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Enterprise Law - Question 1

Issue-

  • Is there is acceptance of offer between C and HI?
  • Will part (a) differ had the communication between C and HI been through the mail and due to server hacking, the communication was not communicated?

Rule-

  • Contract Law
  • Precedents

Application-

  • When it comes to postal acceptance, things tend to change. For example, B accepts A's proposal and communicate that via postage. The arrival of the postage in unknown to B as he does not know the date and time of arrival of the postage. Therefore, it is concluded that when the communication has happened through postage and this is the only means of it, so the acceptance tends to completed when the postage is posted by the offeree.[1] In Henthorn v Fraser,[2]the learned court held that the communication tends to have completed when the acceptance is done through postage, which is the only means of communication. The only exception to this rule is that if the offeror had stated beforehand the means of communication like through telephone, fax or email or that if the parties agreed that postal acceptance shall conclude acceptance of the offer as held in Household Fire Insurance v Grant.[3]

Conclusion-

In the given facts, HI, not receiving the postage of acceptance sent by C on time due to strike at Australia Post, gave the order to someone else. C can plead that firstly, there were no certain means of communication decided between the two parties that they shall intimate each other via post. Secondly, HI sent the message of cancellation of order via fax, which it could earlier too have faxed before placing the order with someone else. C did his bid by posting the acceptance and based on precedents mentioned above, acceptance of offer had been done on C's part and now HI must accept and pay him for the gyprock sheets.

  • The postal acceptance rules changes when any confirmation of order is given through mail. In such cases, the acceptance is binding at the time and place of receipt.[4] It means the time and place when the acceptance has reached the technology of the offeror, not when he heard or read it, as held in Tenax Steamship Co v Owners of the Motor Vessel Brimnes[5].

To conclude, in the given facts, had HI contacted C via email in Monday morning of the offer and in return of that, C had disseminated its acceptance through email the same day, but due to some server problem with that of HI, he could not know of C’s acceptance, then HI could not be compelled to accept the offer and pay to C. This is because HI did not receive the confirmation from C and also it cancelled the offer on Monday evening itself by fax to C.

Enterprise Law - Question 2

Issue-

Can Samatha ask for the reward?

Rule-

Contract Law

Precedents

Application

As per the rules of contract, any offer made to the public at large is an offer. As in Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co (UK)[6]an offer can be made to an individual, or a group, or public at large. Acceptance, on the other hand, could be written, oral or by conduct. This means that conduct must occur is the retaliation of the offer. In Crown v Clarke[7], it was held that if a bystander can conclude that the conduct of the offeree was in relation to the offer of the offeror, then the contract is binding.

Conclusion-

In the given facts, Jenny made an offer to reward any person who returns her organizer. Samantha, unaware of the reward find the organizer and returns him to Jenny. This is the formation of a valid contract as Samantha accepted Jenny's offer by conduct and hence Jenny is entitled to pay Samantha the reward as promised.

Enterprise Law - Question 3

Issue-

Can Joe be successful in returning the business to Simone and damages?

Legislation

Contract Law

Precedents

Application

Fraudulent misrepresentation is what someone lies or tells false things about anything to trick the other into a contract. This can be through words, gestures, body motion or by silence. To prove this, the victim must prove that[8]-

  1. The representation made was false
  2. The defendant knew his false representation
  3. The statement was made to induce the other to enter into a contract
  4. The plaintiff acted on such a false statement
  5. The plaintiff suffered damages.

In With v O’Flanagan,[9]the court held that failure of the vendor to give the true information to the purchaser was a misrepresentation.

Conclusion

The above five elements can be satisfied in the given facts Simone misrepresented the truth about the café to Joe, in lieu of which Joe agreed to buy the café. He, as a result, suffered damages and is legally liable to take back the money given and return the business.

Enterprise Law - Question 4

Issue-

Can the senior employee plead the defence of duress?

Rule-

Contract Law

Application-

To claim duress, one of the contracting party has to exert illegitimate pressure on the other to induce him to enter into a contract. This involves the killing of a person, threatening to burn down anyone's property etc. Remedies are available under Section50 of The Australian Consumer Law, where the corporations if uses any physical force or undue harassment or coercion in relation to supply of goods or services, then that is duress.[10]

Conclusion-

In the given facts, the daughter of the senior employee stole $50,000 from the company and as a result, the managing partner asked the employee to return the money. If not he shall report the matter to the police. So that is not coercion or any undue influence as there is no pressure of entering into the contract from the managing partner. He is just asking the employee to return the money which his daughter took from the company. Hence the employee cannot avail the plea of duress.

Bibliography for Avoidance of Contract

Online articles

 LawTeacher. 2013. Acceptance Lecture. [Online]. Available at: https://www.lawteacher.net/modules/contract-law/formation/acceptance/lecture.php?vref=1 [Accessed on: 8 September 2020].

Rivera, J. 2019. Definition: What is fraudulent misrepresentation? [Online].Available at: https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/fraudulent-misrepresentation.html (Accessed on 8 September 2020)

Australian Contract Law. 2018. Avoidance of contract: Duress. [Online]. Available at: https://www.australiancontractlaw.com/contractlaw/avoidance-duress.html (Accessed on 8 September 2020).

Case Laws-

Henthorn v Fraser [1892] 2 Ch 27

Household Fire Insurance v Grant [1879] 4 Ex D 216

Tenax Steamship Co v Owners of the Motor Vessel Brimnes [1974] EWCA Civ 15.

Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co (UK) Court of Appeal [1893] 1 QB 256; [1892] EWCA Civ 1

Crown v Clarke (1927) 40 CLR 227

With v O’Flanagan [1936] Ch 575

Legislation

Australian Consumer Law

[1] LawTeacher. 2013. Acceptance Lecture. [Online]. Available at: https://www.lawteacher.net/modules/contract-law/formation/acceptance/lecture.php?vref=1 [Accessed on: 8 September 2020].

[2] [1892] 2 Ch 27

[3] [1879] 4 Ex D 216

[4] Ibid 1

[5] [1974] EWCA Civ 15.

[6] Court of Appeal [1893] 1 QB 256; [1892] EWCA Civ 1

[7] (1927) 40 CLR 227

[8] Rivera, J. 2019. Definition: What is fraudulent misrepresentation? [Online].Available at: https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/fraudulent-misrepresentation.html (Accessed on 8 September 2020)

[9] [1936] Ch 575

[10] Australian Contract Law. 2018. Avoidance of contract: Duress. [Online]. Available at: https://www.australiancontractlaw.com/contractlaw/avoidance-duress.html (Accessed on 8 September 2020). 

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Law Assignment Help

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