Free wine hidden in T&Cs of former Magic Circle lawyer’s website

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By Legal Cheek on


Claimed after three months

A former Magic Circle lawyer has shown the value of reading terms and conditions by including a clause for a free bottle of wine in the fine print of his website.

The “boozy” term was discreetly inserted into the T&Cs of the Tax Policy Associates website, a non-profit think tank run by former Clifford Chance partner Dan Neidle.

The tax specialist revealed last week that, three months after the clause was inserted into the website’s small print, someone has now claimed the free “bottle of good wine”.

Budding sommeliers may be interested to know that the wine provided by Neidle was a bottle of a bottle of Château de Sales 2013/14, Pomerol.

Speaking to the BBC News, Neidle explained that the clause was “my childish protest that all businesses have to have a privacy policy and no one reads it”.

“Every tiny coffee shop has to have a privacy policy on their website, it’s crazy. It’s money that’s being wasted,” he continued.

He also revealed that the recipient of the wine, who hasn’t been named, stumbled upon the clause because they were trying to write their own policy and looking at examples.

Neidle said that he drew inspiration from the band Van Halen, who famously requested a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed as part of their tour rider. This unusual request served as a way to check if promoters were paying attention to their requests.

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I wonder how long before some law student tries to be clever and argue that technically someone else could have been the first person to read the clause but just didn’t contact the website

Clever law student

Is there like an implied term that it’s the first person for whom the contractor has evidential clarity that they’ve read it? Or can we all go to Dan Neidle and claim our free wine on the balance of probability? Ngl it’s a pretty good wine

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