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Ennstone Building Products V. Stranger Notes

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ENNSTONE BUILDING PRODUCTS V. STRANGER FACTS The claimant was a supplier of stone for use in building work. The defendant provided testing and consultancy services. A problem had arisen in respect of stone supplied by the claimant for the Standard Life building in Edinburgh. The stone, which was sandstone quarried from Stainton Quarry in County Durham, was found to be becoming stained. The parties contracted in May 1995 for the defendant to provide professional services, including investigation into the cause of the staining, testing of the stone and reporting on remedial action. The claimant subsequently alleged that the defendant was negligent and/or in breach of contract in the performance of its services. The defendant denied the allegations of negligence in respect of both the contractual and the tortious claims. The defendant's registered office is at Wolverhampton. It is thus an English company. Its principal or main office was at Elstree, which was where its central administration was located. The contract of May 1995 came about after a visit to the defendant's Scottish office by a representative of the claimant, Mr Marshall, who raised the problem of the staining of the stone used on the Standard Life building. In response, Mr Revie sent a letter dated 27 April 1995, enclosing a proposed investigation programme and budget estimate. The letter was sent from the defendant's Scottish office and the programme covered investigation at the quarry in County Durham, a desk study of available information, and visits to sites including the Standard Life building itself and to another building in Scotland where similar stone had been used. The letter from Mr Revie was on notepaper bearing the defendant's Glasgow address and it confirmed that a file had been opened where all matters relating to this job would be held. HOLDING First, it is common ground that the characteristic performance of this contract was that of the defendant. Secondly, the contact was entered into in the course of the defendant's trade or profession. Thirdly, the principal place of business of the defendant is in England. Contract requires performance through a particular place of business - Art. 19(2) Given all these indicators, I conclude that the presumption under article 4(2) is indeed that, where the contract is entered into in the course of the relevant party's trade or profession, the country of

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