BetterLawNotes-5 (2)

CONTRACT LAW

In January 2007, Professor Dull entered into an agreement with Oxbridge Poly Press (OPP) for Dull to write a textbook on contract law which OPP would publish in its Masters of Law series. It was agreed that OPP would pay Dull £25,000 on publication of the book. The agreement also gave OPP an option to engage Dull to write a textbook on tort law for the Masters of Law series for an additional £25,000 fee.

In June 2007, in breach of contract, OPP terminates its agreement with Dull with immediate effect. OPP has just entered into an agreement with Professor Jolly, Dull’s great rival, for Jolly to write the contract law and tort law textbooks for the Masters of Law series. OPP offers to pay Dull £5,000 for the right to publish Dull’s contract law script in its less prestigious Law for Idiots series.

Dull is now claiming the following sums in damages from OPP for breach of contract:

(i) £25,000, representing the lost publication fee for the contract law textbook;

(ii) £25,000, representing the lost publication fee for the tort law textbook which, Dull says, he would in all likelihood have ended up writing had OPP not breached the agreement;

(iii) £30,000 representing the lost opportunity to secure a lucrative contract with Great Lives Ltd (GLL) for GLL to publish Dull’s autobiography. GLL has just paid £30,000 for the rights to Jolly’s autobiography. Dull claims that, but for OPP’s breach of contract, GLL would, on balance, have wanted to publish an autobiography by Dull, and not Jolly;

(iv) £10,000 representing compensation for Dull’s distress and disappointment;

(v) £100,000 representing the lump-sum separation payment Dull has been ordered by the court to pay his wife following the breakdown of their marriage. Dull says that the distress and disappointment he suffered because of OPP’s breach of contract led to the breakdown of his marriage;

(vi) £200,000 being the profits OPP has made from sales of Jolly’s contract law textbook.

Advise OPP.

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