Principles of Contract Law



Coursework 2017-18

Principles of Contract Law


This coursework is designed to assess the following learning outcomes taken from the module specification:

• extract the ratio of relevant contract cases and apply to other comparable cases;
• prepare a written analysis of a problem which identifies the appropriate contract principles and how a solution is reached on the basis of the application of those principles;
• identify factors which affect genuine agreement between the parties and be able to identify methods by which the courts give effect to agreements
• to research information from primary and secondary sources


Jenny and Ben are business partners in a firm called Huddersford Bookshop, buying and selling second-hand and antiquarian books. They have premises in the High Street and have been trading for six years. Simon, an avid book collector is a regular customer, and recently decided to buy a very rare first edition of “Fly fishing in the Wye” by J.R. Marple that he had seen in their monthly catalogue which is sent to all customers on Huddersford Bookshop’s mailing list. Next to a description of the book is a large red notice which states. “Special offer: Only £625.”

Simon sent a letter on the 4th of April to the bookshop and offered to pay £500. He wrote. “If I hear no more from you I will assume the book is mine at the price, and will call to collect it on the 8th of April.” He also left a message on the shop’s answering machine, indicating that he was prepared to pay £500 and would collect the book on the 8th of April if he heard no more from the bookshop. Unknown to him, the machine was not working properly and neither Jenny nor Ben heard the message until the machine was fixed on the 15th of April.
On the 6th of April Jenny read the letter and discussed the offer with Ben. They agreed that they would accept the offer and Jenny intended to reply by letter to Simon that they agreed to this offer. On the same day, however, another customer, Ahmed, came into the shop and bought the book for £600. When Simon went to collect the book and pay for it on the 8th of April, he was told that the book had been sold the previous day to another purchaser.

Advise Simon whether he had a binding contract with Huddersford Bookshop and whether it would have made any difference if Jenny had sent the letter of acceptance? In the event that the court finds that there is a binding contract, what remedies would be suitable?

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