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contract law-liquidated damages

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    Imagine if I am a journalist and I need to update 4 articles about restaurants, so the newspaper I work for gives me 100 pounds to try out as much restaurants as I can. I manage to write 3 of those articles and send them but the last one Im unable to write because I'm ill. The day after the deadline I receive an email from the newspaper telling me that the contract is terminated and that I have to give back the 100 pounds because there was a clause in the contract which stated:

    In the event that the newspaper terminates this contract for failure by the journalist to complete it, all sums due to him shall be forfeited.

    As I wrote three articles I want to be paid for the them (must note that in the contract they tell me that for three articles I should be paid £300 out of £400 if I had wrote the last one, there were deadlines for each one of the articles but the newspaper would only give the total amount when I completed all of them).
    Is it possible?
    Does the newspaper has the right to have my money back or is the clause a penalty?

    Thank you for helping a very confused student!!

    Just go and read the cases on liquidated damages. Dunlop is a good starting point. You need to consider when such a clause is a penalty and therefore void and when it is valid. You then need to apply the fact to the law.
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