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38.1 The courts have upheld various different legal bases for the doctrine of frustration, 1 but the theoretical basis for the doctrine of frustration which has received greatest support from the House of Lords over the last 40 years or so (specifically since Davis Contractors Ltd v. Fareham UDC
2 ) is the “test of a radical change in the obligation”. In Davis Contractors , builders entered into a contract with the Fareham Urban District Council to build 78 houses within a period of eight months. Due mainly to the lack of skilled labour, the work took 22 months. Davis Contractors claimed inter alia that the delay frustrated the contract, and they were entitled to be paid on a quantum meruit basis for the work they had performed.
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