I have been using Chitty for 40 out of its 180 years and it remains the most important single work in the Sweet & Maxwell Common Law Library, and the top practitioners’ work of them all!
Rightly described as guidance of the highest calibre, Professor Beale and his 18 team members have produced the best foundation on which to base a case in contract, with an understanding second to none. I have confidence in this work as it gives the depth of insight I need when I negotiate or dispute a contract in any forum.
The new edition remains in two volumes with over 4,000 pages. Do read Beale’s most helpful preface which sets out, at a glance, the main changes since 2004. In those four years since edition 29, the digital world has now come to Chitty’s 30<sup>th</sup>, and readers can view it fully online at Westlaw, thus opening up welcome new horizons for many practitioners brought up with IT.
Editing Chitty is clearly a massive undertaking, being a work of “unrivalled expertise from the alpha and omega of contract law” (plus all the arguments), encompassing each and every part of the substantive law brilliantly. Generally, I tend to use volume one mainly for commercial situations although the specialist areas in volume two give that in-depth appeal which is the hallmark of the entire work.
Whenever you draft a contract, Chitty gives that expert interpretation of the legal position with its tested authority which means you can rely on every eventuality being taken account off. When you get to negotiations with the other side, you can have the confidence that this book gives, making sure you miss nothing vital when backing up your arguments.
Chitty really is the pillar of our common law with its two supports: one, the easy reference to relevant legislation, and the other, the expert interpretation of case law with all those expert contract commentaries on latest developments. Throughout, there are the in-depth chapter contents headings as part of the common law library format, and indexes in both volumes to give quick access to the right sections and paragraph numbers.
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Readers new to the work will probably find it a little ‘heavy’ initially, and there are a lot of footnotes, but don’t despair! However, once the user becomes more familiar with the volumes, the insight of experience together with that vigour of youth emerge to present a statement of fundamental law which has always been indispensible, and is now always available anywhere- welcome to our digital century with all your detail and deliberation!</font>