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(Thomas v. Thomas)2
The position in respect of existing obligations under a contract and whether they can act as good consideration will now be discussed. One of situation is the one where variation of existing obligations under a contract between the parties occurs.The principle has been modified but the extent to which such modification applies remains unclear. Let us write or edit the essay on your topic "Contract law- problem question" with a personal 20% discount.. Try it now The long established principle in respect of variation of terms and promises in that respect was that of Stilk v. Myrick3whereby it was a long accepted principle that if there was an existing contractual obligation it could never be relied upon that is it could not as good consideration for a fresh promise with the person to whom the existing obligation was owed..
The decision of Stilk and it being good law is doubtful after the case of Williams v Roffey Brothers4the facts of the case were that carpenters, plaintiff, while doing their work, asked the defendants for additional amount of money to finish the work even though they were no doing anything more than what they were already obliged to do. After completion of the work the defendants refused to pay the plaintiff. The main argument that was put forward was that there had been no consideration for the defendants’ promise to pay the additional amount and the decision of Stilk and its application would lead to the promise being construed unenforceable. However, the Court of Appeal found that that plaintiff’ could recover the promised payments for completion of work of the flats, the Court gave a broader meaning to consideration than what had been previously given. The reasoning of Glidewell LJ in particular referred to the point of ‘practical benefits’ which were likely to have accrued to the defendants as a result of them paying the additional promised amount of money, these were that such a promise ensure that the plaintiffs stayed and continued work thus the
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