[2017] EWHC 1523 (TCC)

As part of an application for summary judgment, HHJ Grant had to consider a contractual regime for making applications for payment. He noted one or two issues which are worth repeating. In the box headed “Description of goods” were the words “All invoices for dayworks to be accompanied by signed weekly timesheets”. The purchase order did not stipulate by whom the weekly timesheets were to be signed, although it was accepted that it was more probable that they would be signed by the applying party. In the box headed “Terms of payment” was the sentence “All payments to be made 35 days from the end of the month in which the approved invoice and any supporting documentation is received”. The purchase order did not stipulate who was to approve the invoice. Again, it was accepted that it was more probable that invoices would be approved by the paying party. A potential issue was that it was for the claiming party to ensure that invoices were accompanied by weekly timesheets which it had signed. However here, it was accepted that the invoices were presented without weekly timesheets. The court did not have an explanation about why the contractual machinery was not followed. This failure to follow the contract machinery was one reason why a full hearing was required.