Contract case study: Savinder Patel

Savinder Patel is a director in a cleaning contracting business (Clean Off Limited) in South West London.  The business is operating quite successfully. He has come to see you for legal advice on several contract issues.


He recently interviewed a prospective employee (Isabel Fuentes) as a finance manager. He sent a letter to the prospective employee in the normal post offering the post as finance manager.  Ms Fuentes sent a letter of acceptance by first class post which took six days to reach Mr Patel.  A day before the letter of acceptance reached Mr Patel, he received an unsatisfactory reference for Ms Fuentes and now wishes to withdraw the offer. 

Mr Patel seeks your advice as to the repercussions, if any, if the job offer is withdrawn.  Is there any further information you require from Mr Patel in order to advise him fully? (Assessment Criteria 1.1.; 2.1.; 3.1.; 4.1.). Please provide written advice on the issues arising and using case law examples as appropriate.


As the cleaning company is doing well, Mr Patel has decided to have a building extension done on his London home. He made an oral agreement with a local builder (Tricky Ricky) to extend his kitchen and refurbish a bathroom.  He has already paid the builder £25,000. The work is now complete and Mr Patel owes another £20,000.  For cash flow reasons, Mr Patel has asked the builder whether he would accept payment by instalments over 10 months. The builder initially said this would be fine in full and final settlement. However, the builder has now called on Mr Patel and has said that he is desperate for all the money straight away and will claim interest for late payment.


Mr Patel wants to know whether he has a contract with  Tricky Ricky which would “stand up in court” and whether Tricky Ricky is entitled to change his mind on the payment arrangement for the remaining money (Assessment Criteria  3.1.; 4.1). Please provide written advice on the issues arising and using case law examples as appropriate.


Mr Patel has also seen some new vacuum cleaners for his business in a warehouse for the industry. The price for the vacuum cleaners was displayed as £40 per machine. Mr Patel told the seller at the warehouse that he was interested in buying in bulk and would come back the following week to buy twenty of them. The seller said “that sounds good”. When Mr Patel returned the following week to make the purchase, the seller told him that there were only ten machines left in stock. He also informed Mr Patel that the price was incorrectly shown the week before and that the vacuum cleaners are actually £400 each.


Mr Patel is angry about this and seeks your advice as to whether he has any contractual rights against the seller’s company. (Assessment Criteria 1.1.; 2.1.; 3.1). Please provide written advice on the issues arising and using case law examples as appropriate.



The Word Count for this Assignment is 1,500 words.

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