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You need to produce written advice on each issue for your supervisor to consider in the cases of a) Mavis v Wilson and b) Polly v Wilson, using the information provided

Unit Contract Law

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Level 4 30 Credits Assignment

You are a trainee solicitor in BL LLP. Your supervisor has asked you to advise on a number of contractual matters relating to one of the firm’s clients, Mr Wilson.

1) Sale of paintings

Last year Mr Wilson inherited two paintings from his uncle. He does not particularly like the paintings and on Monday places the following advert in a local newspaper:

“For sale – two paintings, circa 1950’s. Price negotiable”

The advert contains a photograph of each painting and Mr Wilson’s email address.

Mavis sees the advert on Tuesday. She thinks that the paintings are by the famous artist Dale Salvadori and immediately sends an email to Wilson saying that she will pay £200 for both of them.

Wilson emails back on Wednesday morning saying that he will accept £200 per painting and that Mavis should communicate her decision to him no later than Friday morning.

On Wednesday evening, Wilson receives an email from Polly. It states that Polly will pay £500 for both paintings.

Wilson responds to Polly’s email straightaway, saying: “It is a deal. They are yours”

On Wednesday evening he also sends an email to Mavis informing her that the paintings are no longer for sale. Mavis’ email account is hacked on Wednesday morning and she cannot send or receive any emails. She sends a letter to Wilson on Thursday morning saying that she is happy to pay £400 for both paintings.

The letter is received by Wilson on Saturday morning. By this time Wilson has discovered that the paintings are by Dale Salvadori and refuses to sell them.

Both Mavis and Polly each claim that they have a valid contract with Wilson for the sale of the paintings.

Task (800 words)

You need to produce written advice on each issue for your supervisor to consider in the cases of a) Mavis v Wilson and b) Polly v Wilson, using the information provided. You must ensure that you:

  • distinguish between an offer and an invitation to treat AC 1.1
  • identify and explain the legal rules applicable to the acceptance of an offer AC 1.2

2. Green Cottage and related matters

a) Wilson wants to open a boutique hotel. He buys Green Cottage for £300,000 and on 1 February hires a construction company Build It Perfect (BIP), to carry out the refurbishment.

Under the agreement, BIP needs to complete the work by 1 May for a fixed price of £50,000.

On 1 May BIP informs Wilson that they are experiencing financial difficulties and that unless he pays them an extra £20,000, they will not complete the work by the agreed date. Wilson is furious. If the work is not completed by 1July he will need to postpone the opening of the hotel and cancel the bookings. Therefore, he reluctantly agrees to pay BIP the additional £20,000.

BIP completes the work by 1 July.

Task (800 words)

You must continue to provide written advice in the case of Wilson v BIP for your supervisor to consider.

In the written advice for Wilson v BIP, using the information provided you must ensure you:

  • Assess the requirements for a valid consideration AC 1.3
  • Analyse the development of the doctrine of duress AC 3.3

Your supervisor is pleased with your work to date and has set up a meeting with you to discuss certain points of law. You know that you must be prepared for this meeting as the supervisor will have high expectations of the discussion.

For a Merit grade make notes for the meeting which:

  • Critique the significance of practical benefit as consideration AC 1M1 For a Distinction grade your notes must also:
  • Assess the limitations of Williams v Roffey Bros (1991) in relation to a promise to accept less. AC 1D1

b) Wilson orders £30,000 for some new made to measure furniture for the boutique hotel from Dakia. Dakia is to deliver the furniture on 1 July. Dakia delivers the furniture on schedule but none of it is of the agreed dimensions. Wilson sends it back and wants Dakia to refund him the £30,000 he paid for it. Dakia refuses to refund him, bringing to his attention the following clause contained on the last page of their contract, which was duly signed by Wilson

Clause 47 “No refund under any circumstances”.

Wilson now finds a local company that can deliver furniture in time for the opening, but it only has sufficient furniture in stock to furnish three of the six bedrooms.

Wilson decides to go ahead with the opening despite the fact that only three of the rooms can be hired out.

Task (2800 words)

Your supervisor now wishes you to draft written advice to Wilson v Dakia for him to consider, In the communication you need to:

  • Explain the difference between terms and representations AC 2.1
  • Identify the sources of contractual terms AC 2.2
  • Distinguish between conditions, warranties and innominate terms AC 2.3
  • Examine the difference between breach of conditions, warranties and innominate terms AC 4.2
  • Distinguish between liquidated and unliquidated damages AC 5.1
  • Assess the aim of damages in Contract Law AC 5.2
    Compare and contrast the different measures used for assessing damages AC 5.3 In order to achieve a Distinction grade, you must in addition:
  • Analyse the Court’s approach to interpretation and validity of exemption clauses AC 2D1
  • Assess the amount of damages that can be claimed for a specific breach of contract AC 5D1

c)  A day before the opening, he receives a booking request from Robert Milford for a two- night, all-inclusive stay.

When Robert arrives at the hotel, Wilson is convinced that he is the famous football player Ronald Messino, using an alias. At reception, Wilson has displayed a few antique items for sale. On checking out, Robert selects a vase from the display and asks whether Wilson is willing to take a cheque for it. Wilson says that although usually he does not take cheques, as he is a famous football star, he will accept a cheque. To this, Robert smiles and gives Wilson a cheque for £500. Wilson accepts the cheque and gives the vase to Robert.

When he goes to the bank to cash in the cheque, he is informed that the cheque is a forgery. Wilson manages to trace the vase to Kam who had paid Robert £700 for it and refuses to give it to Wilson.

Task (800 words)

In the written advice to Wilson v Kam, using the information provided you must:

  • Identify the elements of actionable representation AC 3.1
  • Differentiate between fraudulent, negligent and innocent misrepresentation AC 3.2 In order to achieve a Merit grade, you must in addition:
  • Examine    the    remedies    available     for    fraudulent,    negligent     and    innocent misrepresentation AC 3M1
  • Contrast the effects of misrepresentation and mistake on a contract AC 3M2

d)  Two days before the hotel opens, Sandra who was contracted by Wilson to sing at the opening night, phones to say that she will not be performing because she has broken her leg and cannot travel. Wilson demands that Sandra returns the £2000 he paid to her for the performance.

Task(800 words)

In the written advice for Wilson v Sandra you must ensure you:

  • Explain the different ways in which a contract can come to an end AC 4.1
  • Examine the doctrine of frustration AC 4.3

Assignment Indicative word count:

Indicative word count for the whole assignment is 6000 10% +/-. All tasks must be completed and submitted.

Guidelines for assessors

The assignments submitted by learners must achieve the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by the assessment criteria for the unit. To achieve a merit or distinction grade, the learners must demonstrate that they have achieved all the criteria set for these grades. Where work for the pass standard is marginal, assessors can take account of any extension work completed by the learners. The suggested evidence listed below is how learners can demonstrate that they have met the required standards.

Task Number

 

Learning Outcomes and Assessment criteria

Suggested evidence

All

 

All

The evidence must be appropriately presented for the target audiences provided in the scenarios.

1a

Mavis v Wilson

LO1 1.1; 1.2

Learners must ensure that they take account of the command verbs stated in the AC.

Learners should produce detailed notes that differentiate between an offer and an invitation to treat. They should identify and apply relevant case law including the general rule in relation to adverts – Partridge v Crittenden. Notes should consider the issue of whether Mavis has made an offer to Wilson and differentiate between acceptance and counter - offer and the effect of a counter-offer on the original offer discussing the application of the rule in Hyde v Wrench.

 

 

 

Notes should also detail the acceptance of an offer including when an acceptance by post is valid and criticism of the postal rule and its limitations.

They will also cover revocation of an offer and the circumstances when an offer is validly revoked.

Notes should be well structured, easy to follow and apply relevant case law.

1b

Polly v Wilson

LO 1 AC 1.2

Learners should produce detailed, structured notes identifying what constitutes an offer an offer and explaining the rule in Storer v Manchester City Council; They should explain what constitutes acceptance by instantaneous modes of communication discussing the application of Entores.

Notes should consider whether emails are an instantaneous form of communication as discussed in Thomas v BPE Solicitors.

Notes should also include discussion on whether there is an attempt to revoke the offer.

2a

Wilson v BIP

LO1 AC1.3; LO 3 AC3.3;

LO1 1M1 LO1 1D1

Learners must ensure that they take account of the command verbs stated in the AC.

Learners should produce detailed written advice that assesses the validity of the promise by Wilson to pay more. In order to do this they will need to identify who should provide consideration, what the consideration is and whether it is valid consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

Learners will need to show some consideration of the general rule on a pre-existing contractual duty owed to the promisor as consideration and apply the relevant case law in. Stilk v Myrick and Hartley v Ponsonby.

Merit learners will be able to present a detailed critique of practical benefit as consideration which discusses the application of Williams v RB and identifies the limitations of it.

The written advice should include an analysis of the doctrine of duress and define economic duress which is relevant here, its elements and its effect on the contract.

2b

Wilson v Dakia

LO 2 2.1, 2.2, 2.3; LO2 2D1

 

LO4 4.2;

 

LO5 5.1, 5.2,5.3; LO5 5D1

Written advice should give a clear explanation of terms and representations, differentiating between them and between conditions, warranties and innominate terms using examples relating to the given scenario. Learners will need to identify the contractual terms for the scenario and consider the source of those terms. They should determine from this the contract that exists for sale of goods and identify the terms of the contract – express terms as well as terms implied by the Sale of Goods Act 1979. They should identify the type of breach that may have occurred considering the difference between a breach of condition, warranty or an innominate term. Notes should detail the remedies that may be available (repudiation of contract and damages) and consider how damages are assessed in the absence of a valid liquidated damages  clause. This  will  include  the  identification  of the different types of measures  used for assessing  damages  – expectation; reliance and restitution. Each of these should be explained.

 

 

 

Merit answers will consider the requirements for the validity of exemption clauses as interpreted by the courts with reference to

  • Incorporation
  • Common law interpretation
  • Statutory validity – Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977

Distinction students, will apply the relevant rules to assess the amount of damages that Wilson may claim. Once the loss (the amount of damages) is identified, it should be considered whether all of it is recoverable i.e. was it caused by the breach; was it too remote and whether Wilson took any steps to mitigate the loss.

2c

Wilson v Kam

LO 3 3.1, 3.2, 3.3; LO3 3M1; 3M2

Learners should produce notes that consider whether Wilson will be able to claim the vase from Kam if the contract between Wilson and Robert is void on the grounds of mistake. To establish whether there is operative mistake as to identity, the difference between contract entered in a face to face environment and contracts entered into through some form of correspondence should be outlined, and the general presumption relevant to each explained and applied.

If the contract is not void on the grounds of mistake, it should be considered whether it can be avoided on the grounds of misrepresentation. The difference between void and voidable contract should be explained.

 

 

 

The different types of misrepresentation should be identified and defined and the focus should be on fraudulent misrepresentation.

Relevant case examples should be used and applied throughout.

Merit learners will examine the remedies for fraudulent misrepresentation - rescission and damages and the bars to rescission, in particular third party rights should be discussed and applied. They should also compare the effects of misrepresentation and mistake on a contract.

2d

Wilson v Sandra

LO 4.1, 4.3

Written advice should detail the different ways in which a contract can come to an end, and, in particular how and when a contract can come an end because of frustration using relevant case examples.

Frustration should be defined and learners must identify when a contract can be frustrated; what the effect of this is on the parties obligations under the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943.

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