Essay Example on Bilateral contracts between Crivendoe Catering CC and Sessex County Hospital

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The issue here is whether the bilateral contracts between Crivendoe Catering CC and Sessex County hospital SCH and Crivendoe Catering and Dougal respectively are legitimate and enforceable In relation to this an offer can be defined as a statement by one party of a willingness to enter into a contract on stated terms provided that these terms are in turn accepted by the party or parties to whom the offer is addressed Furthermore acceptance can generally be defined as an expression of assent or an agreement to the terms proposed by the offeror and the acceptance of any offer must always be communicated to the offeror hence making it legally binding This principle was exemplified in the case Entores vs Miles Far East Corp 1955 In which it was illustrated that the acceptance of an offer must be communicated and must be clear and understandable in order to form a contract Lastly consideration as defined in Currie v Missa 1875 entails a valuable consideration in the sense of the law may have the presence of a profit or benefit being accrued to one party or some significant loss or detriment being suffered or undertaken by another

An agreement is not enough there must be consideration from each party and an intention to create legal relations As seen in the case the contracts between Crivendoe Catering and Sessex County Hospital and Crivendoe Catering and Dougal respectively are valid contracts as there was a presence of a legitimate offer acceptance and enforceable consideration The following issue is whether there was valid consideration between Crivendoe Catering and Dougal when Crivendoe Catering offered 60 to Dougal to finish the contract on time Sir Frederick Pollock 1950 in the principles of contract defined consideration as An act or forbearance of one party or the promise thereof is the price for which the promise of the other is bought and the promise thus given for value is enforceable Pollock s definition was approved by the house of lords in Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v Selfridge and Co Ltd 1915 and is regarded as being a more accurate definition of the doctrine of consideration in the modern commercial contract rather than the nineteenth century concept of consideration which included benefit and detriment Furthermore when an individual promise to perform an act which he is already bound to do due to the fact the law has imposed this obligation on them then that promise does not amount to sufficient consideration to support a simple contract The case Stilk v Myrick 1809 developed this principle as the claimant in this case was a seaman who was on a contract to sail a ship from

London to the Baltic and back he was to be paid 5 for his services In the course of the voyage two out of the twelve crew members deserted the ship then subsequently the captain made a promise to divide the wages of the two abandoned crew members to the remaining ones if they were able to sail the ship back to London Eventually the ship arrived in London and the captain refused to pay the extra wages The claimant sought legal action but the house of lords held that the claimant was already performing an act he was contractually obliged to do so therefore he had not provided any consideration for the promise of extra wages and was entitled to nothing This is significant as there are two particular situations in which the law deems consideration to be inefficient where there is a performance of an existing obligation and where there is a promise to pay part of a debt In contrast to the aforementioned points The Williams v Roffey Bros Nicholls Contractors Ltd 1990 case depicts the fact that when an offeror approaches the offeree with new terms to the offer this can actually be deemed as valid consideration even if there was a previous contractual obligation as it was held that performance of an existing contractual duty owed to the promisor could constitute good consideration In this case another principle that was developed is the practical benefit rule this is when both parties enjoy some sort of benefit from the contract

This was fundamentally depicted in the Williams v Roffey Bros case as the defendants were able to benefit because the flats were completed and the claimant respectively as he was able to claim the 575 successfully after the defendants were held liable to pay the extra money promised In relation to the case under the Stilk v Myrick 1809 rule there was no valid consideration when Crivendoe Catering offered 60 to Dougal to make sure he delivered the food on time So if he was to seek legal action against Crivendoe Catering he would not be successful because he was already performing the act he was contractually obliged to do this is similar to what took place under the Stilk v Myrick case as there was no consideration from the claimant as he was already performing the act he was contractually obliged to do hence he was entitled to nothing However the practical benefit rule can be applied in this case because Crivendoe catering and Dougal are both benefitting due to the fact that Dougal was able to deliver the food to Crivendoe catering on time as requested by CC and Dougal himself is benefitting as he was getting an increased payment of 60 In conclusion it can be seen that there was a breach of contract by Crivendoe Catering due to their financial struggles as they were unable to keep paying Dougal the 60 which was one of the binding terms of the contract So therefore Dougal can either sue them under the grounds of breach of contract or can terminate the contract fully till further notice

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