Can You Recommend a Book on Comparative Contract Law?

A reader asked me what books I could recommend. More specifically, he asked as follows:

Say I wanted one book that would give a good treatment of comparative foreign law (French, UK, Belgian, etc), with key discussion on contract remedies available, what would you go with?

I haven’t yet had occasion to consult such a book. If you can recommend anything, please post a comment.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.

7 thoughts on “Can You Recommend a Book on Comparative Contract Law?”

  1. Two books in this subject but each only covers one aspect of contract law:

    1- Good Faith in European Contract Law, edited by Reinhard Zimmermann and Simon Whittaker.

    2- The Enforceability of Promises in European Contract Law, edited by James Gordley.

    There is also another good book that talks about contract law under the EU regime but touches on Member States’ domestic laws specially in the footnotes: Comparative Foundations of a European Law of Set-Off and Prescription, by Reinhard Zimmerman.

    I will let you know if I find something better. Good luck.

  2. I have two books in this subject.

    One is Contract Law edited by Catherine Elliott and Frances Quinn(hardcopy)

    Another is The Modern Law of Contract edited by Richard Stone(e-version)

    I think both of them are good, they are dealing with extensive contractual issues which include the remedy clauses. I suggest you choose one of them and stick on it.

  3. I don't understand the reference to Richard Stone's book, which deals with the English common law only. Other European legal systems are fundamentally different in setup, approach, importance of case law, literature, parliamentary proceedings, codifications etc. than the common law. Moreover, European contract laws (two main families can be identified: the Germanic tradition and the French approach, with their more modern counterparts in Switzerland, the Netherlands and to a lesser extent Italy). Also the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland) have their own approach of the law even though throughout Europe, the differences diminish, the more focused a subject is investigated.

    The most comprehensive, yet legible and systematic book on 'European' contract law is written by several professors from various EU member states. The editors are Hugh Beale, Arthur Hartkamp, Hein Koetz and Denis Tallon: Contract Law (Cases, materials and text on…), Hart Publishing 2002.

  4. Before I forget, one of the key differences between the English and US states' common law as opposed to European continental legal systems is in remedies: where a remedy should be provided for in common law (because the default principle would be a party's entitlement to damages), this would be much less crucial on the European continent (where enforcement of an obligation – i.e., specific performance, or an injunction – is the starting point).

    In a European court, a contract party can go to court and require that the obligation be performed appropriately or even (but this is not always practicable, of course) that a third person performs instead. Such 'performance instead' is particularly useful in case the breaching party must deliver an existing good or right in the context of a sales agreement.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.