• In the case of Leaf v International Galleries [1950] 2 KB 86, the courts held a claim to reject a violation of conditions is more likely to be considered than a claim of misrepresentation.
  • If C accepts the goods from a contract for sale that has been performed then even if there is misrepresentation involved, no claim can be successfully made.
  • This contract law case is related to sale of goods, misrepresentation and rescission.

Facts of the Case

  • Five years after C brought a picture from D, C found out the purchase occurred based on a false representation innocently made.
  • C sought to return the picture and asked for the full purchase price in return.


  • Was there an innocent misrepresentation made regarding the painter of the picture?
  • Can the contract be rescinded?

Held by Court of Appeal

  • Appeal dismissed – the contract cannot be rescinded because since the buyer accepted the picture without proper examination under s 35 Sale of Goods Act 1893.

Denning LJ

Innocent misrepresentation

  • C accepted and retained the goods because there has not been a lapse of a reasonable time, according to s 35 Sale of Goods Act 1893.
  • “A condition is a term of the contract of a most material character, and if a claim to reject on that account is barred, it seems to me a fortiori that a claim to rescission on the ground of innocent misrepresentation is also barred.”
  • Innocent misrepresentation cannot be argued as shown by the principle in Angel v Jay [1911] 1 KB 666.

Jennings LJ


  • C did not show D that he did not accept the picture within the time.
  • C cannot claim a condition was breached nor a innocent misrepresentation.
  • “In my judgment contracts such as this cannot be kept open and subject to the possibility of rescission indefinitely. Assuming that completion is not fatal to his claim, I think that, at all events, it behoves the purchaser either to verify or, as the case may be, to disprove the representation within a reasonable time, or else stand or fall by it.”