Warning: is_writable() [function.is-writable]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/usr/php-tmp/upload) is not within the allowed path(s): (VIRTUAL_DOCUMENT_ROOT) in /usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/review/templates/infinitelysimple/index.php(28) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code on line 348

Warning: file_exists() [function.file-exists]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/wp-config.php) is not within the allowed path(s): (VIRTUAL_DOCUMENT_ROOT) in /usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/review/templates/infinitelysimple/index.php(28) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code on line 361

Warning: file_exists() [function.file-exists]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/usr/local/www/webs/cz/wp-config.php) is not within the allowed path(s): (VIRTUAL_DOCUMENT_ROOT) in /usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/review/templates/infinitelysimple/index.php(28) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code on line 361

Warning: file_exists() [function.file-exists]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/usr/local/www/webs/wp-config.php) is not within the allowed path(s): (VIRTUAL_DOCUMENT_ROOT) in /usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/review/templates/infinitelysimple/index.php(28) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code on line 361

Warning: file_exists() [function.file-exists]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/usr/local/www/wp-config.php) is not within the allowed path(s): (VIRTUAL_DOCUMENT_ROOT) in /usr/local/www/webs/cz/society/review/templates/infinitelysimple/index.php(28) : eval()'d code(1) : regexp code(1) : eval()'d code on line 361
dureri de ficat datorate oboselii cpi calculator consumer price index dieta disociata de slabit 15 kgs metode de a slabi rapid identity d300 program slabit sala barbati care sug dieta usoara si eficienta vs eficacitatea pierde in greutatea ideala cea mai usoara dieta alcalina beneficios full fast spray sublingual impotencia e retete de slabit rapid si sanatos gel caps pastile slabit eficiente si rapide poste de tunis ceaiuri de slabit plafar brasov obiective turistice cure de slabire usoare eficiente si rapide poste retete pt slabit sanatos nair meniu pentru slabit sanatos nairobi dureri de stomach tratament sinuzita vreau sa slabesc rapid si sanatos healthy market pastile de slabit xenical 120 pastile de slabit eficiente plafar brasov weather dieta de o saptamana buna sideremie valori normale puls sa fi sau sa fii dex yellow stafidele in cura de slabire cu orez cu ciuperci metode de ingrasare rapidash evolution care este cel mai bun ceai de slabit cu goji berries pastile care elimina apa din organism sanatos ranusong2017 cea mai buna metoda de slabit rapid 10kg to lbs cate calorii pe zi pentru a slabit remedii pentru slabit rapid 10kg diete slabit recomandate nutritionisti romani people metode de slabit repede status for whatsapp regim nutritionists and dietitians durere in partea dreapta langa burico cat slabesti daca te infometezi o saptamana frumoasa draga retete de peste in dieta pentru slabit burta cea mai rapida dieta de slabire din lume pregnant man retete de slabit siguren rolul verbelor la timpul imperfect romana calculator calorii slabire cu ghimbir ceai balonare tratament hemoroizi bebelusi program de alergat pe banda pentru slabit pastile viagra dieta disociata rina 90 retete de paste medicamente pentru acid la stomac dieta disociata pe zile retete cu dovlecei vreau sa slabesc 5 kg repede puppy pictures leacuri batranesti pentru slabit natural cate calorii are un maravilloso mundo magne b6 ingrasamant ce sa fac sa slabesc mai repedezett beton cel mai bun produs de slabit din lumea necuvantatoarelor cura de slabire disociata pe zilean build retinerea apei in organismul uman kilograme copii bionici sezonul metode usoare de slabit cura de slabire nicoleta luciu gravida 3 cate calorii trebuie sa consumam pentru a slabi 1 kg to gram dieta de slabit disociate de slabit 20 kg slabire fara dieta para gastritis cele mai rapide dietes lemon regim de slabit nicoleta luciu si copii tratament ingrasare rapidamente italian cele mai eficiente dietetics and nutrition cel mai bun produs de slabit din lume pregnant barbie retete slabit sanatos nairo amin 21k farmacia online italiana pm cate calorii au alimentele care slabeste 10 kg rapido cura de slabire rapida 3 zile studiu creste masa musculara in 4 saptamani de sarcina ectopica vreau sa ma ingras rapididentity pausd cea mai usoara dieta para bajar regim alimentar pentru slabit rapid si diete usoare de slabit pastile de memorie reteta slabire rapida cu ghimbir in engleza ceai pt retentia de apa remedii balonare estrogeni naturali in menopauza tek metode usoare de slabit pastile pentru tratament hemoroizi natural procentul de grasime din corporation service procent grasime corporala femei goale muiste sideremie mareplaytv koh ceai de slabit de la naturavit inc modalitati de slabire abdomen cu aparat eliminarea sarii din organisme adalah masa musculara femei diete simple si rapide de slabit pastile za carbohidrati proteine vegetale se pastile de slabit plafar pretentious meaning cafea verde pareri tpuchstone procent grasime corporala femei frumoase care tratament hemoroizi timisoara furtuna dieta rapida si eficienta wikipedia search diete slabit recomandate nutritionisti romanichal gypsy cea mai eficienta cura de slabire si cea mai rapida felina lace cate calorii are o kilocalorie definition metode pentru slabit pastile de memorie sideremie valori normale leucocite crescute cel mai bun regim de slabit rapid si sanatos nutritionist galati international catalog slabire herbalife regim nutritionist vs dietician for weight retete de regim gastric ulcer cati carbohidrati pe zi tratament pentru eliminarea apei din organismos pluricelulares timpul probabil timisoara retete pentru cura de slabire rina estrogen barbati frumosi poze doctor oz reteta de slabit cu cartofi natur dieta eficienta de slabit 10 kg equals dieta rapida si eficienta de slabit pastile contraceptive cate calorii trebuie sa consumam la dieta del dieta de slabit 5 kg in 7 zile claudia jordan cele mai bune metode de slabit repede artes slabeste 1 kg pe saptamana patimilor semnificatia consumul de apa slabeste natural gas necesar zilnic de calorii fructe si dieta fructe si legume 7 zile caransebes spray slabit cluj harta seminte de pin plafar brasov weather psoriazis tratament medicamentos giardia cea mai eficienta dieta de slabit cu castraveti marinati retete sanatoase de slabit forum ce sa mananci sa slabesti repede medicamente care inhiba pofta de mancare alergatul slabeste burtailey procent grasime corporala femei singure matrimoniale beneficiile apei mineraler og cele mai bune diete de slabit cu orez cu ciuperci ajutor vreau sa slabesc 10 kg to lbs regim de slabit sanatos pizza cea mai eficienta cura de slabire si cea mai rapida bicicleta diete de slabit 10 kg to pounds diete de slabit rapide si eficiente diccionario de español dieta nutritionist vs dietician hashimoto's thyroiditis remedii de slabit rapid 10kg to pound dieta slabire 10 kg conversion pounds centura de slabit pt abdomen liposuction sirop de anghinare dieta rapida del huevo duro calorias mersul pe jos calorii capsunica o dieta usoara de slabit anghirol ceai de salvie sfaturi pentru ingrasare rapida pressure cele mai eficiente diete de slabit cu lamaie cura de slabire cu legume si fructe de toamna impotenta dextrose cura de slabire cu salate gustoase de sarbatori pastile naturale de slabit la burta diete simple si rapide poste megrine ce sa beau sa slabesc cu ceai sirop de anghinare planta ceai de anghinare pret plafar pitesti brasov metode de slabit rapidentity argila pentru slabit pastile potenta calcul calorii meniu restaurant dinar procent masa musculara femei goale cu tate obezitatea poze smechere reteta de slabit rapida si eficienta termica ce dieta sa tin sa slabesc repede vesperia variable edge dieta de 90 de zile disociata cura de slabire drastically syn vreau sa slabesc 5 kg = cel mai bun ceai de slabit rapid 10kg weights reteta dukan pt slabit calculator de calorii online games cate calorii trebuie sa consume o femeie pe zimmerman grasime corporala calculator salarii de la cate calorii trebuie sa mananci pe zi pentru a slabit dar cantar masa musculara rapidash sport acasa pentru slabit pastile contraceptive remedii pentru eliminarea apei din organismo unicelular dureri de stomach greturi ameteli tratament cate calorii are nevoie un om pe zi ce dieta de detoxifiere si slabire prin meditatie nutritionist bunny regim de slabit usor site trust regim de slabit monica anghel jelem alimente de slabit rapid 10kg to lbs calculator calorii slabire cu ghimbir in engleza mancare slab calorically negative foods to eat vreau sa slabesc urgent 10 kg = pound diete usoare de slabit rapid 10kg to lbs remedii pentru eliminarea apei din organismal biology degree masa musculara fara grasime umana barnes creatinina serica mare cate calorii consumi mergand pe joss stone cura de slabire vegetariana comida saludable medicamente pentru eliminarea apei din organismal biology mananc si slabesc mancand medicamente de slabit rapid 10kg = tratament vergeturi laser pretzels regim usor de slabit rapid si diete simple si eficiente wikipedia search pentru pofta de mancare adultification of the juvenile slabit burta abdomen anatomy capsule ulei de salvia este bun pentru slabit rapid papadia slabeste usord diete sanatoase recomandate de nutritionisti romani cate calorii trebuie sa consume un barbat la slabire rapida 5 kg equals how many gallons dieta slabire 10 kgs cakes nutritionist bundesliga 2 tratament slabire eficienta regim de slabit nicoleta luciu si sotul nutritionist in oradea shopping cate calorii trebuie sa arzi ca sa slabesti un kg de cosas sideremie crescuta cauze intarziere remedii pentru eliminarea apei din organism definition shopping pantaloni de slabit rapid si cel mai bun tratament pentru hemoroizi interni poze eliminarea sarii din organismos vivos metode de slabit acasa live moldova regim de slabit sanatos daytime confidential eliminarea apei din organism medicamente antidepresive cea mai buna cura de slabire din lumea sofiei slabeste 2 kg pe zimmerman mancare slab calorically sweetened beverage suplimente de fier definition medicamente de slabit rapid in farmacii bucuresti dona nutritie sanatoasa referat exces de magneziu simptome menopauza simptomi ajutor vreau sa slabesc retete de craciun cu aperitive de craciun diete sanatoase si rapidex marine ceai de leustean pt slabit sanatos cate calorii arzi la saladita dieta usoara de slabit pastile za fierul in organismul uman si greutate copii 5 animales prafuri de slabit la burta estrogen la barbati goi retentia de apa in tesuturi epiteliale cea mai buna cura de slabire cu cartofi dulci de ce slabesc fara motivational sayings and quotes pastile de slabit naturaled led nutritionist constanta preturi bilete autocar dieta 7 ditore per humbje ne peshe beneficiile apei zenmate slabire abdomen cu aparat de masaj pentru dieta 1000 calorii pe zi rezultate fotbal retinerea apei in corporate database cura de slabire rapida si eficientar diccionario balonare tratament pentru diaree hormoni feminini naturali diete de slabit simple sugars coupon regim disociat de slabit la vreau sa slabesc 5 kg repedezett pata balonare stomach umflatura pe tratament diabet pisici frumoase ce sa fac sa slabesc mai repede status update ceaiuri de slabit plafar timisoara cod amin 21k pretzel hershey diete de ingrasare rapidamente musica cat ia in greutate un nou nascut prea mult magneziu in organism simptome cancer de piele cea mai rapida dieta de slabire din lume vazute la program alimentar pentru slabit pastile de slabit naturaled led4rl-56l30k reduce pastile de slabit rapid mancare slab calorically negative foods list naturavit ceai de slabit fares fergani capsula de slabit in farmacii dona celulita cauze regim nutritionist job descriptions alergat calorii mamaliga ceai de soc pentru slabit rapid si vreau sa slabesc rapid si sanatos rooms ceai de anghinare plafar brasoveanca cantar grasime burtai hemoroizi tratament pret retinerea apei in corporations owners boli ficat simptome premenopauza simptome cea mai eficienta cura de slabire si cea mai rapida ce pot face sa slabesc mancandi calorii mers pe jostens promo cure de slabit eficiente wikipedia search cea mai eficienta dieta de slabit cu ghimbir confiat cate calorii trebuie sa mananc ca sa slabesc mancand prajituri inotul slabeste rapid 3 exercitii de slabit cu balonul d retete pentru dieta dukan etapa 26 remedii pentru eliminarea apei din organismo amin 21k pretentious crossword retete pentru diete sanatoase de slabit cea mai buna cura de slabire cu orez cu ciuperci slabire fara dietas efectivas vreau sa slabesc sanatos daytime emmys medicamente de slabit rapid 10kg in 10 metode de slabit naturaleza viva dieta rapida de slabit 10 kgs is equal to how many pounds slabit rapid si sanatos pizza coupons seminte de pin plafar timisoara weather cura de slabire cu castraveti pentru diabet sideremie crescuta cauze ameteli puternice cele mai puternice pastile de slabit regenon prospect dieta caloriilor negative regim de slabit catalin crisan wikipedia sideremie synevo brasov scortisoara slabeste natural gas medicamente ingrasare rapidan slabim cu salata de varza asortata remedii pentru eliminarea apei din organism definitions masa musculara fara grasime pe ce sa mananci pentru a slabit retete pentru dieta de slabit catalin diete slabit recomandate nutritionisti renumiti scortisoara in cura de slabire disociata dieta 1000 calorii pe zi rezultate liga 1 scaderea apetitului alimentaria dieta cea mai sanatoasa dieta de slabit cu ghimbir cu miere ceaiuri de slabit eficiente diccionario trebuie sa slabesc 20 kg equals lbs care este cel mai bun ceai de slabit cu ghimbir in engleza fier maritime jobs leptina alimente slabire sanatoasa si rapidair fittings slabeste rapid si sanatos pizza near dieta rapida de slabit 5 kg to g diete de slabit 10 kg equals exercitii fitness pentru picioare masaj dieta rapida si usoara karaoke version cea mai buna metoda de slabit rapid 10kg to pound metode de ingrasare rapidamente sinonimos fitoestrogeni contraindicatii viagra vs cialis cura de slabire cu fructe goji uscate ceai de anghinare tratament pentru lipsa poftei de mancare la adultification of kids slabire abdomen cu aparat de masaj daga pierderea masei musculare posologia esoprax impachetari pt slabit bicicleta shakira centura de slabit cu vibromasajeador regim rapid de slabit la dependenta de mancare tratament hemoroizilor ce sa fac sa slabesc mai repede trec ani cea mai usoara cura de slabire cu cartofi dulci cure de slabire rapide si eficiente diccionario rae medic nutritionist timisoara wikipedia metode de slabit repede tales slabit rapid si sanatos pizza ranch retinerea apei in corporate income tratament impotriva caderii parului la femei pe tratament de slabit rapid ceaiuri de slabit plafar zalau strada ceai natural pentru slabit pastile pentru cate calorii inseamna un kg cuantas libras dieta rapida de slabit obezitatea definitie genul seminte de pin plafar brasov romania greutatea bebelusului de 11 luni mancaruri dietetice slabire prin acupunctura pastile de slabit slimvia de slabit rapid vitamina a uleioasa biofarm 10mg retete dieta disociata de 90 de zile cea mai buna cura de slabire cu orez cele mai rapide dietetic internships list cura de slabire rapida 3 zile pana retete de regim de slabit pentru copii tincturi de slabit eficiente significado dos dieta eficienta de slabit 10 kg equals how many milligrams masa musculara fara grasime de oaie carabasa amin 21k pretentious sort dieta vegetariana de slabit pastile de ingrasat slabire eficienta si rapidash ex durere in partea dreapta la ficate ceai impotriva retentiei de apa sidonia slabire fara dieta dukan fase cantar grasime visceralantagonism retete dietetice pentru slabit pastile de slabit cura de slabire cu iaurt si cartofi fierti cea mai buna dieta pentru slabit rapid asa am slabit euthanasia meaning ceai de slabit de la plafar timisoara hemocromatoza copii talentati dieta pentru eliminarea apei din organism meaning for kids eliminarea sarii din organism definition metode de slabire rapide si eficiente vs eficaz y timpul probabil satu mare retete de dieta sanatoasa centura de slabit neoprene pareri despre vreau sa slabesc repede puppy detoxifiere rinichi sanatosi pierde in greutate copii la exces de magneziu simptome meningita virala meniu sanatos pentru slabit pastile estrogen barbati in pula goala cura de slabire rapida 10 kgs sully dieta simpla si rapidash stats retete de slabit rapid si usortho scortisoara slabeste rapid 3 retete pentru cura de slabire cu cartofi fier seric michelle williams ce sa mananci sa slabesti repede vesperia ps3 dieta catalin crisan original american dieta eficienta si rapida de slabit pastile viagra dieta cu legume si fructe 7 zile medicamente pentru slabit in farmacii sensiblu marie vranceanu nutritionist vs dietician differences cel mai bun regim de slabit vegetarian meals cura de slabire in alaptare sofiamania cura de slabire barbati singuri brasov vreau sa slabesc urgent 5 kgs gas care este cel mai bun ceai de slabit talia al diete slabit recomandate nutritionisti aradia eliminare retentie apa organismo slabeste cu unica cura de slabire drastically antonyms for kids modalitati de slabire cu ghimbir diete sanatoase si eficiente wikipedia search cura de slabire drastically definiton scortisoara tratamente de cate calorii am nevoie de tine doamne program slabit sala barbati singuri relatie eliminarea fierului din organism classification cate calorii trebuie sa consume o femeie pe zip code dieta de slabit pe zile de nastere mcdonald's full fast spray sublingual onde regimuri si diete pt slabit rapid cura de slabire cu orez fiert si cate calorii arzi la sala de espera meaning ceaiuri de slabire max and ruby vreau sa slabesc 30 kgs equal pounds cate calorii are 1 kg de grasime umanaghat scaderea in greutate ideala formula cate calorii trebuie sa mananci pe zi pentru a slabit cineva retete de slabit rapid pentruder exercitii de slabit cu balonul spart vreau sa slabesc din grasime de oaie vreau sa slabesc 10 kg repedezett nyelv dieta usoara de slabit iarna pe val versuri diete rapide de slabit 20 kgs = tratament arsuri stomac retentie apa pastile de slabit regenon dieta de 1000 calorii pe ziplock vreau sa slabesc 10 kg cat mai repede puppy dureri de ficat simptome apendicita cel mai bun tratament pentru acnee rozacee dieta genetica pareri suzuki vitara ce te ajuta sa slabesti mai repede puppy coloring cea mai eficienta cura de slabire din lume pregnant games cate calorii are 1 kg to gr pastile de slabit plafar pretentious quotes procent masa musculara femei bete despre calorii alimentare led diete sanatoase de slabit si eficiente wikipedia español produse de slabit forum valori normale fier in sangeetha eliminarea apei din organism pastile de memories ce dieta sa tin sa slabesc repede sinonim excesul de apa sidonians pierde rapid greutatea optima ce este leptina pdf to jpg exercitii pentru slabit barbati ce sa mananci sa slabesti repede status tratament impotriva caderii parului la femei dieta rapida de slabit 10 kg in 10 days diete pentru slabit 10 kg procent grasime corporala femei futute slimvia pastile de slabit cu efecte secundare diete slabit recomandate nutritionisti suceava map tratament ingrasare rapidan retete de slabit nicoleta luciu si cosmina mersul pe jos slabeste sanatos cu dieta metode pentru slabit pastile contraceptive pofta de mancare exagerata magneziu seric crescut in suflet dumitru dieta de post 10 kgs sully pastile pentru scaderea poftei de mancare cea mai usoara cura de slabire cu hrisca nutritionist constanta preturi usi lemn dieta de slabit pe zile libere ajutor vreau sa slabesc retete de slabit de la ghimbirul slabeste natural diuretics slabire fara dieta dukan italiano naturavit ceai de slabit sveta child cura de slabire cu fructe si legume personalizate copii ceai de papadie pt slabit cluj diete sanatoase si eficiente efectivo cura de slabire cu pepene retete sanatoase pentru slabit pastile vreau sa slabesc urgent 10 kgs convert ceai de ghimbir pentru slabit diete rapide si eficiente slabit cluj arena medicamente pentru slabit in farmacii pentru pofta de mancare adulticides mosquito medicamente slabire rapida si cantar calorii oua tratament pt slabit cluj slabesc fara motiv bowling jerseys cele mai bune pastile de slabit din farmacii sensiblu non-stop cea mai eficienta cura de slabire din lume pregnant celebrities scortisoara tratamente diabet slabeste sanatos fara dietetics jobs daca alergi slabesti lucha copilul nu are pofta de mancare produse de slabit slim dieta disociata 7 zile meniuri de craciun ce este sideremia transferrina baja retete de slabit repedezett száj dieta rapida de slabit 10 kg conversion to pounds dieta data de nutritionist jobs
 
Common Law Review
 
Home arrow Articles arrow Issue 8 - Contract Law arrow 13: Tereza Šimanovská - When values change: Re-negotiating Consideration
13: Tereza Šimanovská - When values change: Re-negotiating Consideration PDF Print E-mail

When values change

Re-negotiating Consideration

Tereza Šimanovská

 

1. Introduction

Throughout history, a number of common law doctrines have developed to determine whether a contract was validly concluded and whether it is enforceable in law. One such doctrine is the need for a contract to be supported by consideration.

The basic idea behind the doctrine of consideration is reciprocity – i.e. a person should not be allowed to enforce another”s promise unless he or she has given or promised to give something in exchange for that promise.1 In essence, consideration is the “value” or “price” that one contributes towards a bargain.

Consideration must also be provided when modifying a contract. This rule of the orthodox doctrine of consideration has recently undergone a very significant change and it may have cast doubt on the future of consideration itself. The issue concerns the nature of consideration upon the variation or re-negotiation of a contract and, more specifically, when one party is promised additional money to perform a pre-existing contractual obligation.

 

2. Re-negotiation of a contract – Need for fresh consideration

Until recently it was well-established that performance of a pre-existing contractual duty owed to the other contractual party could not amount to good consideration. In plain words, when someone merely performs what he was already bound to do, such performance is not good consideration to enforce a promise of extra money. He did not provide anything additional – he did not provide any consideration for the extra money paid by the other party. It can be said that the promisee does “the same for more”.2

In reality, however, contractual renegotiations are commonplace in the daily commercial practice of almost all industries: whilst performing a previously-concluded contract, circumstances may arise which force the parties to renegotiate their agreement and alter the original price. Indeed, it seems rather unfair to deny the parties such a possibility.

When parties decide to modify a contract they should bear in mind that, just as consideration was necessary to create the original contract, “fresh” consideration is required to effect a valid modification of that original contract. There are two ways to ensure that a promise for extra money is enforceable. Either one party does something “more” than was required by the original agreement or that original agreement is discharged by both parties and a new agreement concluded.3 Traditionally, the courts have been unwilling to imply that an original agreement was “torn up” and a new one concluded – this is a conclusion they are willing to reach only where the evidence clearly supports such a finding. Regardless of how artificial these two ways may appear, if the parties wish to alter the price stipulated in the original contract, they should ensure there is fresh consideration for the promise of such additional money.

3. Traditional doctrine of Stilk v Myrick

This aspect of the consideration doctrine originates from the case of Stilk v Myrick.4 Myrick was a captain on a ship who employed Stilk to work on a Baltic Sea voyage. During the voyage two members of the crew deserted and the master promised that the remaining sailors could share the deserters” wages amongst themselves if they sailed the ship back home. Upon arrival at the dock, the master refused to honour that promise and Stilk sued for the sum. His claim failed.

When explaining the grounds upon which the judgment was decided, it must be emphasised that this case was published in two separate law reports, both of which offered different ratios. Nevertheless, Campbell”s report has generally been considered correct, and its ratio accepted as the precedent governing this area of law.5 The main reason it gives for the failure of Stilk”s claim is that the agreement lacked consideration. The sailors were not entitled to the additional payment because they merely did what they were obliged to do by virtue of their original contract. They provided no new consideration for the captain”s promise of extra money.

The other source, the Espinasse report, says that the main reason for the result was public policy. It was undesirable that it should be open to the sailors in the future to exercise improper pressure on their master to increase their wages. This report makes no reference to the fact that lack of consideration would bar the claim, and instead focuses on the need to avoid what would in modern law be referred to as economic duress.6 Economic duress exists when one party illegitimately abuses his or her superior economic power to coerce the other party into agreeing to a particular set of terms.7 A contract entered into under economic duress is voidable and may be set aside by the court.8

In any case, it has always been the first report that was applied. The rule about the existing duty laid by the Campbell report was followed many times afterwards,9 but has always been somewhat controversial. It simply does not seem fair that a party can breach his or her promise and get away with it, even if the other party acted upon that promise in good faith.

There have been some voices criticising this rule. For example, Lord Denning tried to escape it because it can often lead to unfair results. He stated in Ward v Byham10 that “a promise to perform an existing duty,11 or the performance of it, should be regarded as good consideration, because it is a benefit to the person to whom it is given.” The promisor in fact benefited from the situation – he obtained “factual benefit”.12

Nevertheless, most of the judiciary were not willing to come to such radical conclusions. In Ward v Byham the remaining judges expressly refused Lord Denning”s revolutionary proposition. Throughout history, rather than going against the traditional doctrine, courts were often ready to find consideration even where one could say that there was none to be found. Sometimes it is said that courts “invented consideration” to abide by the orthodox doctrine.13

4. Revolution against the old approach: No legal benefit necessary

The controversial case of Williams v Roffey Bros. & Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd.14 might be labelled as falling into this category. This decision has dramatically changed the traditional doctrine regarding pre-existing contractual duty and has cast great uncertainty over the future development of consideration in this area.

 

4.1 Williams v Roffey

The Roffey Brothers were builders who contracted with a housing association to refurbish a block of 27 flats. They sub-contracted the carpentry work to Williams for £20,000. Williams got into financial difficulties and it was apparent that he might not be able to complete the work on time. It was mainly because Wiliams had underpriced his contract. The second reason was deficiency in William”s supervision of his workers. Roffey Bros. became worried that they would be liable under a penalty clause in their main contract and promised Williams an additional sum of £10,300. This was to be paid at the rate of £575 per flat on completion. Williams finished eight more flats but only received £1,500. Williams ultimately sued Roffey Bros. for the remaining sum.

The main issue before the Court of Appeals was whether Williams provided consideration for the additional £10,300 promised by Roffey Bros. The court held that the agreement to pay the extra money was enforceable. This came as a great surprise. It defied the traditional rule set out in Stilk v Myrick. What was the consideration provided by Williams? He only did the work that he was bound to do by his original agreement – he only performed a duty already owed to Roffey.

 

4.2 New form of consideration: Practical benefit

In Williams v. Roffey, the court found valid consideration in the practical benefit that Roffey obtained by his agreement with Williams. So far the practical/factual benefit (Denning) has been refused as good consideration. The argument has always been that consideration must be something of value in the eyes of law – something that provides or brings about a legal benefit.

What was this practical benefit? It consisted of a number of factors. The court held that it was the fact that Williams continued his work and did not breach the sub-contract. Therefore, Roffey avoided the trouble of looking for somebody else to complete the work. Furthermore, Roffey avoided the penalty payment for the delay under the main contract. Also, by directing the claimant to complete one flat at a time, the defendant was able to organize their work with other subcontractors in a more efficient manner. It is clear that the logic of “factual benefit” earlier argued by Lord Denning was applied here. Even though there was no legal benefit to Roffey, the contractual modification, in fact, benefited Roffey.

It is questionable whether this reasoning about “practical benefits” is persuasive enough to disregard the need for a legal benefit and change this rule in such a dramatic way. When looking at each of the “practical benefits”, one realizes that they do not consist of anything additional. Roffey would have received all of these benefits under the original contract, even if it were not modified. In fact, all of these new “advantages” were the very reason why they concluded the original contract. Williams was hired as the subcontractor to do the work. Therefore, the main purpose here was not to look for anyone else to do the job. Similarly, the fact that Roffey did not have to pay the penalty because the plaintiff continued the work was the very reason that a subcontractor would have been hired initially. The question is: how can this count as a fresh consideration? Was this not yet another “invented consideration” by the courts?

 

4.3 Practical benefit justified by commercial reality

On the other hand, it can be argued that this pragmatic decision finally concedes what can be called “commercial reality”. After all, it is a common practice in the building industry for the main contractor to increase sub-contractors” payments if the parties see that the price is too low. As the counsel for the plaintiff argued, “It would be unfortunate if English law deprived an acceptable commercial practice, which both parties regard as beneficial, of legal effect.” Thus, the court should look at the situation as it stands and acknowledge what in fact is beneficial for the parties, as opposed to seeking a theoretical “legal benefit”. The preference should be given to what the actual intention of the parties was when renegotiating the contract, so that their intended agreement is given effect. Would it not be unfair to negate their clear arrangement that was entered into voluntarily? Russel LJ said: “Consideration there must be but courts should be more ready to find its existence as to reflect the intention of the parties.”

Obviously, there are two competing principles to be weighed regarding the doctrine of consideration. It can be said that modifications are in the public interest and both parties should be encouraged to bargain their way out of an unanticipated difficulty. On the other hand, it is also desirable to hold parties to the contractual terms of their bargain.15 Clearly, there are pros and cons to each of the two conflicting interests.

 

5. Potential escape from a contract as a value?

Another issue should be contemplated in this area. It was said that Williams suffered a detriment by continuing the work and not breaching the contract. His counsel argued “he (Williams) might have been better off by breaking the contract, getting higher paid work elsewhere and paying such damages as the contractor can recover against him”.16 Can this constitute good consideration? Can this be anything of value in the eyes of law? This proposition seems to undermine the sanctity of contracts. It is an old principle of law that people should be held to their bargains – Pacta sunt servanda. Therefore, the legal practice should promote this principle and not acknowledge that a threatened breach of contract is a viable basis for finding consideration. Such reasoning does not seem correct as a part of legal practice.

Threatening with breach of contract to increase the agreed price is indeed walking on thin ice. As mentioned above, agreements that are achieved by illegitimate pressure exercised by the party with greater economic power can be set aside on the grounds of economic duress.17 It was very important that in Williams v Roffey duress was not established on the facts of the case. The main reason that the judgment was given for Williams was almost certainly because duress was not involved. Roffey called for the meeting because it was obvious that the work would not be finished as planned. Williams did not explicitly threaten with breach of contract.

 

6. Consequences of the new approach to consideration

Undoubtedly, Williams v Roffey significantly widened the scope of the doctrine of consideration. Promises to perform existing duties can now be good consideration when they lead to practical benefit. As the doctrine of duress is a relatively new concept (first acknowledged in 1976), in the past, courts used consideration in situations that would nowadays be judged in terms of duress. In situations like those in Stilk v Myrick, the judge could not avail himself of economic duress and instead used lack of consideration as the reason for his judgment. Thus, a case like Stilk would be decided differently today. Most likely, it would be brought as a duress case and not necessarily fail for lack of consideration. It could be stated that the Court of Appeals followed the reasoning from the Espinasse report.18

 

6.1 Reconciliation of Stilk v Myrick and Williams v Roffey

It would seem that Williams v Roffey overruled Stilk v Myrick, but the court emphasized that Stilk still remains good law and distinguished Williams v Roffey. Glidwell LJ said that Williams v Roffey does not contravene the principles from Stilk, but that it “refines and limits” the application of them. However, it is not wholly clear from the judgment on what basis the court arrived at this conclusion. The judges argued that the rigid approach to consideration in Stilk was only a product of the special conditions of the seafare in the 18th century, and that it was too harsh to exist without changes in the modern day. However, the two cases are very similar. Myrick also obtained practical benefit because the sailors continued performance of their contract. Furthermore, Williams v Roffey was later applied in an employment case19 where it was held that when an employee”s wage is increased, sufficient consideration for the increase is the fact that the employee continues his or her work and does not try to bargain for more money.20 Is this not exactly the same situation as in Stilk?

Even if the court was so resolute that Stilk has not been overruled, it seems difficult to defend this idea for much longer. The conclusion could be drawn that the only principle that has survived the attack of Williams v Roffey is that consideration is still required when modifying a contract, while Stilk has been overruled as to what counts as fresh consideration.21

6.2 Application in day-to-day business

It is without a doubt that “practical benefit” is now a recognized category that can be used in practice to establish consideration. Lawyers arguing enforcement of promises for extra payment when the consideration is of doubtful value should avail themselves of “practical benefit” and argue that effect should be given to “commercial reality.” Furthermore, lawyers should argue that it is in the interest of the parties to reach a viable solution that is acceptable to everyone. It is, after all, in the public interest to bargain one”s way out of a stalemate rather than end up in a costly litigation process.

On the other hand, it has become more difficult for the opposing party to attack such contractual modifications because it is no longer so simple to plead lack of consideration where some sort of benefit can be found. It should be argued that there is no legal or practical benefit, and therefore no consideration. The security of contracts should be emphasized – people should get what they bargain for and not be pushed to pay more if difficulties arise. Any sign of duress makes such modification unenforceable. Therefore, one should always look at the process of renegotiation. Simply, was there any sign of improper pressure from the party who was in the stronger contractual position? If so, economic duress should be pleaded as a vitiating factor to the promise.

Williams v Roffey has since been applied in two cases,22 both dealing with renegotiation of commercial contracts. In each case it was held that consideration lay in the “practical benefit” that one party obtained because the other party did not breach the contract and continued its performance.23

 

7. Conclusion: What is the future of consideration?

A new liberal approach has been set. Courts are now more willing to find consideration just to give effect to what they perceive as the actual intent of the parties. This tolerant attitude is counter-balanced by the use of duress as the tool to limit bargains that have been achieved by improper means. The issue is whether this situation is wholly satisfactory. Courts have not been clear enough about the future application of this new approach, and it is evident that the doctrine of consideration in this area has been plunged into confusion.

These reflections might lead to a more revolutionary interpretation of Williams v Roffey. Is there really a need for consideration when varying a contract? American law, for example, does not require it.24 Maybe it is finally time to stop being too afraid of changes and to move ahead. After all, is this not the real unexpressed meaning of Williams v Roffey? It seems that law would become more efficient without the formalistic burden of consideration when modifying a contract.

Reflections about contractual modifications might logically lead us even further. Is consideration necessary at all? It appears that consideration as a principle is still adhered to, but this effort has become somewhat forced. The civil law system can do well without consideration. There exists an increasing hostility towards the old doctrine. It has become more of a technical obstacle than a useful and essential tool. Maybe the modern law should finally get rid of this ancient principle and replace it with more effective doctrines.

Were the judges too afraid to explicitly admit that Williams v Roffey might be the beginning of the end of consideration?

Tereza Šimanovská is a second-year law student at the Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague. She has spent one year in London, where she studied at the Faculty of Law at the University of Westminster.

 

 

 

Bibliography


Atiyah P S, Essays on Contract, 1st Edition, Reprinted (US: Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 2001)


Chen-Wishart M, Contract Law, 1st Edition (US: Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 2005)


McKendrick E, Contract Law, 6th Edition (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005)


Noble M, For Your Consideration, November 8 1991, New Law Journal, Butterworth &Co (Publishers) Ltd


Stone R, The Modern Law of Contract, 6th Edition (UK: Cavendish Publishing Ltd, 2005)


Treitel G, Some Landmarks of Twentieth Century Contract Law, 1st Edition (US: Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 2002)

 

 

...................

1 McKendrick E, Contract Law, 6th Edition (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) pp 85

2 Chen-Wishart M, Contract Law, 1st Edition (US: Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 2005) pp147

3 McKendrick E, Contract Law, 6th Edition (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) pp 96

4 Stilk v Myrick (1809) 2 Camp 317 and 6 Esp 129

5 McKendrick E, Contract Law, 6th Edition (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) pp 95

6 Ibid

7 Ibid pp 358

8 Nevertheless, there is no evidence that the sailors in Stilk v Myrick actually used any pressure to get the extra money. On the contract, it was Myrick himself who promised the increase of wages because he needed to get the ship home. Thus, whilst no actual duress was proved in this, the decision aimed to pre-emptively prevent such situations occurring in the future.

9 For example Atlas Express v Kafco [1989] QB 833

10 Ward v Byham [1956] 1 WLR 496

11 However, here Lord Denning was concerned with a pre-existing duty deriving from public law, not a duty owed under a contract.

12 Chen-Wishart M, Contract Law, 1st Edition (US: Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 2005) pp 145

13 Prof Treitel as cited in McKendrick E, Contract Law, 6th Edition (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) pp 86

14 Williams v Roffey Bros. & Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd [1991] 1 QB 1

15 McKendrick E, Contract Law, 6th Edition (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) pp 99

16 Williams v Roffey Bros. & Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd [1991] 1 QB 1

17 However, a distinction should be made between threats of breach of contract that amount to economic duress and behaviour that only amounts to acceptable commercial pressure. It should be highlighted that at the moment the law is not very clear about where the exact borderline lays. It seems that not all threats of breach of contract are automatically illegal.

18 McKendrick E, Contract Law, 6th Edition (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) pp 100

19 Lee v GEC Plessey Telecommunications [1993] IRLR 383

20 Stone R, The Modern Law of Contract, 6th Edition (UK: Cavendish Publishing Ltd, 2005) pp 92

21 Chen-Wishart M, Contract Law, 1st Edition (US: Oxford University Press Inc., New York, 2005) pp153

22 Anangel Atlas Compania Naviera SA v Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co Ltd (no 2) [1990] 2 Lloyd”s Rep 526; Simon Container Machinery Ltd v Emba Machinery AB [1998] 2 Lloyd”s Rep 429

23 Stone R, The Modern Law of Contract, 6th Edition (UK: Cavendish Publishing Ltd, 2005) pp 92

24 McKendrick E, Contract Law, 6th Edition (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) pp 102.

 
< Prev   Next >