The case scenario between Mr. Williams and Elite Travel agents is one of breach of contract. Apparently most of the terms to the contract between the two parties were not honored. As the Solicitor handling the master on behalf of my client, I need to establish whether he actually has a legal action to take against Elite Travel agents. These are some of the questions I will ask him in order to carry out concrete and thorough legal research on his case.
The law requires that in any contract there must be an offer made by one party which in turn should be accepted by the other party. It is also the requirement of the law that both parties must have the intention and objective to enter into a legally binding agreement. (Contracts (Applicable Law) Act 1990Chapter 36)
The first question therefore to my client is whether he had any intentions whatsoever to enter into a legally binding contract. The second question is, in his opinion does he think if the other party had the intention of being legally bound by the agreement.
As discussed earlier it is important in any contract that both parties have the intention to be legally bound lack of which reduces the contract into a mere agreement. In the case of Balfour Vs Balfour it was held that there was no intention for the parties to be legally bound where the husband had promised to pay the wife a certain amount when they were living apart because the husband was working in another country. However in the case of Merritt Vs Merritt it was held a promise by a husband to his wife whom they were legally separated could evidence intention to be legally bound.
I would also ask Mr. Williams whether he had given valuable exchange so as to be provided the facilities for his holiday. This is because the requirement of the law of contract is that each party must either give a benefit or undergo a loss in favor of the other party. This is known as consideration lack of which nullifies the contract. (Law of Contract Act Chapter 36)
My fourth question to Mr. Williams is the amount of consideration he gave to Elite Travel Agents in exchange for the holiday. This is important because although consideration should not be adequate it should be sufficient. This in essence means that if one party to the contract gives consideration, which is exceedingly higher than that of the other party, this will invalidate the contract for lack of sufficiency as required by the law. The next question to my client is when he gave the consideration. The time when the consideration was given is of utmost importance because past consideration is not good consideration thus nullifies the contract. I will also ask Mr. William if the contract between him and Elite Travel agents was written or verbal. If it was written I will need to know from him if he had appended the signature. If he signed the contract, it means that he is automatically bound by the contract whether he read it or not. That is the interpretation of the law regarding signing of contracts so that if one party to the contract appends his signature he is automatically bound by all the terms to the contact including those he had not taken note of.
My seventh question to Mr. Williams is whether in the contract there was any ambiguous or uncertain term. This will be important to establish because any ambiguity or uncertainty in a contract renders such a contract void. Another very important question to Mr. William is if he actually gave the consideration or it was given by another person on his behalf. The law requires that the consideration must move from the promisee.
It is therefore unacceptable in law that consideration is given by another person other than the promisee even if it is given for the benefit of the promisee. In Tweddle Vs Atkinson, it was held that an action by a son against his father to enforce his (father in law) promise could not stand since the son has not made any contributions to the agreement. The ninth question to Mr. Williams is if he had fulfilled all obligations required of him by the contract.
The position of the law is that for any party to a contract to claim breach then he must have fulfilled all obligations on his part until when he becomes aware of the breach. The tenth question to Mr. William is his mental capacity at the time of entering the contract. The importance of establishing his state of mind is to know whether he actually understood all the terms to the contract.
The position of the law is that while entering into a legally binding agreement both parties should be mentally fit and should not have any disease of mind that my prevent them from understanding the nature of the transaction or any of the terms to the contract. I will also need to know if Mr. Williams faced any kind of threats, duress, force or coercion that forced to him to unwillingly enter the contract. The law of contract clearly states that evidence of duress, coercion or threats on any one the parties to the contract nullifies the contract.
As a trainee I have prepared a thorough legal research that will assist my principal who is the legal advisor of Mr. Williams. The legal report is going to help may principal to advise Mr. Williams accordingly and consequently establish what claims can be made against Elite Travel Agents. The first thing to note is that the Elite Travel Agents promised a quiet undisturbed atmosphere. However when Mr. Williams and his wife reached there they found the place to be so noisy as it had very many clubs.
This is one of the promises that was not honored and amounts to a breach of contract between the two parties. It is very important because it is one of the things that persuaded Mr. Williams and his wife to choose the hotel. It is unquestionably correct to draw the conclusion from the assessment made from this case that Mr. Williams and his wife suffered greatly from the gross breach on the side of Elite Travel Agents. It is of utmost importance to define what breach of contract is in order to ascertain whether it actually occurred or not.
Breach of contract is failure by one or more parties to a contract to honor one or more terms of the contract either by non-performance, interfering with the other party so that they are not able to fulfill their obligations or performing the contract in a manner contrally to the agreement. It also amounts to breach of a contract where one party shows unwillingness to perform obligations imposed on him by the contract. Failure to beat deadlines as stipulated in the contract also amounts to a breach in a contract. In this case it is there very clear that there was gross violation of most of the terms to the contract.
I have thoroughly examined the various violations in this contract that amount to a breach of contract. The Elite Travel agents had promised to provide an Olympic size swimming pool. However, the couple was actually provided with a swimming that could actually not be used as it was closed most of the times since many people had reportedly fallen sick in that pool or people had in some cases poured beer into the pool.
This is a breach by the defendant. From my analysis I would also conclude that there was a misrepresentation on the part of defendants. (Cheshire, Contract Law) The defendants presented Mr. Williams and his wife a brochure of Elysium holiday, which Mr. Williams was made to believe, was a five star hotel. It however turned out to be a hotel with very poor conditions. The misrepresentation was intentional in order to induce the claimant. Therefore acting on this belief he agreed to enter the contract to his detriment.
The claimant can therefore bring an action against the defendant on this basis. It is also noted that acting on the representations made to him by the Elite agents, which apparently were untrue Mr. Williams was made to believe that being a five Star Hotel, they would be offered good quality foods but instead they were given pathetic junk food. This too is a form of breach and is a good ground for the claimant to bring an action against the defendant. Another important element of breach in this case is the issue of representation.
The position of the law is that if a statement which is true when it is made becomes untrue during the ongoing of the contract, the other party to the contract should be duly informed. In the case of With Vs O. Flanagon the defendant who was doctor told a patient that his services were only 2,000 pounds a year. This was true at the time. However, when the contract was finalized later in the year, the cost had cut down to five pounds a week.
The court held that the failure to disclose the change in his income amounted to a misrepresentation which in turn led to a breach of contract. In the case of Williams Vs the Elite travel agents, while entering the contract the agents had stated that hotel into which the Williams had booked themselves into would have a quiet atmosphere. The place however turned out to have between 18 to 30 clubs of different types and noisy parties were held every night.
On enquiry the agents justified the situation claiming that the hotel where the clubs were ordinarily located had fallen into a state of despair thus the clubs had to be relocated to this hotel. However legally this justification is not sufficient since the Elite agents had an obligation imposed on them by the contract to inform the other party of the changes. This therefore is a violation and amounts to a breach on which the claimant Mr. Williams can base his claim on. Another notable violation in this case is the reaction of the management of Elite travel on being informed of the discrepancies. The management said that all those errors were out of their hands.
When the couple demanded to be relocated, they were told that it was impossible at that time of the year. In fact one of the representatives of Elysium holiday suggested that they could even go clubbing with the rest of the clubbers. From the definition of a contract as discussed earlier breach of contract can also be occasioned when a party shows unwillingness to perform the obligations imposed on him by the contract as is the case here. (Law Reform Act, 1943) Intention not to perform also amounts to breach, which is actionable as in this case.
The management of Elysium hotel showed a lot of unwillingness to perform their obligations in the contract even after being informed of the discomfort the couple was undergoing. This report shall be very useful to my principal, as it will assist him in advising Mr. Williams and his wife on the claims they can make against the Elite Travel agents. Below is a letter of advice to Mr. Williams on the various claims that he can make against Elite Travel agents.
Having done thorough research from the fact you presented to me, I have identified various areas of neglect on the part of the defendant. Consequently there are various issues that you can use to base your claim on against Elite travel agents who are the defendants in this case. The major issue in this case is the breach of the major terms to contract. These major terms of a contract are also known as conditions violation of which renders the contract repudiated. This means that as of now there is no contract that exists between you and the defendants. The major violations are mentioned briefly below.
There was misrepresentation by the defendant because in the contract you expected to be taken to a five star hotel from the brochure only to be taken to a hotel with very poor facilities. (1967 Misrepresentation Act) Other areas of breach include the pathetic condition of the swimming pool the junky food provided instead of good healthy food.
The noisy parties every night instead of the quiet atmosphere as promised. Refusal by the management to relocate you and other major issues that arise from the dishonoring on the part of the defendant. You therefore have good legal grounds to institute a claim against the defendant for the gross breach of contract and the consequent detriment you suffered as a result.
You are therefore advised accordingly to call on our offices within the next seven days from the day of receipt of this letter so that we can discuss on how to institute the claims against the defendant. You can call on us any time between Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 5.00 pm central time and Saturdays 9.00 am to 1.00 pm central time.
We look forward to work together to ensure justice prevails.
Smith Johnston (solicitor)
Smith Johnston and Associates
Williams Adam------------------------------------- CLAIMANT
VERSUS: Elite Travel Agents. --------------------------------DEFENDANT
BREACH OF CONTRACT
Pursuant to our client instructions, we bring this claim subject to provisions of the Law of Contract Act (chap.36) that relates to breach of contracts.
The claimant is a male adult of sound residing in New Jersey and was at all material times the client of Elite travel Agents.
The defendant is an incorporated company operating as such with an aim of making profit and was at all material times responsible for providing Mr. Williams an appropriate place where Mr. Williams and his wife could celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.
The claimant makes claim for damages on grounds that:
THAT the fundamental human rights of quiet possession and enjoyment of property has been breached. THAT fraudulent misrepresentation was occasioned by the defendant. THAT there is out rightly a breach of contract per se. WHEREFORE the claimant prays for
a) General damages under the Law Reform Act.
b) Special damages
c) Interests on (a) and (b) and cost of the suit.
DRAWN AND FILED BY Smith Johnston Associates DATE: 20th May 2008
Law of Contract Act Chapter 36(Applicable Laws, 1990)
Samuel Wilston, Martin Lewis. (2007) Law of Contracts. Baker, Voorhis and Company, California.
Law Reform Act (Frustrated Contracts) 1943
Misrepresentation Act, 1973