Cas pratique de référence corrigé (en anglais) en droit des contrats anglo-saxon (LLB Contract Law)
Résumé de l'exposé
Document: ll s'agit d'un caspratique de référencecorrigé (en anglais) en droitdescontrats britannique, pour les étudiant en LLB Contract LAW. Très complet sur modifications et fin du contrat.
Extrait: So we got a client, John, which runs a limousines business providing transport to companies for their important clients to and from the airport. He made a contract with Ben, the managing director of Eminent Offices Ltd., hiring a limousine for one year, starting on 1st august for the rental of £400 per month. First difficulty arrived in september when John ran into financial difficulties when another company he deals with, became insolvent. So John wanted to modify the contract increasing the price to £500 per month, and Ben accepted when he realized that this price would still be good according to the market prices, and especially because it saved him having to re-contract with a different company knowing that Eminent has an international conference coming up. He paid the new price for the september month, but due to severe weather in November, he realized he will make a loss on the limousine cost because many of his clients had called off. Here is the second difficulty, because Ben refused to pay John anything more than the original price from the end of november. John protested but because he hoped to renew the contract for the next year he agreed to pay £400. When the contract came to end, Ben said that he no longer needed the service. Here comes the third difficulty, and the biggest issue, because John asked Ben to pay a bill in full and final settlement including £500 for the last month and £800 to make up for the £100 he lost each month between november and july.
Plan: 1 ) The viability of the modifications of the original contract 2 ) End of the contract and possibilities
Sommaire de l'exposé
Extraits de l'exposé
[...] But here it would mean that John had no choice, and actually he did have the choice. The hard thing would be to demonstrate that to renew a contract was a real necessity for John's company, and it determinate his acceptance to the price decrease, but it still would probably fail because of promissory estoppel's principle. In my opinion, the best option would be to show that the estoppel principle can't apply in our case. So it would leads us back to our first hypothesis, that only the first one promise is enforceable, and that the full rental price can be claimed back. [...]
[...] The third issue is John's will to come back on the last modification and to claim back the rental price including £100 for the months after november. So far it depends on the question of the viability of those modifications, because to help John, the best thing in front of court would be to prove that the positive modification, which is in his benefit, was and still is legal and enforceable, whereas the second, which is negative, is not legally valid. [...]
[...] The second possibility is that Court decides not to accept this modification, because John's hope to renew a contract is not enough to make it binding. There is a lack of consideration. As far as I know both hypothesis are possible, but one is most probably going to happen. It means that if the possibility of finding consideration in the benefit that Ben made by not having to re-contract before the conference is accepted by the judge, the same principle will apply for John's hope to renew the contract (seen it in detail next). [...]
[...] The Court said that Roffey's will to avoid the penalty clause was his consideration, because consideration in positive modification can be seen as a practical benefit. According to this case in our situation, we can find the new consideration for Eminent's obligation in the fact that they made a save of time and money because they had an international conference coming up. When Ben agreed, it was mostly because he didn't wanted to find another company, furthermore, prices were still good according to the business competition. The practical benefit is apparent and can be used as a new consideration for his obligation. [...]
[...] They would have a "third" contract, which would just be the same as the original one : £400 per month. With High Trees case we also know that he can't come back on his promise to accept the price going down. Then what could John do in this situation ? Well, he could try to say that the conditions of the modification haven't been respected ( to renew a contract) as in High trees, and because of this they should come back to the old contract, which is £500 per month. [...]
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