Book Reviews

The Modern Law of Contract

Publisher: Routledge

Author: Richard Stone

Price: 31.99

Edition: 10th Edition (February 2013)

ISBN: 978-0-415-63095-5

Buy from Routledge: Click Here

For many undergraduate students, contact law is one of the first topics they tackle on a law degree.  It is, however, a topic which will continue to shape a lawyer's career as many other areas of law have contractual issues or borrow some of its principles or ideas.  It is therefore important for students to quickly understand the basics of contract law.  Richard Stone's The Modern Law of Contract aims to provide a clearly written and easy to use account of contract law: it easily achieves this aim.

Now in its tenth edition, The Modern Law of Contract is split into fifteen chapters: introduction; forming the agreement; consideration and other tests of enforceability; intention to create legal relations; privity; the contents of the contract; clauses excluding or limiting liability; misrepresentation; mistake; duress; undue influence; illegality and public policy; frustration; discharge by performance or breach; and remedies.  It also comes with a companion website, which is available from:

Each chapter adopts a similar approach by setting out an overview (useful highlighted in blue) before moving onto the substantive material.  At relevant stages, Stone introduces some excellent diagrams which really drive the basic points home (and these are available from the companion website).  He also introduces some questions (which, again, are usefully highlighted in blue).  At the end of the chapter, there is a summary of key points, a list of further reading and a recommendation to visit the companion website.  Those readers going to the companion website will find a number of flash cards, questions and answers and some excellent additional material (including chapters on contracts in restraint of trade and capacity).

Richard Stone's The Modern Law of Contract is a well-written and accessible text.  As a financial services lawyer, I was interested to read the chapter on undue influence.  This is typically known as a difficult topic, even for the most experienced lawyers, but Stone's analysis of the law, and the present position, is excellent.  It is also impressive to see that this approach has been adopted throughout the remainder of the text.  For those readers looking for an excellent overview of modern contract law, and its key principles, at an early stage in their careers (or those practitioners looking for a sound text for initial research), The Modern Law of Contract provides exactly that.  I have no hesitation in recommending it.

Reviewed on 14 December 2014

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