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Chapter

Cover Business Law

10. Ending the Contract  

This chapter discusses other ways in which a valid contract may be discharged, aside from the successful completion of established rights and duties. It also discusses possible remedies where a party breaches the contract. Under the normal rules of contract, a party is only discharged from a contract when that party has completed obligations under it. Having completed the contract each party is free of further obligations. A failure to complete the contract may lead to a breach of contract claim, although situations exist where the parties may release each other from further obligation—referred to as discharge by agreement—or the contract may have been partially or substantially performed. This chapter examines discharge through performance and agreement, how contracts may become frustrated, and the consequences and remedies following a breach of contract.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

8. Discharge of Contract and Contractual Remedies  

The discharge of a contract means that the obligations of the contract come to an end. When discharge occurs, all duties which arose under the contract are terminated. This chapter discusses the various methods of discharging a contract and the consequences of each. It considers how a contract can be discharged through agreement between the parties; the elements necessary for a contract to be discharged by performance, including the rules relating to partial performance of a contract; and the meaning and effect of the frustration of a contract. The chapter discusses the meaning of breach of contract, both actual breach and anticipatory breach, and its consequences. The remedies for a breach of contract are explored, including the rules relating to remoteness and measure of damages and the difference between liquidated damages and penalties. Equitable remedies of specific performance and injunctions are explained.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

12. Remedies for breach of contract  

This chapter examines the various remedies for breach of contract. The principal remedy is an award of damages, the main aim of which is to put the claimant in the position in which he would have been had the breach not occurred. The various types of damages are discussed, notably the distinction between expectation loss and reliance loss, and the ability to claim for financial and non-pecuniary losses. The chapter also discusses restitutionary remedies in cases where the defendant has been enriched due to his breach of contract. Finally, the chapter looks at remedies designed to ensure that persons adhere to contracts, such as specific performance and injunctions.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

13. An introduction to the law of torts  

This chapter provides an introduction to the law of torts. It explains that the objectives of tort law are to compensate those who suffer harm, to deter conduct that causes harm, and to protect legitimate interests. Tort law, along with contract law, forms the backbone of Britain’s civil justice system and is of immense importance to the business community because it represents a significant source of legal exposure for businesses. The chapter provides an introduction to the concept of the duty of care, as well as discussing who can sue and be sued in the event of a breach of duty. Finally, the chapter discusses how the law of torts has been affected by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

14. The tort of negligence  

This chapter focuses on the tort of negligence. It explains that under the English legal system, negligence can be defined as a breach of a legal duty to take care which results in damage to the claimant. It suggests that negligence is the most important tort and is central in allowing victims to obtain compensation for injuries that they suffer. The chapter discusses in detail the four requirements for establishing negligence, namely the establishment of a duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and remoteness. This chapter also discusses the current test to establish a duty of care which includes foreseeability of damage, proximity, and fairness of the imposition of a duty.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

22. Directors’ duties  

This chapter examines the duties placed upon company directors. These include the duty to act within the company’s powers, to promote the success of the company, to exercise independent judgment, to exercise skill and care, and the various duties relating to conflicts of interest (such as the duty to avoid a conflict of interest, and the duty not to accept benefits from third parties). It describes the company transactions that require member approval and explains the limitation period for an action alleging breach of duty by a director. This chapter also considers the ways a director who is liable for breaching his duties may obtain relief from liability.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

9. The Sale of Goods and Supply of Services  

This chapter discusses the rules relating to agreements for the sale and supply of goods and services. Contracts for the sale of goods and terms implied into business to business contracts by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 are examined. The Consumer Rights Act 2015, introduced to simplify and enhance the position of consumers, is considered. The terms of contracts between traders and consumers for the sale and supply of goods, services, and digital content are discussed together with remedies for breach of contract. Rights to ownership and possession of goods, and when rights may be transferred from a seller to a buyer are explained. General rules on delivery of goods, the duties of a seller and buyer, and the remedies available for breach are discussed. Finally, the terms of business to business contracts for the supply of goods and services, hire of goods, and hire purchase are discussed.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

11. Discharge of the contract  

This chapter examines the procedures and processes involved in the discharge of a contract. It describes the situations under which a contract will become discharged and discusses the four methods of discharge, namely discharge by performance, discharge by agreement, discharge by breach, and discharge by frustration. This chapter also explains that there are cases where a contract will be automatically discharged with no possibility of continuance (such as where the contract is discharged by frustration) and there are those where the actions of one party may result in the other party being entitled to terminate the contract (for example, breach of a condition) or may simply entitle him to recover damages only (for example, breach of a warranty).

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

15. Business-related torts  

This chapter examines the different types of torts that can affect businesses. A number of these torts (namely product liability, and wrongful interference with goods) aim to protect persons’ usage of goods, whereas other torts (such as nuisance, and the tort in Rylands v Fletcher) are more about protecting persons’ enjoyment of land and property. The tort of occupiers’ liability discusses the duties that are owed by persons who occupy land to those who are present on that land (both lawful visitors and non-lawful visotors). The chapter also discusses the protection of more abstract interests, such as how the law of defamation seeks to protect a person’s reputation. In addition, a number of other torts are discussed, including employers’ liability, and breach of statutory duty.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

25. The contract of employment  

This chapter examines the issues concerning contracts of employment. It begins by looking at how employment law disputes are resolved, namely by discussing the role of employment tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and how they fit into the courts structure discussed in Chapter 2. The chapter than discusses the difference between employees and independent contractors, and looks at the status of several special classes of worker. An examination of the terms of the contract then takes place, including a discussion of express terms, and the terms that are implied that relate to the conduct of the employer and employee.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

11. The Tort of Negligence  

This chapter discusses the difference between the law of torts and contract and criminal law. It explores the tort of negligence, considering the necessary elements for a claim of negligence, namely the defendant owed the claimant a duty of care, the defendant breached that duty of care, and reasonably foreseeable damage was caused by the breach of duty. The chapter considers the special requirements for the recovery of pure economic loss and for loss as a result of psychiatric injuries, looking at both primary and secondary victims. The principles relating to breach of a duty of care, including the standard of care, are discussed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the final element, considering the need for a causal link between the breach of duty by the defendant and the damage suffered by the claimant.