dispute, involving a currency swap transaction are not important.  The point of interest, however, is that the Court of Appeal had to consider the impact of a failure by one party to serve a statement setting out details of the calculation of certain charges “as soon as reasonably practicable”.

The paying party argued that, because the statement had not been provided as soon as reasonably practicable, the obligation to pay, which was dependent on the provision of the statement, had never arisen.  The payee, on the other hand, argued that although the statement had indeed been delivered later than was “reasonably practicable” this did not invalidate the statement once it had eventually been delivered.


Chambers and Partners

The Clarkslegal team are commercial and good to work with. They get what our business needs and tell me what I need to hear.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the payee: even though it had failed to deliver the statement as soon as “reasonably practicable” that did not, in this case, invalidate the statement and the payor was still required to pay.

The usual health warning applies to this Judgment, in that the construction of the meaning of any commercial agreement will be particular to that agreement.  There are, of course, also ways that a clause of this sort could be worded in order to give a real remedy to the payor if it was not complied with.  However the case does provide an insight into how the courts will approach such provisions in commercial agreements and apply commercial common sense to these types of arguments.

About this article


This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

  • 16 May 2024
  • Immigration

What Employers need to know about Biometric Residence Permits

Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) are biometric immigration documents that are issued to non-EEA nationals and EEA nationals, who have been granted permission to stay in the UK.

  • 14 May 2024

Clarkslegal’s London team moves to new Chancery Lane office

The London office of Clarkslegal has relocated to Chancery House, on Chancery Lane. The staff is enthusiastic about the relocation because Chancery Lane has a longstanding association with the legal profession in London.

  • 10 May 2024
  • Employment

New duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment – coming October 2024

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 is due to come into force in October 2024.

  • 09 May 2024
  • Employment

Labour Party Employment Law Proposals – Promises of further consultations and a softer approach

The Prime Minister recently announced a raft of changes, to be implemented in the next parliament, aimed at reducing the number of people who are economically inactive due to illness.

  • 09 May 2024
  • Corporate and M&A

Navigating corporate transparency: ECCTA reforms series – part 1

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA) received Royal Assent in October 2023 and marked a pivotal moment in corporate governance and transparency.

  • 07 May 2024
  • Employment

Changes to TUPE rules from 1 July 2024

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (‘TUPE’) aim to safeguard employees’ rights on the transfer of a business or on the change of a service.