LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT
CONTENTS
1. 2. 3. 4. Read the Study Text provided below Assigned readings: Chapter 5 of Hussein Attempt the reinforcing questions given at the end of the lesson Compare your answers with those given in lesson 9

STUDY TEXT Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Sources the Kenya Law of Contract Elements of a contract Capacity Consideration Formality Legality Intention Terms of a Contract Vitiating elements in a contract Discharge of contract Remedies for breach of contract

1.

SOURCES OF THE KENYA LAW OF CONTRACT The Law of Contract Act 1961, S. 2(2) provides that, except as may be provided by any written law for the time being in force, the common law of England relating to contract, as modified by doctrines of equity and by the Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament specified in the schedule to the Act, to the extent and subject to modifications in the said schedule, shall extend and apply to Kenya. The U.K. Acts specified in the schedule are: (i) (ii) (iii) 1.1 The Law Reform (Married Women and Tortfeasors) Act, 1935. The Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act, 1943. The Disposal of Uncollected Goods Act, 1952. (This Act is no longer applicable, having been rendered inapplicable by S. 10 of the Kenya Disposal of Uncollected Goods Act, 1987). Types of Contract The common law of England relating to contract classifies contracts into the following categories: (i) Specialty Contracts - which are executed in a special way (i.e. written, signed and sealed). The Kenya Law of Contract Act, S. 2(1) provides that no contract in writing shall be void or enforceable by reason only that is not under seal. This provision constitutes a significant statutory departure from the English law relating to specialty contracts. Contracts of record e.g. court orders. Simple contracts - i.e. agreements that are enforceable by the courts.

(ii) (iii)

For the purpose of these notes "the law of contract" means the law relating to "simple contracts". FORMATION OF A CONTRACT Definition This is a legally binding agreement made between two or more parties or persons. It has also been defined as a promise or set of promises for the breach of which the law provides a remedy and the performance of which the law recognizes as an obligation. All contracts are agreements, but all agreements are not contracts. This is because a contract imposes upon the parties legally binding obligations. Types of Contracts Formation of Contract A contract comes into existence when an offer by one party is unequivocally accepted by another, both parties must have the requisite capacity and some consideration must pass between them. The parties must have intended to create legal relations and the purpose of the agreement must have been legal. Any requisite legal formalities must have been complied with. The above passage summarises the so-called elements of a contract. In order to constitute a contact and agreement must be attended by the basic elements.

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

3

2.

ELEMENTS OF A CONTRACT 1. OFFER This is an unequivocal manifestation by one party of its intention to contract with another. It is a clear intimation of intention to contract. The party manifesting the intention is the offeror and the one to whom it is made is the offeree. 2.2 Nature of An Offer An offer may take many forms - written, verbal or merely implied from conduct. The cases which will be referred to in these notes will illustrate this point. But whatever be the manner of its manifestation, an offer is either a promise made or something done by a person from which the law will deduce his intention to enter into a contract with another person if that other person does or promises to do, something required. It must be distinguished from other acts which resemble it, such as: (i) Invitation to treat This is a mere invitation by a party to another or others to make offers. Again the offeror becomes offeree and invitee the offeror. A positive response to an invitation to treat is an offer. (a) A registered company issues a prospectus inviting the public to apply for its shares. This is an invitation to treat (i.e. an attempt to "attract" offers) and not an offer. It is not regarded as an offer because of practical reasons: If it was an offer, every application made pursuant thereto would constitute an acceptance and the company would be contractually bound to allot all the shares applied for. If the issue were oversubscribed, the company would be sued by some of the applicants for breach of contract. As this appears to be unjust, the courts have avoided the eventuality by regarding the issue of the prospectus merely as an invitation to treat. When applications are made, they will constitute the offers. The company then finds out how many shares have been applied for and, if the issue is oversubscribed, accepts applications which equal the shares available and "rejects" the others. The company cannot be sued by those to whom shares have not been allotted since there is no contract between them and the company: they made an offer which was not accepted by the company - and the company could not accept the offer because it did not have shares to sell. The display of goods in a shop or supermarket with price labels attached thereon. The reasons why the courts decided not to regard this as an offer was explained by Lord Goddard in Pharmaceutical Society v. Boots. Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd. Fisher v Bells. A government ministry puts an advertisement in the newspapers asking for tenders for the supply of a specified quantity of goods during a specified period of time. The advert constitutes an invitation to treat and a trader's response thereto is the offer which the ministry may accept or reject. Advertisement of sale by auction Harris v Nickerson

(b)

(c)

(d)

LESSON 3 (ii)

LAW OF CONTRACT Declaration of Intention

4

A person may do something which, on the face of it, appears to be an offer. An example is the case of Harris v. Nickerson where it was held that an advertisement about an intended auction was a declaration of intention (i.e. a public manifestation of an intended act) but not an offer. Travelling to the advertised venue does not constitute an acceptance of an offer and the traveller cannot sue the advertiser for breach of contract if the auction is cancelled, or some of the goods to be auctioned are withdrawn. 2.3 Rules Relating to an Offer The case law relating to an offer has established the following rules: (i) The offer may be oral, written or may be implicated from the conditions of the offer. (ii) An offer must be specific or definite (so that the offeree may truly understand the intention of the offeror and consider his response thereto): Scammel and Nephew Ltd. v. Ouston in which an offer that referred to "hire purchase terms” over a period of two years was declared "void" due to uncertainty over the meaning of "hire purchase terms" A person cannot be said to have accepted an offer with such conditions: he would not have understood what he was purporting to accept. However, in Stevens v. Mclean the court explained that, an offeror must explain a vague offer if asked to do so. (ii) (iv) An offer may be conditional or unconditional. An offer can be made to: (a) (b) The general public, as in Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. Ltd.; A class of persons, as in Wood v. Lektric Ltd - where an offer was made to "hair sufferers"—a class of persons to whom the court held that the plaintiff, -Mr. Wood, a young man whose hair was prematurely turning grey and was, as a consequence, a "hair sufferer" within the offer, belonged. Mr Wood had properly accepted the offer although it was not addressed to him personally, or A particular person, as in Boulton v. Jones

(c) (v) 2.4

The offer may prescribe the duration the offer is to remain open for acceptance as Dicknson v Dodds and Routledge v Grant.

Termination of an Offer An offer may come to an end by: - Insanity - Revocation - Lapsing of time - Counter-offer. - Death - Rejection - Failure of a condition subject to which the offer was made. (a) Revocation An offer is "revoked" if the offeror changes his mind and withdraws it (expressly or impliedly). To be valid, the revocation must have been:

LESSON 3 (i)

LAW OF CONTRACT

5

Made before acceptance: Byrne v. Van Tien Hoven - in which it was held that a letter of revocation posted after a letter of acceptance had been posted was ineffective (although the offeror did not know that the offeree had posted the letter of acceptance). Communicated (i.e. made known) to the offeree - expressly or impliedly. An example of the implied revocation is the case of Dickinson v. Dodds (study the judgment of James, L.J.) Provided the aforesaid rules are complied with, an offer can also be revoked even though it was declared to be open for a given period. The offeror can change his mind at any time before the period expires: Dickinson v. Dodds

(ii)

Exceptions (i) Consideration was given for keeping the offer open. Such an offer constitutes an "Option". An example is a hire purchase agreement. The owner of goods cannot tell the hirer that he will not, after all, sell the goods to him. An application for shares in a company made in response to a prospectus cannot be withdrawn until after the expiration of the third day after the time of opening of the subscription lists. This is provided by the Companies Act, S. 52.

(ii)

(b)

Lapse of time An offer "lapses" (i.e. comes to an end automatically by operation of law) if: (i) (ii) It is not accepted within the stipulated time if any. It is not accepted within what appears to the court to be the reasonable time during which it should have been accepted, e.g. Ramsgate Victoria Hotel Co. v. Montefiove - an offer to buy shares in a company could not be accepted at the end of the fifth month after the offer was made. (June - November) Virji Khinji v Chutterback It is an offer to sell property, and the property is sold to another party before the offeree accepts the offer: Dickinson v. Dodds (in which Mellish L.J. regarded the sale as equivalent to the offeror's death because it renders performance of the offer impossible)

(iii) (iv)

(c)

Counter - offer A counter - offer is constituted by the offeree's qualified acceptance which, in itself, becomes the fresh offer and cancels the original offer, e.g. Hyde v. Wrench - in which the "acceptance" to buy the house for £950 was held to have cancelled the offer to sell if at £1,000.

(d)

Death The death of either party before acceptance terminates a specific offer. However, the offer only lapses when notice of death of the one is given to the other. As was the case in Bradbury v Morgan Mellish Js dictum in Dickinson V Dodds is emphatic that after an offeror dies his offer cannot be accepted.

(e)

Insanity Additionally, the unsoundness of mind of either party before acceptance terminates the offer.

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

6

(f)

However, the offer only lapses when notice of the insanity of the one is communicated to the other. Rejection This is the refusal by the offeree to accept the offer. The refusal may be express or by implication. Silence on the party of the offeree amounts to rejection. As was the case in Felthous v Bindles.

(g)

Failure of a condition subject to which the offer was made An offer made on the basis of a condition or state of affairs existing lapses if the condition or state of affairs fails to materialize. These are referred to as conditional offers as was the case in Financings Ltd v Stimson since the conditions of the motor vehicle in question had changed the dependants offer to take the same on hire purchase terms lapsed and he was under duty to take delivery or pay instalments.

2.

ACCEPTANCE This is the external manifestation of assent by the offeree. By acceptance an agreement comes into existence between the parties. Acceptance takes place at a very subjective moment when the minds of the parties meet, i.e. Consensus ad idem. This is the moment at which an agreement comes into existence. However, this subjectivity must be “externalised”. This is what is referred to as acceptance. This offer and acceptance give rise to consensus, hence agreement. These two elements constitute the foundation of every contractual relationship but cannot by themselves constitute a contract. (a) The offeree must have been aware of, and must have intended to accept the offer, when he did what is alleged to be the acceptance: The Crown v. Clarke (Australian case and a persuasive precedent in Kenya). Clarke had made his statement to the police in order to save himself from the unfounded charge of murder. He had not made the statement in order to accept the offer which he had forgotten about at the material time. His statement was not therefore, an acceptance of the offer to pay the reward. The offeree's assent must be notified, or made known, to the offeror: Household Fire Insurance C. Ltd. V. Grant. This can be illustrated by the case of Felthouse v. Bindely in which it was held that the nephew's information to the auctioneer that the horse had been sold could not constitute an acceptance of the plaintiff's offer because he (the plaintiff) had not been told anything by the nephew. Exception An uncommunicated acceptance will be effective if, from the words of the offer, the offeror can be regarded as having waived the right to be informed of the acceptance: Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. in which Mrs. Carlill was regarded as having accepted the defendant company's offer although she had not told them that she would buy and use the carbolic smoke balls. (c) An offer made to the general public can be accepted by anybody who fulfils, or performs, the conditions stated therein. Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. - in which Mrs Carlill was held to have accepted the offer although it had not been made to her personally. An offer made to a class of persons can be accepted only by a person of that class: Wood v. Lectrik Ltd. - in which an offer to "hair sufferers" was held to have been properly accepted by Mr. Wood - a young man whose hair was prematurely turning grey and was regarded by the court as a "hair sufferer" within the terms of the offer.

(b)

(d)

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

7

(e)

An offer made to a particular person can be accepted only by the particular person: Boulton v. Jones - in which it was held that an offer made by Jones to Brocklehurst could not be accepted by Boulton. The acceptance of an offer must be unconditional: Hyde v. Wrench -in which it was held that the "acceptance" to buy the house at £950 destroyed the offer to sell the house of £1,000. Neale v Merrett. An offer terminated by a counter - offer cannot be revived by a subsequent tender of performance thereof.

(f)

(g)

An acceptance of an offer communicated to the offeror verbally by the offeree is effective from the moment the offeror hears the offeree's words: Entores Ltd. v. Miles Far East Corporation (obiter dictum by Lord Denning) If the offeror and offeree negotiate by telephone the acceptance is complete the moment the offeror hears the offeree's words of acceptance: Entores Ltd. v. Miles Far East Corporation (obiter dictum by Lord Denning). If the offeror and offeree negotiate by telex the acceptance will be effective from the moment that the telex message is received by the offeror: Entores Ltd. v. Miles Far East Corporation - in which it was held that the contract was formed in London when the offeror received the telex message from Amsterdam. If the offeror expressly or impliedly authorised the offeree to transmit his acceptance by post the acceptance will be effective at the moment the letter of acceptance is posted: Byrne v. Van Tien Hoven - in which it was held that the acceptance was effective when the plaintiffs posted their letter on October 11th in New York (although the defendants in Cardiff were not aware of the posting) Implied Authorization to accept by post occurs if: (i) (ii) The offeror posted his offer but did not tell the offeree not to use the post, as happened in Byrne's case above. The offer was not posted but the court, as a practical matter, regards the post office as the medium of communication that the parties themselves contemplated, as happened in Household Fire Insurance Co. v. Grant - in which the company's letter to Grant by post was held to have been valid acceptance of Grant's offer although Grant's letter of offer had not been posted but sent to the company by hand.

(h)

(i)

(j)

Express authorization to accept by post occurs if the offerer tells the offeree to reply by post, as happened in Adams v. Lindsell in which the offeree was told to "answer in course of post" Post office is an agent: In the cases where the offeror expressly or impliedly authorises the offeree to accept by post, the law regards the post office as the offeror's agent to transmit the acceptance. Consequently, as soon an the letter is "handed over" to the post office (or merely dropped in the letter box) the law regards it as having been "handed over" to the offeror personally - in accordance with the principles of the law of agency. If the letter of acceptance is in fact lost or delayed in transit, the law disregards that fact: after all, the letter was already received by the offeror - how can he claim that it was lost or delayed in transit? Legally, it was not lost or delayed in transit. This is illustrated by the

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

8

(k)

case of Household Fire Insurance Co. v. Grant in which the fact that the company's allotment letter never reached Grant was disregarded by the court and Grant ordered to perform his part of the contract. An acceptance by post which is neither expressly nor impliedly authorised by the offeror becomes effective only from the moment the offeror receives the letter of acceptance. In such cases the post office would be the offeree's agent to transmit his acceptance to the offeror, and the acceptance would be effective only if the agent actually delivers the message. This rule appears to be a logical deduction from the explanation given by the court in Byrne's case. If the offeror gives a letter containing an offer to a messenger and instructs the messenger to wait for, and receive, the acceptance thereof, the acceptance will be effective from the moment the offeree put his letter of acceptance into the messenger's hands: Household Fire Insurance Co. v. Grant (obiter dictum of Thesinger, L. J.) An acceptance, once posted, cannot be withdrawn: Household Fire Insurance Co. v. Grant (Statement of Thesinger, L. J.). This is definitely so when the acceptance was posted pursuant to an express or implied authorization by the offeror. The legal position regarding unauthorized acceptance by post is not clear because there is no decided case on the point. Examination questions sometimes test candidates' awareness of the uncertainty by asking, for example, whether an offeree who has posted a letter of acceptance can telephone the offeror and tell him to disregard the letter of acceptance - the examination question being so drafted as to raise doubts whether the offer was posted or made by other means.

(l)

(m)

(n)

Unless there are specific reasons to the contrary, the mode in which the acceptance was transmitted does not matter if the offeror actually received it: Yates Building Co. Ltd. v. Pulleyn & Sons Ltd. - in which it was held that an acceptance by ordinary post was valid although the offeror had stated that it had to be by "registered post" The prescribed mode of acceptance was regarded by the court as "permissive" or optional. The court's decision might probably have been different if the offeror had told the offeree to reply by "registered post only", or if the offeror had prescribed any other mandatory mode of communication.

2.6

Provisional Contracts Occasionally, an agreement may be described by the parties thereto as being "a provisional agreement" until a legally binding agreement is prepared by their advocates and signed by them. In Branca v. Cobarro the court held that the agreement, though described as provisional, was legally binding already. The Companies Act, S. 111 uses the word 'provisional' in a very special way and it was held in Re: 'Otto' Electrical Manufacturing Co. (1905) Ltd. that a 'provisional contract' there under does not bind a company if the company had not received a trading certificate.

2.7

Agreement "Subject to Contract" An agreement described as being "subject to contract" is not legally binding and merely serves as a written record of what the parties are negotiating about.

3.

CAPACITY 3.1 Capacity to Contract `Capacity' may be described as the legally recognized right of a person to enter into a legally binding agreement. The law of contract limits in varying degrees the contractual capacity of the following persons:

LESSON 3 (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Infants or minors,

LAW OF CONTRACT

9

Drunken persons and persons of unsound mind, Corporations. undischarged bankrupts.

3.1.1 Ractral capacity of Infants or minors An infant or a minor is any person who has not attained the age of eighteen years: Age of Majority Act 1974, S. 2. An agreement entered into by an infant may constitute a binding, voidable or void contract - depending on the object of the agreement. 3.1.2 Binding Contracts Contracts which are binding on an infant are contracts for: (i) (ii) (iii) (a) Necessaries, Education, and Beneficial service. Necessaries 'Necessaries' are defined by S. 4(2) of the Sale of Goods Act as "goods suitable to the condition in life of such infant or minor... and to his actual requirements at the time of sale and delivery". This provision is explained by Nash v. Inman in which an infant agreed to buy "an extravagant number of waistcoats" but failed to pay for them. He was sued for the price but the court held that he was not liable since the goods supplied did not fall within the statutory definition of necessaries. To constitute necessaries, the goods: (i) (ii) Must be suitable to the condition in life of the infant, and Must be suitable to the infant's actual requirement at the time of sale and delivery, i.e. the existing stock of goods (if any) was not adequate for the infant's needs.

Other necessaries include things like lodging, transport to the place of work, legal advice, etc. Liability for Necessaries S. 4(1) of the Sale of Goods Act provides that the infant is liable to pay "a reasonable price" for necessaries supplied to him. He is not liable for the agreed price. This provision raises the question whether the infant's liability is contractual or quasicontractual. (b) Education An infant may legally enter into a contract for educational instruction. textbooks regard education as part of 'necessaries'. (c) Beneficial Service A contract of service or apprenticeship is binding on an infant - provided it is substantially for his benefit. Some

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

10

In Doyle v. White City Stadium it was held that an infant boxer was bound by one of the rules and regulations of the British Boxing Board of Control, which was not beneficial to him because the rules and regulations, viewed as a whole, were beneficial to him. In Clemens v. London and North Western Rail Co. it was held that the infant plaintiff was bound by the defendant railway company's railway scheme which fixed a lower rate of compensation for injuries than the rate fixed by the Employer's Liability Act because the company's scheme covered a wider range of injuries than the Act. In De Francesco v. Barnum the court held that an infant dancer was not bound by a contract of service whose terms were so bad as to literally put the infant at the disposal of the employer. In Roberts v. Gray the infant defendant was held liable for breach of contract by his failure to accompany the plaintiff on a European tour to play billiards since the contract was substantially for his benefit. 3.1.3 Voidable Contracts The following contracts are valid and binding upon an infant unless he repudiates them during infancy or within a reasonable time after attaining the age of eighteen: - A lease, - A partnership agreement, - A contract to purchase a company's shares. (a) Leases A lease granted to an infant is binding on him unless he repudiates it within a reasonable time after attaining the age of eighteen. In Davies v. Beynon - Harris the court held that an infant tenant was liable for the rent of a flat which had accrued before he repudiated the lease. In Valentini v. Canali the plaintiff, an infant, had agreed to become the tenant of the defendant's house and to buy the furniture therein at £102. He paid £68 on account for the furniture, and after, occupying the house and using the furniture for some months he repudiated the tenancy agreement and sued to recover the £68. It was held that he could not recover the money because he could neither give back the benefit derived from the use of the furniture nor place the defendant in the position in which he was before the contract. (b) Partnership Agreement An infant is bound at common law by a partnership agreement but he is free to repudiate it at any time during infancy or within a reasonable time after attaining his majority. In Bennion v. Harrison the court held that Bennin, an infant who had been a partner and had held himself out as such to many persons, was liable for the price of goods which had been sold to the firm because when he became of age, he had not informed "the world" (i.e. the persons who knew him to be a partner or had dealt with him as such) that he was no longer a partner. He had in fact ceased to act as a partner during his infancy. S. 12 of the Partnership Act provides that a person who is under the age of majority may be admitted to the benefits of partnership but he cannot be made personally liable for any of the firm’s obligations. S.13 of the Act provides that an infant partner becomes liable, attaining the age of majority, for all obligations of the firm incurred since he was admitted - unless he gives public notice within a reasonable time of his repudiation of the partnership.

LESSON 3 (c)

LAW OF CONTRACT Purchase of Shares

11

An infant who applies for, and is allotted, a company's shares becomes a member of the company under S.28 (2) of the Companies Act from the moment that his name is entered in the register of members. He then acquires membership rights and becomes subject to membership obligations like any other member. However, he has a legal right to rescind the contract if there has been a total failure of consideration for which he paid the money (i.e. the shares have become worthless). In Steinberg v. Scala (Leeds) Ltd. the plaintiff, an infant shareholder, instituted rectification proceedings with a view to: (i) (ii) Being relieved from liability on calls, and Recovery of money she had already paid.

The court held that she should not recover the money already paid because the shares had some value although she (the plaintiff) had not received any dividends from the company. She was however entitled to have her name removed from the members' register (as the company had agreed to do). 3.1.4 Void Contracts If the Infant's Relief Act 1874 of England applies to Kenya as a statute of general application which was in force in England on 12 August, 1897 then the following contracts which it renders "absolutely void" in England would also be void if entered into by an infant in Kenya: (i) 'Contracts’ for repayment of money lent or to be lent; 'Contracts’ for goods supplied or to be supplied (other than contracts for necessaries), All "accounts stated" with infants. Loans All loans made to an infant are void and irrevocable. In Leslie Ltd. v. Sheill the infant defendant had obtained two advances of two hundred pounds each from the plaintiffs after cheating them that he was an adult. The plaintiff sued him to recover £475 (the amount of the advances and accrued interest) for: (a) (b) Breach of contract, or alternatively, Fraudulent misrepresentation (i.e. deceit)

It was held that the infant was not liable because: (a) (b) There could not be any breach of a void contract, and The Infants' Relief Act renders loans to infants "absolutely void" without any exception (cheating by an infant notwithstanding). The court was also of the view that making the infant liable in tort (i.e. deceit) would have amounted to an indirect enforcement of a contract rendered void by statute.

LESSON 3 (ii)

LAW OF CONTRACT Loans given for necessaries

12

It may happen that an infant asks someone for a loan to buy necessaries such as school uniforms or textbooks. The person, not being aware of the legal prohibition, agrees to lend the money and eventually does so. What is the legal position? The loan is irrecoverable and the lender cannot sue, as lender, to recover the money. This is so because the Act does not contain any exception to the prohibition. (iii) Subrogation In Re National Permanent Benefit Building Society the court stated that if an infant obtains a loan for necessaries and actually spends it in paying for necessaries the lender could sue in equity and would be allowed to stand in the place of those who had sold the necessaries and would have had at common law a right to sue him if he had not been paid. This remedy is known as "subrogation" and the lender is said to subrogated to the rights of the seller and sues as if he were the seller and had not been paid. Ratification If an adult person makes a promise to pay a debt contracted during infancy or perform a void contract made during infancy, the promise is void and unenforceable against the promisor: Infants' Relief Act, S. 2. Although the Infants Relief Act has been repealed in England by the Minor's Contracts Act, 1987, it appears that it is still a prima facie source of Kenya Law since the repealing Act has not been made part of the Kenya Law. 3.1.5 Contractual Capacity of Drunken Persons If a person purported to enter into a contract at a time when he was too drunk to understand what he was doing and the other party was aware of his mental condition, the contract will be voidable at his option: Gore v. Gibson in which the court held that the defendant was not liable on a bill of exchange which he had indorsed at a time when he was, to the knowledge of the plaintiff, so drunk that he could not appreciate the meaning, nature or effect of the endorsement. The basis of the court's decision is not the defendant's intoxication but the plaintiff's inequitable attempt to take advantage of a person in a weaker position. It would therefore appear that if both parties were materially intoxicated at the time of contracting they would be bound by the contract since none of them could take advantage of the other. The following points should be noted: (a) Ratification A drunken man who enters into a voidable contract may affirm or ratify it when he is sober: Matthews v. Baxter in which the defendant was held liable for breach of contract to buy some houses from the plaintiff which he had made when he was drunk but had nevertheless confirmed after he became sober. (b) Necessaries A drunken person is liable to pay for necessaries supplied to him pursuant to a contract which he entered into when too drunk to know what he was doing: Gore v. Gibson in which Alderson, B. stated that the ground of liability is an implied contract to pay for the goods which arose from his conduct when sober.

LESSON 3 (c)

LAW OF CONTRACT

13

The drunken person is liable to pay "a reasonable price" under S.4 of the Sale of Goods Act. He is not liable for the agreed price - apparently because, being drunk, he could not know the correct or fair price of the goods.

3.1.6 Contractual Capacity of Persons of Unsound Mind A contract entered into by a person of unsound mind is voidable at his option if it is proved that the other party was aware of his mental condition: Imperial Loan Co. Ltd. v. Stone, in which Lopes, L. J. stated that "a contract made by a person of unsound mind in not voidable at that person's option if the other party to the contract believed at the same time he made the contract that the person with whom he was dealing was of sound mind". The following points should also be noted: (a) Ratification A contract entered into by a person when he is insane can be ratified by him when he becomes of sound mind. (b) Necessaries A person of unsound mind, like a drunken person, is liable to pay for necessaries supplied to him. However, he is only liable to pay reasonable prices for the necessaries under S. 4 of the Sale of Goods Act. 3.1.7 Contractual Capacity of Corporations The courts have developed what is known as the doctrine of "ultra vires" in order to determine the contractual capacity of legal persons or corporations. The gist of the doctrine is that a body corporate's contractual capacity is limited to the attainment of objects or purposes for which it was created. If the corporation purports to enter into a contract to undertake a transaction which is neither expressly nor impliedly within its objects. The contract is "ultra vires" (i.e. "beyond the powers of") the corporation and is void, illegal and incapable of ratification. This rule applies to statutory corporations, co-operative societies and registered companies. This can be illustrated by the case of Ashbury Railway Carriage and Iron Co. Ltd v. Riche in which the House of Lords held that a company whose object was, inter-alia, to make railway carriages could not contract to build a railway line and Riche could not sue the company for refusing to pay for the expenses incurred toward the construction of the railway line. 3.1.8 Married Women At common law, married women have no contractual capacity because they are presumed to be non-existent (i.e. they are "part" of their husbands—the two constituting one person who is the husband.) This common law rule was changed by the Law Reform (Married Women and Tortfeasors) Act 1935 of England which is applicable to Kenya under the Law of Contract Act 1961. The Act gives married women full contractual capacity as if they were " femme sole". 4. CONSIDERATION For an agreement to constitute a contract the common law of England, as adopted in Kenya, requires that it must be supported by consideration.

LESSON 3 Exception

LAW OF CONTRACT

14

A "specialty contract" need not be supported by consideration. Such a contract is written, signed by one party, sealed and then delivered to the other party. 4.1 Definition There are many definitions of consideration that have been given by various judges in various cases. The following are some of the definitions: (i) "... Some right, interest, profit, or benefit accruing to the one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss, or responsibility, given, suffered or undertaken by the other", (per Lush, J., in Currie v Misa, (1875) L. R. 10 Ex. 153, at p. 162). An example of consideration which is constituted by a benefit accruing to one party and a detriment suffered by the other is to be found in Carlill's case (ii) "Consideration means something which is of some value in the eye of the law, moving from the plaintiff: It may be some benefit to the defendant, or some detriment to the plaintiff, but at all events it must be moving from the plaintiff”, (per Patteson. J in Thomas v Thomas. " I am content to adopt from a work of Sir Frederick Pollock, to which I have often been under obligation, the following words as to consideration. '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," (per Dunedin, L.J. in Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co. Ltd. v. Selfridge & Co Ltd. According to Sir Frederick Pollock, consideration is simply the price paid by a party to a contract for the promise of the other party. Ultimately it is evident that consideration is nothing but mutuality. "Detriment" as consideration An example of a 'detriment' that will legally suffice as the consideration for a promise is provided by the case of Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. When Mrs Carlill acted upon the advertisement by buying and using the carbolic smoke balls as directed she put herself to some inconvenience at the advertising company's request. The inconvenience she suffered by having to swallow so many balls for so many days was the 'detriment' which constituted the consideration for the defendant company's promise to pay the £100 reward. 4.2 TYPES OF/OR CLASSIFICATION OF CONSIDERATION Consideration may be executory or executed or past in certain circumstances. (a) Executory Consideration Executory consideration consists of a promise made by one party and a promise made by the other party to the contract. The party exchange mutual promises. Performance of the obligations remain in futura. It is good considerations to support a claim. Examples i an unmarried man and a lady agree to be married in the near future. Although nothing has been done yet, there is a contract to marry between them from the moment they exchange their promises. The lady's promise is the price, which she pays for the man's promise, and the man's promise is the price he pays for the lady's promise.

(iii)

LESSON 3 ii

LAW OF CONTRACT

15

Onyango goes to Munene's shop on the tenth day of the month and asks Munene, a tailor, to make a suit for him. He promises to pay for the suit at the end of the month. Munene takes Onyango's measurements and promises to have the suit ready on the last day of the month. Here, Onyango's promise is the consideration or price for Munene's promise, and Munene's promise is the consideration or price for Onyango's promise.

(b)

Executed Consideration Executed consideration is constituted by something done by the plaintiff because of a promise made by the defendant. It is good consideration to support a contractual claim. Examples 1. 2. If in example (2) above Onyango had paid for the suit in advance, the payment would be the executed consideration for Munene's promise. Mutiso puts an advertisement in the newspapers that he has lost his goat of a certain description and promises to pay Shs200 to anybody who returns it. Onyango reads the advertisement, goes to look for the goat, finds it in the bushes near the Bomas of Kenya and returns it to Mutiso. Here, what Onyango has done is what constitutes the executed consideration required to make Mutiso's promise binding on him.

4.3

Rules relating to consideration The following are the rules which the English courts have developed in relation to consideration: i Consideration must be sufficient (real) but it need not be adequate. What the judge had in mind when formulating this rule could be better understood after studying the decision in the following three cases: ST LK V. MYRICK (1809)ILK V. MY RICK (1809) In the course of the voyage from London to the Baltic, two seamen deserted and a captain, having unsuccessfully attempted to find replacements at the Croneladt, entered into an agreement with the rest of the crew under which they would be paid the wages of the two seamen who had deserted if they worked the ship back to London. The crew worked the ship back to London as agreed but the captain refused to pay whereupon one of them, the plaintiff, sued to recover his part of the wages. Lord Ellenborough stated: "Here, I think, the agreement is void for want of consideration. ... the desertion of a part of the crew is to considered an emergency of the voyage as much as their death; and those who remain are bound by the terms of their original contract to exert themselves to the utmost to bring the ship in safety to her destined port". Foakes v Beer (1884) On the 11th of August, 1875 Mrs Beer recovered judgment against Dr. Foakes for £2,077 17s 2d for debt and £13 ls 10d for costs. On the 21st of December 1876 a memorandum of agreement was made and signed by Dr Foakes and Mrs Beer that, if Dr Foakes paid £500 at once and the balance in instalments of £150 on the first day of July and January or within

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

16

one calendar month after each of the said days respectively in every year until the whole of the £2,090 19s Od was paid, Mrs Beer would not "take any proceedings whatever on the judgment". Dr Foakes paid the whole sum of £2090 19s Od as had been agreed whereupon Mrs Beer asked him to pay the interest accrued on the judgement. He refused to do so, relying on the agreement between him and Mrs Beer. Mrs Beer successfully sued for the interest after contending that the agreement between her and Dr Foakes was unsupported by consideration. Dr Foakes' appeal to the House of Lords was dismissed with costs. Lord Selborne stated: "No doubt if the appellant had been under no antecedent obligation to pay the whole debt, his fulfilment of the condition might have imported some consideration on his part for that promise. But he was under that antecedent obligation; and payment at those deferred dates, by the forbearance and indulgence of the creditor, of the residue of the principal debt and costs, could not (in my opinion) be a consideration for relinquishment of interest and discharge of the judgement" Collins v. Godefroy In this case the plaintiff sued to recover six guineas, being the amount of the money he had been promised as payment for giving evidence in an earlier case to which the defendant was a party. He told the court that he had agreed to give evidence after being promised the money. It was held that there was no consideration for the promise to pay. When he gave evidence, the plaintiff was merely performing an existing legal duty imposed on him by the law. Looking at the case of Stilk v Myrick, it will be noted that the sailors were merely doing what they were already legally bound to do, as an implied term of their contract of employment as sailors, when they put extra effort to sail the ship back to London. As their normal salary included payment for working in such contingencies, the captain would have got nothing for paying the money that he had promised to pay. He was therefore free not to pay it, "nothing for nothing, something for something" being the basic rule underlying the common law conception of consideration. Regarding the case of Foakes v Beer, it should be noted that when Dr Foakes paid the initial £500 he was merely doing part of something he was already legally bound to do by the court order of 11th August, 1875. When he completed paying the agreed instalment, he merely completed doing what he was already bound to do on 11 th August, 1875. Mrs Beer therefore got nothing for her promise not to ask for interest that would accrue on the judgement date after 11th August, 1875. She was, as a consequence, free to break the promise. These cases illustrate the situations which the courts have dealt with and decided on the basis that what was done and relied upon by the plaintiff as the consideration for the defendant's promise was not "sufficient consideration". They are instances in which the plaintiff had merely performed an existing legal duty. Such performance, per se, does not constitute consideration for the promise that induced it. For an act to constitute "sufficient consideration" it must be real (i.e. something which the plaintiff was not already bound to do). 4.4 EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE IN PINNELS CASE The decision in Pinnels Case that payment of a smaller amount of money cannot constitute consideration for a promise to accept it in settlement of a debt of a larger amount does not apply in the following situations: (a) (b) Payment of a smaller sum at an earlier date Payment of a smaller sum in kind

LESSON 3 (c) (d) (e) (f) (g)

LAW OF CONTRACT

17

Payment of a smaller sum at a different place or venue. Payment of a smaller sum by a third party Payment of a smaller sum in addition to an object Payment of a smaller sum in a different currency Payment of a lesser sum by a debtor when he has entered into an arrangement with his creditors to compound his debtor. In Pinnel's Case (1602), Pinnel sued Cole for a debt of £8 which was due for repayment on 11th November 1600. Cole's defence was that, at Pinnel's request, he had paid him £5 on a 1 October and that Pinnel had accepted this payment in full settlement of the debt. Pinnel won the case on a technical point of pleading but the court explained that, except for the technical point, he would have lost the case. Brian C. J. stated that "payment of a lesser sum on the day in satisfaction of a greater cannot be any satisfaction (i.e. consideration) for the whole", but that it could be consideration if paid:

(b)

The rule in Welby v Drake is the principle that if the smaller amount is paid by a third party, at the creditor's request or with his consent, the payment would be sufficient consideration for the promise to accept it in full settlement. In Welby v Drake (1825) the plaintiff sued the defendant for the sum of £9 on a debt which had originally been for £18. The defendant's father had paid the plaintiff £9 after the plaintiff had agreed to take that sum in full discharge of the debt. It was held that the payment of the £9 by the defendant's father operated to discharge the debt of £18. The judge stated that, if the plaintiff were allowed to recover the balance, he would also have been allowed to commit "a fraud on the (debtor's) father, whom he induced to advance his money on the faith of such advance being a discharge of his son from further liability".

(c)

The rule in Good v Cheesman If a debtor makes an arrangement with his creditors to compound his debts, the payment of a smaller amount would discharge a debt of a larger amount. In such a case, although the creditor is satisfying a debt of a larger sum by the payment of a smaller, the consideration is the agreement by the creditors with each other and with the debtor, not to insist upon their full claims. In Good v Cheesman (1831) the defendant had accepted two bills of exchange of which the plaintiff was the drawer. After the bills became due and before this action was brought, the plaintiff suggested that the defendant meet his creditors with a view to reaching an agreement. The meeting was duly held and the defendant entered into an agreement with his creditors whereby he was to pay one-third of his income to a trustee to be named by the creditors, and that this was to be the method by which the defendant's debts were to be paid. It was not clear from the evidence whether the plaintiff attended the meeting though he certainly did not sign the agreement. There was, however, evidence that the agreement had been in his possession for some time and it was duly stamped before the trial. No trustee was in fact appointed, though the defendant was willing to go on with the agreement. It was held that the agreement bound the plaintiff and the action was dismissed. The consideration, though not supplied to the plaintiff direct, existed in the forbearance of the other creditors. Each was bound in consequence of the agreement of the rest. THE DOCTRINE OF EQUITABLE OR PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL

(d)

(The rule in the "High Trees" Case) In the Central London Property Trust Ltd. v. High Trees House Ltd it was held that a

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

18

landlord who had promised to accept £1,250 instead of the contractual £2,500 as rent was bound by the promise - even though, at a common law, there was no consideration for the promise. This decision is variously referred to as "waiver" or "equitable estoppel". Its basis was explained by Lord Denning as follows: "If I were to consider this matter without regard to recent developments in the law, there is no doubt that had the plaintiffs claimed it, they would have been entitled to recover ground rent at the rate of £2,500 a year from the beginning of the term ... because the variation here might be said to have been made without consideration ... But what is the position in the view of developments in the law in recent years? The law has not been standing still since Jorden v Money. There has been a series of decisions over the last fifty years which, although they are said to be cases of estoppel, are not really such. They are cases in which a promise was made which was intended to create legal relations and which, to the knowledge of the person making the promise, was going to be acted on by the person to whom it was made, and which was in fact so acted on. In such cases the courts have said that the promise must be honoured ... As I have said, they are not cases of estoppel in the strict sense. They are really promises - promises intended to be binding, intended to be acted on and in fact acted on. Jorden v. Money can be distinguished, because there the promisor made it clear that she did not intend to be legally bound, whereas in cases to which I refer the proper inference was that the promisor did intend to be bound. In each case the court held the promise to be binding on the party making it even though under the old common law it might be difficult to find any consideration for it. The courts have not gone so far as to give a cause of action in damages for the breach of such a promise but they have refused to allow the party making it to act inconsistently with it. It is in that sense, and that sense only, that such a promise gives rise to an estoppel. The decisions are a natural result of the fusion of law and equity ... The logical consequence, no doubt, is that a promise to accept a smaller sum in discharge of a larger sum, if acted upon, is binding notwithstanding the absence of consideration, and if the fusion of law and equity leads to this result, so much the better. That aspect was not considered in Foakes v. Beer ". On the other hand, in the circumstances postulated by Lord Denning, the creditor is not bound by his acceptance of the smaller sum if his promise was obtained in a manner which a court of equity would regard as "inequitable". This can be illustrated by the case of D & C Builders Ltd. v. Rees (1965) in which the facts were as follows. D & C Builders, a small company, did work for Rees for which he owed £482 l3s ld. There was at first no dispute as to the work done but Rees did not pay. In August and October, 1964, the wife of Rees (who was then ill) telephoned the plaintiffs, complained about the work, and said, "My husband will offer you £300 in settlement. That is all you will get. It is to be in satisfaction." D & C Builders, being in desperate straits and faced with bankruptcy without the money, offered to take the £300 and allow a year to Rees to find the balance. Mrs Rees replied: "No, we will never have enough money to pay the balance. £300 is better than nothing." The plaintiffs then said: " We have no choice but to accept." Mrs Rees gave the plaintiffs a cheque and insisted on a receipt worded "in completion of the account." The plaintiffs later brought an action for the balance. The defence was bad workmanship and also that there was a binding settlement. The question of settlement was tried as a preliminary issue and the judge, following Goddard v. O'Brien (1880), decided that a cheque for a smaller amount was a good discharge of the debt, this being the generally accepted view of the law since the decision of that case. On appeal it was held that Goddard v, O'Brien was wrongly decided and that the payment by a debtor, whether in cash or by cheque, of a lesser sum than the amount of the debt was not a settlement of the debt which was binding at law on the creditor. In the course of his judgement Lord Denning stated: "This case is of some consequence: for it is a daily occurrence that a merchant or a tradesman, who is owed a sum of money is asked to take less. The debtor says he is in difficulties. He offers a lesser sum in settlement, cash down. He says he cannot pay more.

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

19

The creditor is considerate. He accepts the proffered sum and forgives him the rest of the debt. The question arises: Is the settlement binding on the creditor? The answer is that, in point of law, the creditor is not bound by the settlement. He can the next day sue the debtor for the balance, and get judgement. The law was so stated in 1602 by Lord Coke in Pinnel's Case and accepted in 1889 by the House of Lords in Foakes v. Beer. Now, suppose that the debtor, instead of paying the lesser sum in cash, pays it by cheque. He makes out a cheque for the amount. The creditor accepts the cheque and cashes it. Is the position any different? I think not. No sensible distinction can be taken between payment of a lesser sum by cash and payment of it by cheque ... This doctrine of the common law has come under heavy fire. But a remedy has been found. The harshness of the common law has been relieved. Equity has stretched out a merciful hand to help the debtor ... We can now say that when a creditor and a debtor enter on a course of negotiation which leads the debtor to suppose that, on payment of the lesser sum, the creditor will not enforce payment of the balance, and on the faith thereof the debtor pays the lesser sum and the creditor accepts it as satisfaction, then the creditor will not be allowed to enforce payment of the balance, when it would be inequitable to do so ... In applying this principle, however , we must note the qualification: The creditor is only barred from his legal rights when it would be inequitable for him to insist upon them. Where there had been a true accord, under which the creditor voluntarily agrees to accept a lesser sum in satisfaction, and the debtor acts upon that accord by paying the lesser sum and the creditor accepts then it is inequitable for the creditor afterwards to insist on the balance. But he is not bound unless there has been truly an accord between them. In the present case, on the facts as found by the judge, it seems to me that there was no true accord. The debtor's wife held the creditor to ransom ... No person can insist on a settlement procured by intimidation". 4.5 1. Adequacy of consideration Provided that consideration is sufficient, or real, it need not be adequate. The court will not compare the value of the defendant's promise with the value of the plaintiff's act or promise in order to determine the fairness of the transaction. The parties are presumed to have concluded a fair bargain and the court will not assist any one of them who alleges that he made a bad bargain. This is illustrated by Thomas v. Thomas in which it was held that a payment of £1 per year for the use of a house was binding on the executors of the deceased owner (Thomas) who had promised to accept the payment. 2. Consideration must move from the promisee The rule that "consideration must move from the promisee" means that only a person who has personally given consideration for a promise can sue for breach of the promise. A person who has not given consideration for a promise cannot sue the promisor for the simple reason that he cannot expect to get something for nothing. The common law regards a contract as a bargain between the parties to a commercial transaction, each of whom has bought the promise of the other with his own promise or act. This is illustrated by the case of Dunlop v Selfridge in which the appellants were motor tyre manufacturers and sold tyres to Messrs Dew & Co. who were motor accessory dealers. Under the terms of the contract Dew & Co. agreed not to sell the tyres below Dunlop's list prices, and as Dunlop's agents, to obtain from other retailers a similar undertaking. In return for this undertaking Dew & Co. were to receive discounts, some of which they could pass on to retailers who bought tyres. Selfridge & Co. accepted two orders from customers for Dunlop covers at a lower price. They obtained the covers through Dew & Co. and signed an agreement not to sell or offer the tyres below list price. It was further agreed that £5 per tyre so sold should be paid to Dunlop by way of liquidated damages. Selfridge's supplied one of the two tyres ordered below list price. They did not actually supply the other, but informed

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

20

the customer that they could only supply it at list price. The appellants claimed an injunction and damages against the respondents for breach of the agreement made with Dew & Co., claiming that Dew & Co. were their agents in the matter. It was held that there was no contract made between the parties. Dunlop could not enforce the contract made between the respondents and Dew & Co. because they had not supplied the consideration. Even if Dunlop were undisclosed principals, there was no consideration moving between them and the respondents. The discount received by Selfridge was part of that given by Dunlop to Dew & Co. since Dew & Co. were not bound to give any part of their discount to retailers the discount received by Selfridge operated only as consideration between themselves and Dew & Co. and could not be claimed by Dunlop as consideration to support a promise not to sell below list price. Viscount Haldane stated: "My Lords, in the law of England certain principles are fundamental. One is that only a person who is a party to a contract can sue on it....A second principle is that if a person with whom a contract not under seal has been made is to be able to enforce it consideration must have been given by him to the promisor or to some other person at the promisor's request....I am of opinion that the consideration, the allowance of what was in reality part of the discount to which Messrs. Dew, the promisees, were entitled as between themselves and the appellants, was to be given by Messrs Dew on their own account, and was not in substance any more than in form, an allowance made by the appellants". Although Viscount Haldane spoke of "a second principle" it would appear that there is no "second principle" as such. What appears to be a "second principle" is merely a verbal variation of the basic rule that consideration must move from the promisee for only then can he say that he is "a party to the contract " and be entitled to sue on it as such. This rule that consideration must move from the promisee is also known as the "privity of contract" rule and the effect of it is that an agreement between A and B for the benefit of C, if broken, cannot, generally speaking, be enforced by C. Exceptions to the doctrine of Privity of contract There are a number of exceptions to the privity of contract rule of which the following may be stated: (a) Agency A principal may sue on a contract made by an agent. This exception is perhaps more apparent than real because the principal rather than the agent is regarded as the contracting party. (b) Negotiable instruments A holder in due course of a bill of exchange can sue prior parties thereto although there is no privity of contract between him and any of them. This is a statutory exception under the Bills of Exchange Act. (c) Third party insurance A person injured in a car accident can sue the insurance company which insured the car against such risks although he is not a party to the contract

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT between the owner of the car and the insurance company. This is an exception under the Motor Insurance (Third Party Risks) Act.

21

(d)

Legal assignment The assignee of a debt may sue the debtor in his own name under the Indian Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

(e)

Covenants running with land

The plaintiff, in order to succeed in the case, must prove to the court that he was induced to do what he did by the promise which the defendant made and that he would not have done what he did if the defendant had not made the promise. In such a case the plaintiff's act and the defendant's promise constitute a single transaction or bargain. If the plaintiff performed the act before the defendant made the promise, the performance of the act would not constitute consideration for the defendant's promise. This may be illustrated by the case of Re McArdle. in which the facts were as follows: McArdle, his wife and his mother lived in a dwelling-house forming part of the estate of his father. He and his brothers and sister were to inherit the house under their father's will after their mother's death. In 1943 and 1944 Mrs McArdle carried out certain improvements and decorations in and on the house, the cost of which amounted to £488. In April, 1945 McArdle and his brothers and sister signed a document addressed to Mrs. McArdle which provided: "In consideration of your carrying out certain alterations and improvements to the dwelling-house at present occupied by you, we the beneficiaries under the will of our father hereby agree that the executors... shall repay to you from the said estate when so distributed the sum of £488 in settlement of the amount spent on such improvements. Dated April 30, 1945". In 1948 the children's mother (the tenant for life) died, and Mrs. McArdle claimed payment of £488 which was refused and she sued for the money. It was held that the consideration for the execution of the document of April 30, 1945, being past, the document was a nudum Pactum and was unenforceable against the authors. Jenkins, L.J. stated: "No question of conscience enters into the matter for there is no consideration and there is nothing dishonest on the part of an intending donor if he chooses to change his mind at any time before the gift is complete ... as the work had all been done and nothing remained to be done by Mrs McArdle at all, the consideration was wholly past, and, therefore, the beneficiaries' agreement for the repayment to her of the £488 out of the estate was nudum pactum - a promise with no consideration to support it. That being so, it is impossible for Mrs. McArdle to rely on this document as constituting an equitable assignment for valuable consideration". A similar policy was made in Roscorla v Thomas. Exceptions A plaintiff may rely on past consideration in the following instances: (a) Where services are rendered at the express or implied request of the defendant in circumstances which raise an implication of a promise to pay. This may be illustrated by the following cases:

LESSON 3 (i)

LAW OF CONTRACT Lampleigh v Brathwait

22

The defendant who had killed a Mr. Patrick Mahume asked the plaintiff to endeavour to obtain a pardon for him from the King. The plaintiff thereafter exerted himself to this end, "riding and journeying at his own charges from London to Royston, when the King was there, and to London and back, and so to and from Newmarket to obtain pardon for the defendant for the said felony". After the pardon was granted by the King the defendant promised to pay the plaintiff £100 for his endeavours but failed to honour the promise. When sued for the £100 the defendant pleaded past consideration but the court held him liable. (ii) Re Casey's patents (1892) Patents were granted to Stewart and another in respect of an invention concerning appliances and vessels for transporting and storing inflammable liquids. Stewart entered into an arrangement, with Casey whereby Casey was to introduce the patents. Casey spent two years "pushing" the invention and then the joint owners of the patent rights wrote to him as follows: "In consideration of your service as the practical manager in working both patents we hereby agree to give you one-third share of the patents". Casey also received the letters patent. Some time later Stewart died and his executors claimed the letters patent from Casey, alleging that he had no interest in them because the consideration for the promise to give him a one-third share was past. It was held that the agreement was binding. These two cases may be explained as follows. If you ask someone to do something for you and doing it will make him spend some money, you are under an implied legal obligation to pay a reasonable amount as compensation for the anticipated expenses. When you later on promise to pay some money after the thing has been done, you are merely fixing the reasonable amount which the law all along expected you to pay. The service rendered is not past consideration. (b) Negotiable Instruments Past services may constitute valuable consideration for a bill of exchange under s.27 of the Bills of Exchange Act which provides that valuable consideration for a bill may be constituted by "an antecedent debt or liability". If the brothers-in-law in Re McArdle, above had given Mrs. McArdle a bill of exchange or promissory note for £488 payable after their mother's death they would have been liable on it even though the work on the house had been completed by the time of drawing the bill or promissory note. (c) Acknowledgement of statute barred debt

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

23

An acknowledgement of a statute-barred debt is binding under Limitation of Actions Act 1968 even though it is made in respect of a past debt. (d) Consideration must be legal

The act or promise offered by the offeree as consideration for the other parties. Promise must be one permitted by law. Illegal consideration invalidates the contract. (e) Consideration must be something in excess of a public duty

Performance by the plaintiff or a public duty imposed upon him by law is not sufficient consideration for the defendants promise. This is because the plaintiff is already legally bound to do so as was the case in Collins v Godefroy. However in England v Davidson and Glassbook Brothers v Glamorgan country Council consideration was sufficient since the parties had done more that duty required. (f) Considerations must be something in excess of an existing contractual obligation Performance by the plaintiff of an existing contractual obligation is not sufficient consideration for the defendants promise. This is because the plaintiff is already legally bound to do so as was the casein Stilk v Myrrick. However , if the plaintiff does something of excess of an existing contractual obligation such a thing constitute good consideration. As was in the case in Hartley v Ponsonby. 5. FORMALITIES For an agreement to constitute a valid and enforceable contract it must have been entered into in the form, or manner, if any, prescribed by law. The general rule at common law is that a contract can be entered into orally, in writing, partly orally and partly in writing, or may be merely implied from conduct: Requirements of writing 5.1 BILLS OF EXCHANGE AND PROMISSORY NOTES: The Bills of Exchange Act defines a bill of exchange as follows: "A bill of exchange is an unconditional order in writing ...." The Act further states that an instrument which does not comply with these conditions ... is not a bill of exchange. To be valid, therefore, a bill of exchange must be made in writing. This requirement also applies to Promissory Notes under S. 84(1) of the Bills of Exchange Act. 5.2 REPRESENTATIONS REGARDING CHARACTER OR CREDIT: Statements relating to a person's credit-worthiness will only be actionable if made in pursuance of a contract which was in writing. The Law of Contract Act, S.3(2) states as follows: "No suit shall be brought whereby to charge any person upon or by reason of any representation or assurance made or given concerning or relating to the character, conduct, credit, ability or dealings of any other person to the intent or purpose that such other may obtain credit, money or goods, unless such representation or assurance is made in writing, signed by the party to be charged therewith".

LESSON 3 5.3

LAW OF CONTRACT

24

TRANSFER OF SHARES IN A COMPANY REGISTERED UNDER THE COMPANIES ACT: Section 77 of the Companies Act prohibits an incorporated company from registering any transfer of shares or debentures of the company unless a proper instrument of transfer has been delivered to the company.

5.4

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF STATUTE BARRED DEBTS: If an action for a simple contract debt has been barred by the limitation period of six years, it is possible for the right of action to be revived by an acknowledgement or part payment. S.24 of the Limitation of Actions Act, 1968 provides that for such an acknowledgement to be effective it must be in writing and signed by the person making it, or his agent. TRANSFER OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY: S.54 of the Indian Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (Note: This Act is applicable in Kenya) requires that a transfer of immovable property worth over 100 rupees must be by a registered instrument. The requirement of registration makes a written document necessary. The above contracts are void unless they are made in writing. (b) Requirement of written evidence These contracts must be evidenced by some note or memorandum. (i) CONTRACTS OF GUARANTEE: The Law of Contract Act, 1961, S.3 (1) provides: "No suit shall be brought whereby to charge the defendant upon any special promise to answer for the debt, default or miscarriage of another person unless the agreement upon which such suit is brought, or some memorandum or note thereof, is in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith, or other persons thereunto by him lawfully authorized." (ii) CONTRACTS FOR THE SALE OF AN INTEREST IN LAND: The Law of Contract (Amendment) Act, 1968, provides: "No suit shall be brought upon a contract for the disposition of an interest in land unless the agreement upon which the suit is founded, or some memorandum or note thereof is in writing and is signed by the party to be charged or by some person authorised by him to sign it. Provided that such a suit shall not be prevented by reason only of the absence of writing, where an intending purchase or lessee who has performed or is willing to perform his part of a contract(i) (ii) has in part performance of the contract taken possession of the property or any part thereof; or being already in possession, continues in possession in part performance of the contract and has done some other act in furtherance of the contract.

5.5

NOTE: (a) The agreement itself need not be in writing, so long as a "note or memorandum" is in existence. Such note or memorandum must contain the essential terms of contract - e.g. (i) the names of the parties:

LESSON 3 (ii) (iii)

LAW OF CONTRACT description of the property; the nature of the consideration.

25

This evidence could be contained in two documents, provided that the documents could be connected, as it was in one case where an address on an envelope was connected with the letter contained therein. The signature to be attached to such a document must be that of the person against whom the contract is to be enforced or a person authorised on his behalf. The term "signature" includes a rubber stamp. (b) If there is evidence of part performance in the form of possession by the purchaser or a lessee the Court will permit oral evidence of a contract for the sale of land to be given, and the Court will award an order of specific performance. (iii) EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS FOR OVER ONE MONTH, UNDER S.5 OF THE EMPLOYMENT ACT.

6.

ILLEGALITY 6.1 For an agreement to constitute a legally enforceable contract, it must have been entered into for a lawful purpose. An agreement to do something which is prohibited by statute or the common law is not a contract - although such agreements are generally called "illegal contracts" ILLEGAL CONTRACTS There are numerous examples of "illegal contracts" of which the following may be mentioned: a. Contracts illegal by statute Whether a particular contract is prohibited by a particular statute depends on the wording of the statute. For example, employment act, contracts for the payment of wages or salaries in kind are illegal. b. Contracts illegal at the common law A contract which is prohibited by the common law is usually described as being "contrary to public policy" (i.e. the court is of the view that it is in the public interest that the contract should not be enforced). Such a contract may be one which: (i) (ii) (iii) Tends to promote corruption in the public service, as illustrated by Parkinson v. College of Ambulance Ltd. (1925), Tends to promote sexual immorality, such as in Pearce v. Brooks (1866) Tends to interfere with the sanctity of marriage, such as Wilson v. Carnley (1908).However, in Fender v. St. John - Mildmay (1938) the House of Lords held that a contract made between decree nisi and decree absolute, for marriage after the dissolution of the existing marriage is valid (despite the fact that it rendered reconciliation between parties to the divorce proceedings almost impossible). Tends to fetter the freedom of marriage. Tends to prejudice the administration of justice, such as -

6.2

(iv) (v)

LESSON 3 (a) (b)

LAW OF CONTRACT Champerty: Trendex Trading Corporation v. Credit Suisse (1982), or Maintenance.

26

(v) Tends to prejudice the administration of justice. (a) champerty agreement (b) maintenance: Trendex Trading Corporation v Credit suise. Effects or Consequences of Illegality Illegality renders a contract unenforceable. The contract creates no rights and imposes no obligations on the parties. This is because the contract is beyond the pale of law hence neither party has a legal remedy. As a general rule money or goods changing lands under an illegal contract are irrecoverable. This is because gains and losses remain where they have fallen. A court of law cannot assist parties to adjust their rights if the contract is tainted with illegality. However money or goods changing hands under an illegal contract may be recoverable where (a) (b) (c) a party repents or regrets the illegality before the contract is substantially performed. The parties are not in pari delicto i.e. not equally to blame. The owner of the goods or money establishes title thereto without relying upon the illegal contract as was the case in Amar Single Kulubya.

VOID CONTRACTS
These are contracts which the law treats as non-existent. As a general rule illegal contract is only void but not certain rights may be salvaged by the innocent party. A contract may be rendered by statute or at common law i.e. courts of law. Contracts void by the statute. Wagering contract. This is a contract whereby two persons or groups of persons with different views on the outcome of an uncertain future event agree that some consideration is to pass depending on the outcome. Contracts void at common law These are contracts declared void by courts of law for being contrary to public policy namely I. II. III. Contract of the courts Contract prejudicial to the statute of marriage Contracts in restraint of trade CONTRACTS IN RESTRAINT OF TRADE This is a contract by which a person voluntarily or involuntarily restricts his future liberty to carry on his trader business or profession in such manner or with such persons as he chooses e.g. an employer restraining an employee from working for a business rival. At common law contracts in restraint of trade are prima facie void for being contrary to public policy. However such a contract may be enforced it is proved that; a) The restraint was reasonably necessary to protect the restraining party’s interest b) The restraint was reasonable to affected party c) The restraint was not injurious to the public.

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

27

Contracts in restraint of trade are both voluntary and involuntary Voluntary restraints These are contracts where by a party consents to be restrained by the other for example Restraint accepted by an employee The employer restraints the employee from working for a business rival or setting up a similar business. Such a restraint may be enforced if reasonable to both parties and is not injurious to the public. In Automan v Taylor the defendant who was an employee of the plaintiff covenanted not to work in a tailoring business within 3 years of quitting employment. However he worked in one of the areas before the 3 years expired, the plaintiff sued for an injunction was granted. However in Attwood v Lamont where the defendant as the head of the cutting department in a tailoring business covenanted not to engage in tailoring business within a radius of l0 miles and the plaintiff applied for an injunction. It was held that the restraint was too wide and hence unreasonable to be enforced. A similar holding was made in Kores Manufacturing co v Kolok Manufacturing Co where two competing companies had covenanted not to employee each other’s employee within a duration of 5 years. The defendant company employed a former employee of the plaintiff with 5 years. It was held that the restraint was unreasonable to both companies. Worldwide restraint may be enforced if reasonable and can only be effective if enforced on a worldwide basis. It was so held in Norclenfelf v Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company (1984). Nordenfelt was the manufacturer of a quick firing and loading gun and ammunition. He sold his business to a company for 287 500, 2 years later the company merged with another and employed Nordenfelt as the Managing Director at a salary of 2,000 per year. The contract of employment restrained Nordenfelt from; 1) 2) Carrying on or engaging in the business of manufacturing explosives or ammunition in any part of the world for 25 years. Competing with the business of the company for 25 years.

The House of Lords held that where as the covenant not to engage in gun trade was reasonable and enforceable but the covenant not to compete with the company for 25 years was unreasonable. Restraint accepted by a seller of a business Under this contract the buyer of the business restraints the seller from setting up a similar business door, this may be necessary to protect good will. Such a restraint is prima facie void. In enforcing such a restraint the court considers; a. b. c. The area covered by the restraint Its duration and other relevant circumstances Nature or character of the business

In Dias v Souto (1960) the defendant sold a shop situated on the island of Zanzibar. It is specialized in goods for expatriate community. He sold the shop to the plaintiff and covenanted not to set up a similar business within the Zanzibar protectorate. He established a similar business on the island of Pemba, the plaintiff sued for an injunction. An injunction was granted on the ground that the defendant was likely to injure the plaintiff’s commercial position by rescission of the specialized nature of the business. Restraints Restraint accepted by distributors or sellers of goods (sole agreement) The seller or distributor agrees to purchase all his goods from a particular manufacturer or wholesaler in return for a specified discount. The purpose of the restraint is to prevent the seller from distributing the products of a

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

28

competitor. Sales agreements take any of the following forms; (a) Tying covenant This is a contract by which a seller agrees to purchase all his goods from a particular manufacturer or wholesaler. Compulsory trading covenant: This is a contract by which a seller covenants to keep his business open for reasonable hours everyday. Continuity covenant This is a contract by which the seller agrees to extract similar covenants from the person who purchases the business from him. Solus agreements are prima facie void unless reasonable and not injurious to the public.

(b) (c)

A partial restraint may be enforced by a court of law to protect clients, trade secrets etc. However a restraint whose purpose is to keep off competition is unenforceable. Involuntary restraints These are restraints imposed by professional bodies and trade associations on their members for certain purposes e.g. enhancement of standards of conduct. At common law such restraints are prima facie void but may be enforced if it is proved that they are reasonable and are not injurious to the public. Contracts in Restraints of Trade in Kenya The principles or rules governing contracts in restraint of trade in Kenya are contained in the Contracts in Restraint of trade Act under sec.2 of the act contracts in restraint of trade in Kenya are legally binding, however the High court is empowered to declare such a contract void if it is satisfied that the restraint is unreasonable in that it affords more protection than necessary or is injurious to the public. To make its decision the court must have regard to a. The nature of trade, business, occupation or professional b. Area covered by the restraint c. Duration of the restraint d. Other circumstances of the case 7 INTENTION For an agreement to constitute a contract, the parties thereto must have intended it to have legal consequences. Consequently, an agreement that contains an express declaration that it is NOT intended to have legal consequences (e.g. the "Honourable Pledge Clause" in ROSE AND FRANK v. CROMPTON BROS) will not be enforced by the courts despite its embodying all the other elements of a valid contract. In practice, however, parties do not direct their attention to this point when negotiating with each other, with the consequence that the courts have, as it were, been called upon to "fill the gaps". This they have done by formulating certain principles or "presumptions" that will apply in the absence of an express declaration to the contrary. These presumptions are as follows: 7.1 BUSINESS AGREEMENTS; There is a rebuttable presumption that parties intended create a legally enforceable agreement for example in Crlills case, Edwards v Skyways Ltd. However legal intention may be expressly negative by the use of honour clauses as was the case in Rose and Frank V Crompton Brothers.

LESSON 3 7.2

LAW OF CONTRACT DOMESTIC OR FAMILY AGREEMENTS: There is a rebuttable presumption that the parties did not intend to create legal relations. (a) Agreements between husband and wife: (i)

29

Where the husband and wife are living together amicably, there is a legal presumption that any agreement they enter into is NOT legally binding: BALFOUR v. BALFOUR. This principle appears to be a consequence of a legal apprehension that ill-advised litigation will destroy the domestic tranquillity generally prevailing in the home, or the love between the parties. Where the husband and wife have separated, or are about to separate, so that the marriage is practically over, any agreement entered into by the spouses is presumed to have been intended to be legally binding e.g. MERRIT v. MERRIT. In such a case, there is no love between the parties which litigation might destroy.

(ii)

(b)

Agreement between Parent and Child: It was held in JONES v. PADAVATTON that an agreement between a parent and a child (in that case, between mother and daughter) is presumed NOT to have been intended to be legally binding. The court added that such agreements depend entirely on the goodwill of the parties thereto.

(c)

Agreement between Uncle and Niece or Nephew: In Jones v. Padavatton, Salmon L.J. stated: "As a rule when arrangements are made between close relations, for example between husband and wife, parent and child or uncle and nephew in relation to an allowance, there is a presumption against an intention of creating any legal relationship".

7.3

SOCIAL AGREEMENTS Professors Chesire and Fifoot have expressed the view that "to invite a friend for dinner is not to invite litigation" and it is generally stated that social agreements between friends are presumed NOT to have been intended to be legally binding.

8

TERMS OF A CONTRACT The promises which the parties to a contract make to each other are known as the "terms" of the contract. They are graded by the law into the following categories: (a) Conditions This is a term of major stipulation in a contract. It is part of the central themes. It runs to the part of the contract. consequently, if it is broken, the injured party may (i) (ii) treat the contract as repudiated and sue the party at fault for damages, affirm the contract and sue for damages.

As was the case in Poussard v Spiers and Pond When it is said that a term which is a condition "goes to the root of the contract" it merely means that the aggrieved party attached so much importance to the term that, if he had known that there would be a breach of it, he would not have entered into the contract. For example, there is an (implied) condition under s.14(2) of the Sale of Goods Act that the seller has "a right to sell" (i.e.

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

30

he is the owner of) the goods. If the goods are stolen goods, and the buyer had been aware of this fact, he would not have entered into the contract. This is a minor term, or a term of minor stipulation. It is a collateral or peripheral term of a contract. It is not part of the contral theme. (b) Warranties There is no precise legal definition of a "warranty" which, in legal nomenclature, is susceptible to a variety of interpretations. However, for the purposes of the law of contract, it is generally contrasted with a condition. It is generally described as a stipulation which does not go to the root of the contract and breach of which does not entitle the aggrieved party to treat the contract as at an end, but entitles him only to sue for damages. Warranty of quiet possession of goods each of warranty entitles the innocent party to sue for damages but the contract remains enforceable. As was the case in Beffini v Gye and in Kampala General Agency v Modys (EA) Ltd This is a rather lofty or vague phraseology but a more useful approach is to divert to the examples of warranties implied, or given, in s.14 of the Sale of Goods Act, namely:

8.1

the warranty of "quiet possession", and the warranty that the goods shall be free from undisclosed encumbrances.

Purpose of Categorization As might have been implicit from their descriptions, the purpose of the legal categorization of contractual terms is to assist in the determination of the legal consequences of their breach. For the party contemplating a breach, it is very important to be aware of the legal consequences that will ensue from implementing his decision.

8.2

Express terms The terms of a contract are said to be "express terms" if the parties themselves adverted to them at the time of negotiations and actually agreed upon them (i.e. incorporated them into the contract, either verbally or in writing). Written terms prevail over unwritten terms. Handwritten terms prevail over others.

8.3

Implied terms A term which the parties did not expressly incorporate into the contract may nevertheless be deemed to be one of the terms of the contract by implication. This may be necessary in order to "give business efficacy to the contract", as explained in The Moorcock. Alternatively, the term may be implied by an Act of Parliament, such as the implied conditions and warranties implied by the Sale of Goods Act.

8.4

Exemption or exclusion clauses A party to a contract may seek to avoid legal consequences of a breach of a term thereof by inserting therein a paragraph or sentence to that effect. Alternatively, the clause may be intended to limit the legal consequences of the breach rather than avoidance thereof. Such sentences or paragraphs are known as "exemption clauses". They are founded on the theory of freedom of contract and are common in standard form contracts.

8.5

Judicial attitude The English judges believed that a contract is an agreement which is freely entered into by parties who are "sui juris" (i.e. legally at par). Consequently, a party to a contract which contained an exemption clause was bound by it. After all, why did he agree to enter into the contract despite the clause?

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

31

As a consequence of numerous cases that were brought before them, the English courts formulated the following rules regarding exemption clauses: i. An exemption clause must be an integral part of the contract . A clause contained in a document which is essentially a receipt for money paid will not be regarded as an exemption clause, as illustrated by: Chapleton v. Barry Urban District Council. ii. The particular clause in the document must have been brought to the attention of the party affected by it before he entered into the contract. A purported notification after the conclusion of the contract is not effective: Olley v. Marlborough Court. However, the party seeking to enforce the clause may succeed if he proves that he had dealt with the other party on previous occasions, and had given him similar documents: Spurling v. Bradshaw. iii. If the party affected by the exemption clause had signed it, he will be bound by it, whether he did not read its contents before signing it: L'Estrange v. Graucob. Exceptionally he may evade some of the clause if, before signing the document, he had enquired as to what it meant and was given verbal representations which modified the effect of some of the written words: Curtis v. Chemical Cleaning & Dyeing Co. iv. If the clause is ambiguous, it will be interpreted against the party who inserted it and who is now relying on it. This is known as the "contra preferentem rule" and is illustrated by: White v. John Warrick & Co. Ltd. v. As a general rule, an exemption clause cannot be relied upon by a third party: Adler v. Dickson. This is due to the privity of contract rule. vi. An exemption clause cannot be relied upon to exonerate a party from the consequences of a fundamental breach of contract: Nichol v. Godts. 9 VITIATING ELEMENTS IN A CONTRACT The validity of a contract may be vitiated in the following factors: 9.1 MISTAKE This is a misapprehension of a tact or fact situation. The general rule is that mistake is legally irrelevant: Bell v. Lever Bros. 9.1.2 Exceptions: Mistake is legally relevant in cases of "operative mistake" (i.e. the mistake operates to destroy the consensus that it is the basis of a contract and the parties are deemed not to have agreed on anything). A mistake may be i. Common Mistake: This may occur as follows: (a) "Res extincta" - an agreement to sell goods which, unknown to buyer and seller, have ceased to exist, e.g. Couturier v. Hastie - Contract void.

NOTE: In McRae v. Commonwealth Disposals Commission (Australian case which is "persuasive authority" in Kenya) it was held that the "seller" who had agreed to sell goods which never existed at all was liable for breach of contract: breach of the implied warranty that the goods actually exist. (b) "Res sua" - an agreement to buy some property which, unknown to both parties, already belong to buyer.

LESSON 3 Examples

LAW OF CONTRACT

32

- Cooper v. Phibbs - an agreement to lease a fishery which, unknown to the parties, was the property of the "lessee". - Cochrane v. Willis.

2.

Mutual Mistake: This occurs if the parties misunderstood each other on a fundamental fact so that there is actually no true agreement between them. Example: Raffles v. Wichelhaus in which an offer was made in relation to some property but misunderstood to refer to other property. Contract void.

ii.

Unilateral Mistake: This is called "unilateral" because only one of the parties is mistaken. The other party is aware of the mistake because he has fraudulently induced it. This may occur as follows: (a) Mistaken Identity: The English cases relating to mistaken identity appear to be in conflict regarding the effect of the mistake on the contract. These cases are: (i) Ingram v. Little: The English Court of Appeal held that the mistake rendered the contract void - the court's reasoning being that the offer to sell the car had been made to the person the seller believed he was dealing with, but purportedly "accepted" by the rogue personally present in front of the seller. So, in accordance with the rule in Boulton v. Jones that an offer to A cannot be accepted by B, the contract was void. (ii) (a) Phillips v. Brooks) The Court of Exchequer and the Court of Appeal held, respectively, that the mistake rendered the contract voidable (and not void). (b) Lewis v. Avery The court's reasoning in these latter cases was that the offer had been made to, and accepted by, the same person who was physically present before the offeror. The rule in Boulton v. Jones was therefore in applicable and a contract of sale had been formed between the parties. However, since the buyer had fraudulently misled the seller into believing him to be a credit-worthy person whose cheque would not bounce, the deception rendered the contract voidable at the option of the seller. However, the contract could not be avoided because an innocent third party (the defendant) would be adversely affected by the avoidance. NOTE: Technically, Kenyan Courts are not bound by any of these English decisions. Consequently, if the issue of the effect of unilateral mistake pertaining to identity were to arise in a Kenya Court, the court might: (i) follow Ingram v. Little and declare the contract to be void; or

LESSON 3 (ii)

LAW OF CONTRACT

33

follow Phillips v. Brooks or Lewis v. Avery and declare the contract to be voidable.

Mistaken identity may also occur where the parties are not in each other's presence. A leading example is Cundy v. Lindsay. - in which the contract was held by the House of Lords to be void as an instance of an offer meant for A being accepted by B. (iv) Documents Signed By Mistake A person who has signed a document by mistake may escape liability under the document if he can establish the defence of "NON EST FACTUM". (it is not my deed). However, for this defence to succeed the document signed must have been "radically", "totally", "basically", "fundamentally" or "essentially" different from that which he believed it to be: Saunders v. Anglia building Society. Examples: (i) Saunders v. Anglia Building Society The defence of "non est factum' failed because the document signed was a Transfer Deed and the document the lady thought she was signing was also a Transfer Deed. The document signed was therefore not "radically" or "fundamentally" different from that she thought she was signing. The signatory had made a mistake - i.e. a mistake as to the contents of the document signed. The signatory thought that the transferee named in the document was her nephew while in fact it was another person altogether i.e. the nephew's dishonest friend. A mistake as to the contents of a document is legally irrelevant. (ii) Foster v. Mackinnon The defence of "non est factum" succeeded because the document signed - a bill of exchange - was radically or fundamentally different from that which the defendant thought he was signing - an insurance document. 9.2 MISREPRESENTATION A misrepresentation is a false statement of fact which was made by one party to a contract to the other, at or before the time the contract was made, which induced the other to enter into the contract. Where an agreement has been made on the basis of a misrepresentation the law will sometimes grant relief. The relief obtainable depends on whether the misrepresentation was innocent or fraudulent. 9.2.1 Elements of Definition (a) A misrepresentation is a statement of fact. A statement of law, a statement of opinion, such as an advertiser's 'puff' or a statement of intention, is therefore not covered. The statement must be false. Clearly if the statement is true the contracting party has no claim for redress. The representation must be made by one party to the contract to the other . The essence of the complaint is that one party misled the other, where the plaintiff has relied on false information from another source, he cannot blame the contracting party.

(b) (c)

LESSON 3 (d)

LAW OF CONTRACT

34

The representation must have induced the other party to enter the contract. If he did not make the contract, or did not rely on the representation. the plaintiff has no cause for complaint. Thus he cannot plead that he relied on the misrepresentation if he did not know of it, or if he knew it to be untrue. As a general rule silence does not amount to misrepresentation. Silence

(e)

There are the following exceptions. Silence may amount to misrepresentation where: 1. There is a positive duty to disclose, e.g. in fiduciary relationships and contracts of insurance; 2. Where what has been said is true, but it amounts to a half-truth (e.g. Dimmock v. Hallent where a vendor accurately reported that certain farms were let but omitted to say that the tenants had given notice). 3. 4. Where disclosure is a statutory requirement Where the original statement was true when made but had subsequently become untrue (e.g. in With v. O'Fanagan the vendor of a doctor's practice failed to disclose the fall in the receipts of the practice since the original valuation).

Misrepresentation renders a contract void at the opportunity of the innocent party. 9.2.2 Remedies Where there had been a misrepresentation which has been acted upon, the nature of the remedy will depend on whether it was made innocently or fraudulently. a) INNOCENT MISREPRESENTATION An innocent misrepresentation is an untrue statement made in the honest belief that it is actually true: Derry v. Peek. It is irrelevant that the maker had no reasonable ground for his belief. There is no remedy at common law for an innocent misrepresentation. However, equity developed the remedy of rescission which will be available to an aggrieved plaintiff unless it is rendered unavailable by the circumstances listed below (under remedies for fraudulent misrepresentation). Akerhielm v De mare. Indemnity for any direct financial loss occasioned by the untrue statement. As was the case in Whittington v Seale-Hayne. b) FRAUDULENT MISREPRESENTATION A fraudulent misrepresentation is an untrue statement which is made: (a) (b) (c) knowingly, or recklessly, careless whether it be true or false, or without belief in its truth: Derry v. Peek.

In Derry v. Peek (1839): A company was formed which according to its prospectus was to undertake the operation of steam trams in Plymouth. The directors when they issued the prospectus honestly believed that they would have no difficulty in

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

35

obtaining the necessary authority from the Board of Trade to run the trams. However, authority was not given and the company was wound up. The plaintiff brought an action against the directors for fraud. It was held by the House of Lords that the directors honestly believed the truth of the statements they had made therefore no action could lie for fraud. (The Directors' Liability Act 1890 was passed to reverse this decision with respect to directors. This Act is now s.45 of the Kenya Companies Act. However, the principle of the case still applies in their situations). The party injured by a fraudulent misrepresentation in a contract must prove that the following elements were present in the misrepresentation: (i) There was a false representation of fact. A statement of fact must be distinguished from a statement of opinion. A statement "This car is a fantastic car!" is merely an opinion and not a fact, and does not constitute a fraudulent misrepresentation. There may, however, be fraud through a "suppressio veri", that is, a suppression of the truth. As Lord Cairns said in Peek v. Gurney (1873), "There must in my opinion be some active mis-statement of the fact or at all events such a partial and fragmentary statement of fact as that the withholding of that which is not stated makes that which is stated absolutely false." (ii) The statement was made deliberately with the intention of deceiving or recklessly without caring whether it was false or true." We have already seen above in the case of Derry v. Peek (1889) THAT UNLESS AN ADMITTEDLY FALSE statement is made with the knowledge that it is false, there is not fraudulent misrepresentation. (iii) The false representation must actually deceive the injured party and cause him to enter into the contract. Horsfall v. Thomas (1862): The vendor of a cannon in which there was a flaw, filled the flaw with some metal. The purchaser, who had not inspected the article, burst the cannon upon its first discharge. It was pointed out that as the purchaser had never inspected the cannon he had not been deceived. "Deceit which does not deceive is not fraud." (iv) The person making the misrepresentation must have intended that it should be acted upon by the party who was actually misled by it. This essential factor precludes a third party who, not being a party to the contract, could not have been deceived, from making a claim. The following case illustrates this. In Peek v. Gurney (1873): A fraudulent statement had been made in the prospectus issued by a company. The plaintiff, however, had not purchased his shares direct from the company on the faith of the prospectus but from a former shareholder. He therefore had no claim, because he himself had not been misled by the fraudulent statement. (v) The injured party must actually have suffered some damage.

9.2.3 Remedies for fraudulent Misrepresentation (a) The injured party may enforce the contract in spite of the fraud. It should be noted

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

36

that he himself is, of course, bound by the contract until he takes steps to set it aside. (b) If he does not wish to be bound by the contract, he may take steps to rescind the contract. If he applies to the Court for an order of rescission he must show that after discovering the fraud, he did nothing which would show the intention of continuing with the contract. He must, however, take his action to avoid the contract within a reasonable time, otherwise as a result of his delay, an innocent third party may acquire an interest in the property or the person uttering the fraudulent misrepresentation may himself change his position vis-à-vis the injured party, thereby precluding any possible rescission.

In the following circumstances, however, there can be no rescission: (a) Delay If third parties have already taken rights under the contract, bona fide and for value, without notice of the fraud. Kings Norton Metal Company v. Edridge (1897): W fraudulently represented himself as being connected with a company "Hallam & Co." which did not exist. He bought goods from the plaintiffs and sold them to the defendant company. It was held that the original contract between W and the plaintiffs was not vitiated by fraudulent misrepresentation and the defendants had acquired a good title to the goods. (b) Affirmation If the injured party after discovering the fraud takes any benefit under the contract or in any other way affirms it, or is deemed to have affirmed it. Restitution in integrum not possible If it is not possible for the court to order a "restitutio in integrum", that is, to order the parties to be placed in the position that they were in before the contract was made. For example, A fraudulently misrepresents a cheap watch to be one made of gold. B. relying on the representation buys it, but on the way home the watch drops accidentally and is destroyed. He is later told by a friend that the watch is not made of gold. He is not able to rescind the contract since he is not in a position to put things back to the original position. He may, of course, still claim for the damages. Third party rights It should be pointed out that naturally the guilty party may not plead his own wrongful action as grounds for rescinding the contract. The injured party may bring a court action for the return of any property which the fraudulent party obtained from him. If a person brings an action for the return of any property, he must himself be ready to restore any property which he may himself have obtained under the contract. He may refuse further performance and should he thereupon be sued by the other party for not carrying out the contract, he may defend the action on the ground of the other party's fraud In any case, whether the injured party elects to affirm or rescind the contract, he nonetheless has a right to sue in damages for the tort of deceit. Any person who makes a false statement dishonestly commits the civil wrong or tort of deceit and is liable if sued to pay damages to the person he has deceived.

(c)

(d)

(e)

(f)

(g)

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT 9.2.4 Silence as Misrepresentation

37

It is possible for a party who does not actually make a false statement nevertheless to give a misrepresentation. The general rule is that he who keeps silent makes no misrepresentation. As Lord Atkin said in Bell v. Lever Bros. Ltd. (1932): "The failure to disclose a material fact which might influence the mind of a prudent contractor does not give the right to avoid the contract". There are three sets of circumstances, however, in which a person who is silent may incur legal liability, because he has failed to disclose a material fact: (a) (b) Where his silence affects the accuracy of any previous representation. Where a confidential or fiduciary relationship exists between the parties, the person in the position of trust is required to make full disclosure of all the facts in making any contract with the other party who relies on his advice. Where the contract requires the utmost good faith or, as the lawyers say, in "contracts uberrimae fidei" e.g. contracts of insurance.

(c)

If full disclosure of the facts is not made, the other party has the right to rescind the contract, e.g. London Assurance Co. v. Mansel. 9.2.5 DURESS Duress is the use, or the threat to use, physical violence against the contracting party himself or against near relations, such as wife, parent or child. Duress may be exerted either by the other contracting party or by a third person acting at his instigation or with his knowledge. The threat or actual use of violence, or wrongful imprisonment, the wrongful threat to seize or the actual seizure of property, and the threat to take criminal proceedings can all constitute duress. The threat must be illegal i.e. relate to a crime or tort. In Cumming v. Ince (1847): A woman was a mental patient in a hospital pending an enquiry. It was agreed that the woman should be released and that at the same time she would give up certain deeds in her possession. The agreement to give up the deeds was made under the fear of confinement in the asylum and so it was not binding upon her. The threat must be directed to the persons body In Kaufman v. Gerson (1904): Kaufman coerced Gerson into making a contract by threatening to prosecute Gerson's husband for a criminal offence which he had committed. Gerson was held not liable upon the contract, as her consent was obtained through duress. It renders the contract voidable at the option of the innocent party. In Maskell v. Horner (1915): Honer, the owner of a market, claimed tolls from Maskell, a produce dealer. At first Maskell refused to pay, but he did pay when Horner seized his goods, and continued to pay in the future, under protest. Horner's right to tolls was subsequently declared illegal, and Maskell recovered the payments made. 9.2.6 UNDUE INFLUENCE "Undue Influence" is a technical phrase which denotes pressure exerted by one person who has a moral superiority over another. Where such conditions obtain, as for example, between solicitor and client, or trustee and beneficiary, any contracts involving both parties to the relationship may show signs of a stronger character influencing the weaker. It is said to exist where a party terminates the others will thereby prohibiting his exercise of independent judgement on the contract.

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

38

Undue influence usually arises where one party has contracted without exercising his own judgement and free will, relying upon the advice of the other party. It renders the contact voidable. Where there is no fiduciary relationship between the parties, there is no presumption of undue influence. In such a case, should it be claimed that moral pressure has been brought to bear, the burden of proof is upon the party who alleges that he acted under the undue influence of the other. As was the case in Williams v Bayley. Where parties have a special relationship e.g. parent/childhood , guardian/ward, advocate/client doctor/patient, religious leader/disciple, undue influence presumed in favour of the weaker party. The stronger party can disprove this presumption by evidence. . In Smith v. Kay (1859): A young man who had just inherited a fortune was introduced to a man several years his senior, who suggested that they should tour Europe together, the older man acting as the guide. After a long tour, much of the younger man's fortune had disappeared or had been appropriated by the older man. It was held that on the facts the elder man had exercised undue influence. The influence must have been exerted by the other party The modern tendency is to consider duress and undue influence as the same, and to define it as any moral or physical compulsion which influences the decision of one party to a contract. The party seeking to set aside a transaction on the grounds of duress or undue influence cannot do so in the following circumstances. (a) (b) If third parties have acquired rights thereunder bona fide and for value. If there has been unreasonable delay. "Delay defeats Equity". The facts of each case must determine what constitutes reasonable delay. In Allcard v. Skinner (1887): A young lady entering the convent made over her property to the convent. However, after a year she left the convent but delayed for five years before applying to Court to rescind her gift. It was held that she was defeated because of the unreasonable delay. Once she had left the convent, any undue influence had ceased and she should have taken prompt action in the matter. Relief is afforded by Equity in cases where undue influence is claimed over blind and illiterate persons. 10 DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT 10.1 A contract is said to be discharged when the obligations created by cease to bind the parties that who area now freed from performance. It may be discharged . 10.1.1 BREACH, which occurs if there is a failure to perform it strictly as was agreed. This is non-performance or tendering a defective. It is either anticipatory or actual. Example: The Sale of Goods Act, s.13 provides that where a seller delivers less, or more, than the quantity of goods agreed to be bought, the buyer may reject what is delivered and sue for damages for breach. This is a codification of the common law rule of strict performance. Breach does not discharge a contract but entitles the other party to treat it as repudiated. 10.1.2 PERFORMANCE as agreed under the contract.

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

39

.A contract is discharged by performance if both parties have dutifully performed their obligations. Originally , at common law, a party could only be discharged by performance if every part of the contract was performed. Contractual obligations had to be observed to the letter. This is the so called doctrine of “precise and exact” as exemplified by the decision in Cutter v Powell where Mrs Cutter was denied compensation since her husband had not performed his obligations precisely and exactly. However, the harshness of this common law principle led to the admission of a number of exceptions where in parties are discharged without performing precisely and exactly, namely (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) Substantial performance Marshides Mehta and Co ltd v Barron Verhegen Partial performance If accepted by the other party. Sumper v Hedges Separable/divisible contracts Ritchie v Atkinson Prevented Performance Planche v Colburn Tender of performance Frustration of contract

EXPRESS AGREEMENT Discharge of contract by agreement justified on the premise hat whatever is created by agreement may be extinguished by agreement. Discharge by agreement may be executory or executed. Where contractual obligations are executory a in either party has performed discharge is bilateral where each party charges the other from performance. Their mutual promises constitute consideration where contractual obligations are executed i.e. one party has performed discharge is unilateral where the party that has not performed is discharged by the other from performance. Unilateral discharge may take any of the following terms; (i) Waiver: This may occur where the contract is still executory and one party is unable to perform his part. The other party may release him from the obligations under the contract by a deed (i.e. he waives his right to performance of the contract). A deed is required in order to make the agreement binding, since there is no consideration given by the released party. Accord and satisfaction: This occurs where the contract is discharged by a new contract between parties. An example would be where A. agreed to sell a white PEUGEOT pick-up to B. He is now unable to procure one and persuades B to accept a white DATSUN Pick-up, and B. agrees to this. Assignment: This occurs where the rights of a contract are transferred to another party, as where A lends B money to be repaid at the end of the month. Before the end of the month A. tells B. to pay the money to C. when the time to pay comes. Assignments are not recognized by the common law but may be effected under the Indian Transfer of Property Act 1882 which is applicable in Kenya. Novation: This occurs where the OBLIGATIONS or duties under a contract are transferred from one party to another, as where A lends money to B to be repaid at the end of the month. Before that time arrives, it is agreed that B's father (C) will repay the loan. Frustration: contract charged by frustration then performance f obligation is considered impossible, illegal or commercially futile by reason of foreseen or extraneous circumstances for which other party is to blame.

(ii)

(iii)

(iv)

10.1.4 (v)

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

40

According to Professors Chesire and Fifoot, frustration is a relatively new legal concept which the courts have yet to develop fully. It is therefore not possible to tabulate or classify all the circumstances in which a contract may be discharged by frustration. However, the decided cases illustrate that the contract may be discharged by frustration in one of the following ways: (a) Destruction of subject matter of the contract before the time of performance arrives, Example: TAYLOR v. CALDWELL (b) Non-occurrence of an event i.e. a new situation has arisen which renders it impossible to perform the contract as originally anticipated. Example: KRELL v. HENRY (c) supervening illegality caused by a change in the law, or government interference, so that it becomes illegal to perform the contract. Example: METROPOLITAN WATER BOARD v. DICK, KERR & Co. (d) Death or permanent incapacitation which renders it impossible for a party to a contract to perform it because of unexpected or sudden illness.

(e) government intervention Where government acts or steps render performance impossible Metropolitan Water Board v Dick Kerr and Co. (ADJUSTMENTOF THE RIGHTS OF THE PARTIES) Example: CONDOR v. THE BARRON KNIGHTS BAND 10.1.5 EFFECT OF FRUSTRATION The effects of frustration on a contract are detailed in the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943 of England which is applicable in Kenya under the Law of Contract Act 1961. The Act provides that when a contract is frustrated – (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) The contract is terminated Money paid is recoverable. Money payable ceases to be payable. The parties may recover expenses incurred under the contract, or retain the relevant sum from money received if any. If any party to the contract has incurred expenses in part performance of the contract which has conferred "a valuable benefit" on the other party, he is entitled to payment of a reasonable compensation on a quantum merit.

The doctrine of frustration does not apply: i. Where the parties anticipated the would-be frustrating event and made express provision for it in the contract, as in Clark v. Lindsay (1903). ii. Where the frustrating event is self-induced, as illustrated by Maritime National Fish Ltd. v. Ocean Trawlers Ltd. (1935).

LESSON 3 iii.

LAW OF CONTRACT

41

Where the contract is a lease or one for the sale of land - but there is some doubt regarding this: Cricklewood Property and Investments Trust v. Leighton's Investments Trust Ltd. (1945).

11

REMEDIES FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT The remedies available to a party who sues for a breach of contract are divisible into: (a) (b) 11.1 Common law remedies, and, Equitable remedies. COMMON LAW REMEDIES The only remedy available at common law for breach of contract is financial compensation known as "damages". 11.2 Types of damages Damages are classified into the following categories: (a) Nominal damages which are awarded to a plaintiff to vindicate his right to the performance of the contract. This occurs if the plaintiff has not suffered any actual financial loss as a result of the breach of the contract. Actual or substantial damages which are awarded to the plaintiff as compensation for actual loss occasioned by the breach. They are calculated, generally speaking, in accordance with the rule in Hadley v. Baxendale. It should however be noted that: (i) (ii) punitive or exemplary damages are not awarded by the court: Addie v. Gramophone Co., and damages cannot exceed the loss suffered by the plaintiff so that the plaintiff finds himself in a better financial position than if the contract had been properly performed: C. & P. Haulage v. Middleton.

(b)

(c)

Liquidated damages which are provided for by the contract. But a sum provided for by the contract will not be recoverable if it is "a penalty".

RULES THAT GOVERN THE MEASURE OF DAMAGES FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT (a) The purpose of a monetary award in damages for breach of contract is to compensate the innocent party for the loss suffered. The essence is to put that party where it would otherwise have been if the contractual obligations had been performed The loss of damage suffered by the innocent party must be proved. It is the duty of the plaintiff to prove loss. The plaintiff must prove that he suffered loss or damage by reason of the defendant to breach of contract. The plaintiffs loss must be traceable to the defendant in breach there must be a nexus between the two failing which damages are said to be too remote and therefore irrecoverable as was the case in Hadley v Baxendale. This case is authority for the proposition whenever a breach of contract occurs, the plaintiff can only recover such loss as is reasonably foreseeable as likely result from the breach. In this case the profits lost by reason of closure of the mill were too remote and therefore irrecoverable.

(b) (c)

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT

42

(d)

Where a party is in possession of special information about the contract but fails to act on it whereupon the other party suffers loss, such party is liable for the loss. It was sol held in Victoria Laundry (Windsor) Ltd v Newman Industries. In the Heron II where the plaintiff suffered a loss of 4,011 by reason of a delay delivery of a consignment of sugar by the defendant (appellant) who was aware that the respondent was a sugar merchant. It was held that the appellant was liable for the loss as the same was traceable to the detour he made resulting in the delay. Where parties to a contract have already fixed the amount payable to the innocent party in the event of breach, and a breach of contract occurs it is for the court to determine whether the sum so fixed is payable as damages or is a penalty in which case it is not enforceable. In Dunlop Pheumatic Tyre co v New Garage and Motor co Lord Dunedin formulated the presumption, courts of law rely on in determining whether the sum fixed is liquidated damages or a penalty. Whenever a breach of contract occurs it is the duty of the innocent party to take such reasonable steps as are necessary in the circumstances to reduce the loss it would otherwise have suffered from the breach. The law imposes a duty on the innocent party to act reasonably. However, whether he has so acted is a question of fact as illustrated by the decision in Musa Hassan v Hunt and Another. In assessing damages the amount by which loss ought to have been reduced by the acts of the innocent party is not reasonable from the defendant. As a general rule, courts of law do not award punitive damages for breach of contract.

(e)

(f)

(g)

The loss of damage 11.3 Distinction between liquidated damages and penalty. Liquidated damages were defined by Lord Dunedin in Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co. Ltd. v. New Garage and Motor Co. Ltd. as "a genuine covenanted pre-estimate of damages" for an anticipated breach of contract. A penalty was defined in the same case as "a stipulation in terrorem of the offending party". The rules by which the courts distinguish liquidated damages from penalties were formulated by Lord Dunedin in the above case as follows: (i) Though the parties to a contract who use the words 'penalty' or 'liquidated damages' may prima facie be supposed to mean what they say, yet the expression used is not conclusive. The Court must find out whether the payment stipulated is in truth a penalty or liquidated damages. This is illustrated by Elphinstone v. The Monland Iron and Coal Co. Ltd.; Cellulose Acetate Silk Co. v. Widnes Foundry. "The essence of a penalty is a payment of money stipulated as in terrorem of the offending party; the essence of liquidated damages is a genuine covenanted pre-estimate of damage. The question whether a sum stipulated is penalty or liquidated damages is a question of construction to be decided upon the terms and inherit circumstances of each particular contract, judged at the time of making the contract, not as at the time of the breach. To assist this task of construction various tests have been suggested, which, if applicable to the case under consideration, may prove helpful or even conclusive. Such are: (a) It will be held to be a penalty if the sum stipulated for is extravagant and unconscionable in amount in comparison with the greatest loss that could

(ii) (iii)

(iv)

LESSON 3

LAW OF CONTRACT conceivably be proved to have followed from the breach. (b)

43

It will be held to be a penalty if the breach consists only in not paying a sum of money, and the sum stipulated is a sum greater than the sum which ought to have been paid. There is a presumption (but no more) that it is a penalty when a single lump sum is made payable by way of compensation, on the occurrence of one or more or all of several events, some of which may occasion serious and others but trifling damage. It is no obstacle to the sum stipulated being a genuine pre-estimate of damage, that the consequences of the breach are such as to make precise pre-estimation almost an impossibility. On the contrary, that is just the situation when it is probable that preestimated damage was the true bargain between parties.

(c)

(d)

11.5

Equitable remedies The equitable remedies for breach of contract are: (a) Injunction This is an order of the court which restrains (i.e. prevents) a party to a contract from doing something which, if done, will occasion a breach of the contract. For example, if Onyango has agreed to sell some unique goods to Kamau and promised to deliver them at end of the two weeks. On the third day after the contract was formed, Kamau learns that Onyango has entered into another contract with Abdullah and intends to deliver the goods to Abdullah within two days. Kamau may institute legal proceedings in the High Court with a view to restraining Onyango from delivering the goods to Abdullah. An injunction may also be issued in order to restrain a breach of a negative stipulation in a contract. For example, if a tenancy agreement contains a clause prohibiting the tenant from using charcoal for cooking in the rented premise, an injunction may be issued to prevent him from doing so. An injunction, being an equitable remedy, is not automatically available but is issued at the discretion of the court. A common ground for the exercise of the court’s discretion is the court's belief that it is "just and equitable " to do so. (b) Specific performance As can be deduced from its name, specific performance is an order of the court which orders the defendant to perform the contract precisely (i.e. specifically) as he had promised to do. It is decreed at the discretion of the court but will not be decreed in the following cases: (i) (ii) (iii) Where damages would be adequate compensation for the plaintiff. Where the court cannot supervise performance of the contract, such as a building contract. Where the contract is one of personal services: Warner Bros v. Nelson. However, the court may grant an injunction restraining the defendant from doing something inconsistent with the contract, as in Warner Bros v. Nelson, above. Where the contract is a money-lending contract. Where one of the parties is an infant.

(iv) (v) (c) (d)

Recession Trading

LESSON 3 (e) (f) account winding up

LAW OF CONTRACT

44

REINFORCING QUESTIONS
1. 2. Outline the ways in which a contract may come to an end". (a) (b) What principles will the court apply when assessing unliquidated damages for breach of contract? A, who lives in Nairobi, boards a bus to Mombasa to finalize an important contract which will bring him a profit of £50,000. The bus breaks down and he reaches Mombasa very late and loses the contract. Explain the liability of the bus company. 3 (a) (b) What are the rules which govern the acceptance of an offer? Mike writes to Peter "I will sell you my car for £ 2,000. If I hear nothing from you before next Saturday, I will take it that you have accepted". Peter does not reply by Saturday. Mike is now threatening to sue Peter for breach of contract to buy the car. Advise Peter.

Check your answers with those given in Lesson 9 of the Study Pack

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful