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Note:Francis Bennion sadly died on 28 January 2015.

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Consumer Credit Law


Introduction to FB's writings on Consumer Credit Law


To be added.





This looseleaf work on the Consumer Credit Act 1974 was written by the draftsman of the Act, Francis Bennion, and originally published in one volume in 1976. It was enlarged over time to four volumes, having been updated by over 50 periodic releases. Francis Bennion wrote the first 25 releases and then handed over to Paul Dobson (see below), who then edited the work. In 2001 the publishers became Sweet & Maxwell. Since they already published a rival work they terminated publication of Consumer Credit Control at the end of 2001. Second hand copies are still available


The work is an annotated restatement of the Act and related enactments (including regulations and orders), together with precedents for contentious business, credit agreements, hire agreements, securities etc. It also includes an introduction to consumer credit law, the texts of the Act and other enactments restated, official forms, pamphlets etc, the official Consumer Credit Tables (with an added introduction) and the Consumer Credit Law Reports (CCLR) with added comments. For a description of how the novel restatement system works see Francis Bennion's article 1976.001 'Our legislators are CADS'.

For the enthusiasm with which the book was received by the legal profession see the Selections from Reviews section

Paul Dobson is a former Visiting Professor at Anglia Polytechnic University and at Greenwich University. He is the author of Sale of Goods and Consumer Credit (Sweet & Maxwell) and one of the editors of the White Book, Civil Procedure.



Publishing details

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To be added.


Selections from reviews


[After discussing rival books on the Consumer Credit Act 1974.] 'This leaves Bennion, the master draftsman of the Act. Alone, his book is an entirely fresh publication. Probably, his book is also the best . . . [It] gives all the issues a greater examination and does so with an almost indecent breadth and depth of knowledge. Bennion also has the most comprehensive approach to the Act, particularly with his Restatement of the legislation and the separate categories he sets out for special treatment.'

Richard Lawson, The Modern Law Review 1978 Vol 41 p 500.


'This major new work, by the draftsman of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, . . . contains a most detailed examination of the complex current consumer credit control legislation, with its attendant orders, regulations, circulars and ancillary publications, accordingly providing an invaluable, highly authoritative practical guide to this legislative jungle. Those who must timorously thread their way through it will undoubtedly welcome the author's special knowledge of its paths and pitfalls. Who better than a statute's creator to explain what it means and how its facets fit together?' Solicitors' Journal.


'Parliamentary draftsman and barrister Mr Francis Bennion - a previous contributor to The Accountant, and founder of the Statute Law Society - denied at a London reception last week the claim that his recent publication, CONSUMER CREDIT CONTROL, had made the subject 'easy'. He doubted whether it could ever be 'easy', and suggested that he would be content to have made its comprehension a little easier. Legislation, according to Mr Bennion, is incomplete and needs a further process at the time when it reaches the Statute Book. The intense compression of language and the technicalities of a modern statute necessitate a restatement of that language in order to bring the statute fully before those who will be bound by it.' The Accountant.


'The Act has been well received in legal circles. It is limited like any other statute by being, at best, simply an expression of Parliament's intentions. Mr Bennion, who drafted the Act, is concerned that the legislative process should not stop there, but that the language of the legislature should receive treatment which will bring it more fully before those who are bound by it. The problem is one of 'communication' of Parliament's intentions, which a statute is poorly designed to achieve. Consumer Credit Control and its main feature, the Annotated Restatement, is Mr Bennion's answer to this problem and is a remarkably successful innovation in legal manuals.' The Law Society's Gazette


"A recent advertisement for a pamphlet purporting to explain some legislative measure stated: 'Apart from its jargon, this is a good Act'. This was roughly equivalent to commenting that, apart from its music, a Chopin nocturne is a good work! The point is that the jargon (i.e. the specialised terms employed by Parliament) is the Act! CONSUMER CREDIT CONTROL is a first-class treatment of this vital legislation in a manner which makes the work not only of profound interest, but of unusual practical value for those whose very livelihood will be affected by the Act. It is far and away the most informative and useful treatment of this legislation to have appeared, as well as being the most imaginative."Retail & Distribution

"It is . . . of some considerable significance that the draftsman of such a complex piece of legislation should produce a work which not only endeavours as he says 'to provide the user with a version of the legislation on Consumer Credit which remedies the defects of the official system' but also has the ideas of the man himself as to the thinking behind the words of the Act. . . .The major and most original part of the work is the annotated restatement . . . The author has not merely annotated the Act but has taken the various sections which interlink and arranged them into divisions and within those divisions he has arranged the paragraphs into different groups, each of which deals with one aspect of a particular subject matter. . . . Mr Bennion must be applauded for breaking new ground and for indicating a further method of communicating statutory intention . . . Credit.

Bennion has designed Consumer Credit Control as a practical working manual for everyone affected by the new code of law governing credit and hire - retailers, banks, finance companies, rental firms, mail order houses and indeed any business which supplies goods and services on credit, or offers credit or loan facilities.' Business Systems & Equipment


'In this publication, Mr Bennion, who has for many years campaigned for improvements in our system of statute law, applies to the new consumer credit control legislation his novel method of annotated restatement of law. This new approach is designed to overcome the defects of compression, anonymity, distortion and scatter [for the meaning of these four terms see Francis Bennion's article 1976.001 'Our legislators are CADS'.] that, from the user's point of view, statutory provisions usually suffer from, and which the conventional methods of publishing annotated reprints or summaries with explanations have not wholly overcome.' The Bankers Magazine


'Mr Bennion numbers amongst his achievements the fact that he was the draftsman of the Consumer Credit Act and is therefore familiar, in a way that few other persons can be, not only with the Act itself but with the purposes which lay behind its provisions. He has moreover campaigned over the years for greater clarity in statute law and in 1968 founded the Statute Law Society. The purpose of CONSUMER CREDIT CONTROL is essentially to set forth the statute law governing consumer credit (not only as it arises from the Consumer Credit Act but from the various other statutes and regulations involved) in terms which can readily be understood by intelligent laymen as well as by lawyers . . . We have no doubt that it will meet a need both for lawyers and for those who control the policy of credit granting institutions.' Hire Trading