Contract Law Assessment

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Referencing (using footnotes) is NOT required

  • Bibliography is NOT required
  • Indicate which questions you answer
  • Word count – 2000 words in total.
  • Recommended word count per question – 700 words
  • Please indicate the word counts in the end of your chosen question.

This Assignment paper consists of SEVEN questions. Candidates should attempt THREE questions only.

1. ‘The narrow scope allowed to mistake in the English legal system is a fact to be not only noticed but welcomed. In the few cases in which it operates the effect, at least at common law, is said to be that the whole transaction is void from the very beginning’. 

(Michael Furmston, Cheshire, Fifoot and Furmston’s Law of Contract (2017) 17th Edition at 296).

With reference to relevant case law, discuss the various categories of mistake and the possible remedies attached to each.   


2. James is very excited as he is attending the yearly ‘Google is Great’ tech conference in central London. He is staying at the Halton hotel in Knightsbridge and is really looking forward to it as he has stayed many times in the past. He parks in the hotel underground car park managed by Perfect Parking Ltd. and takes a ticket from the machine which, in turn, lifts the barrier and allows him to drive through. As he gets out of his car he sees a sign in the dimly lit corner of the car park stating that Perfect Parking Ltd. Are not responsible for any damage suffered on the premises.

He checks in at the reception desk and is given his key and told that a manual with the hotel rules enclosed within it is on his writing desk beside his bed. He goes up to his room and sleeps for an hour as he wants to be refreshed for the conference later that day. After he wakes up, he is horrified to find that his room door is open and that he has been burgled. His expensive phone and laptop, which were sitting on the bedside table, have been stolen. He is about to go down to inform reception when he notices a small sign at the back of the front door of his room in small letters stating, Halton Hotels accepts no liability for any items stolen or damaged’. When he explains to a hotel employee at reception about the theft he is told to check his manual. Sure enough, at the top of the final page of the manual, James sees the words…IMPORTANT. GUESTS ARE REMINDED THAT ALL POSSESSIONS ARE STORED AT THEIR OWN RISK. THE HOTEL ACCEPTS NO LIABILITY. James is disgusted and decides to leave immediately. When he arrives at his car he sees that the passenger window has been smashed and his leather briefcase has been taken from the back seat.

With reference to relevant case law, advise James as to whether the car park management company and the hotel can rely on their respective liability warnings.   



3. With reference to relevant cases, answer any TWO of the following. 


  1. Courts are not sympathetic to damages for a loss of amenity and emotional distress. Discuss
  2. Outline the main differences between acceleration clauses and penalty clauses
  3. Discuss the legal principles applicable to the remoteness of damages


4. Discuss, with reference to relevant caselaw and statutory provisions, the circumstances in which the court will hold that a contract has been frustrated.


5. Sarah has the opportunity of managing her own Slippery Oil garage and forecourt. Slippery Oil have been in the business of supplying oil to garages for many years. Whilst transferring the dealership to Sarah, they have assured her that the location of the garage and forecourt is financially lucrative and that she will be able to make a lot of money as the footfall and traffic past the garage will be in the thousands each month. Unfortunately for Sarah the business is not doing well ten months after Slippery Oil’s declaration. 

Furthermore, Sarah has just bought a car from Barry who is one of her customers. She saw the car, a Fiat 600, when it was being filled with petrol and immediately fell in love with it. Barry, who was a second-hand car dealer many years ago, insisted that the car was ‘as good as new’ with one careful owner. He explained that the car was a \’good little runner\’ and a \’real snip\’. Sarah had listened to the engine and did not like the noise, but Barry had assured her that it was a perfectly natural noise for a Fiat and that she can check this out with any mechanic who has worked on them. Sarah speaks to her neighbour Liam who is a mechanic and he assures her that many Fiat 600s have noisy engines. However, this is incorrect as Liam had been confused and was talking about the Fiat 400 model.  

Sarah has now found that the car has serious engine trouble and that the garage and forecourt is unlikely to make the profits initially promised. She feels that she has been a victim of misrepresentation. Advise Sarah, with reference to relevant case law and statutory provisions.


6. An innocent party whoy which suffers a breach of contract has a number of options open to them. They always have the right to claim damages but may also have the right to stop performing certain obligations under the contract and to lawfully bring the contract to an end. A breach will not automatically terminate the contract but leaves the choice as to terminate to the innocent party an element of discretion to the victimised party. 

With reference to relevant case law, analyse the principle of breach of a contract including the possible effects of such a breach for the parties involved.  



7. ‘It is unclear whether a relationship of dominance or influence by one party over the other is sufficient of itself to allow a transaction to be set aside for undue influence’. 

Burrow, Finn and Todd, Law of Contract in New Zealand (1997) at 352. 

Examine the above statement with reference to relevant case law examples.

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