Law Moot Problem Watch

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This was given to me by University is a law moot problem. I would appreciate some comments/ideas or any kind of help regarding it. I am the Lead Appellant on behalf of X-treme Ltd. Thank you

In the Court of Appeal
X-treme Ltd v Wilson

David Wilson booked an all-inclusive holiday with X-treme Ltd, a holiday company specialising in extreme sport package deals. The holiday was 7 days long, with a different extreme sporting activity being scheduled for each whole day. The cost was £3000, with £1000 paid up front to secure the booking and the balance upon completion of the holiday. He chose X-treme as he had used them in the past and had always been happy with the service they provided.

Later, David discovered that a friend going on the same holiday package had received a 50% discount on the cost of his holiday via an email voucher. David had registered his details on the X-treme website at the same time as his friend, but had not received the same email voucher. Having unexpectedly lost his job, David telephoned X-treme, to ask for the discount to be applied to the balance of his holiday as he feared he may not be able to afford to pay it otherwise and would have to cancel the holiday, and explaining that he was a loyal customer. Thinking that they may obtain further custom from him if they acceded to David’s wishes, X-treme’s area manager orally agreed to the reduction in price.

The holiday went well, as planned – David had a great time hang-gliding, white-water rafting, abseiling and the like. X-treme then sent their invoice, asking for £2000. David protested vehemently, saying that X-treme should not renege on its earlier promise of the 50% discount on the balance, and saying that he would only pay £1000, as agreed. He then sent a cheque for this amount and X-treme wrote back to say the account had been settled.

X-treme suffered a downturn in business due to the credit crunch. They decided to seek to claim the £1000 from David, arguing that they were not bound to the area manager’s promise as no consideration had been given for it. They further argued that, if the court agreed that the earlier promise was not binding upon them, the later acceptance of David’s cheque for £1000 did not preclude them from claiming the remaining £1000 as no consideration had been provided by David for X-treme’s promise that the account had been settled and, even in the absence of consideration, David could not raise an estoppel to prevent X-treme from going back on this promise, on the basis that estoppel does not apply to one-off debts. (It was not argued in either instance that X-treme’s promise was procured under duress.)

In the County Court, Air J found that David was not liable for the £1000 balance because:

1. X-treme was bound by its original promise to give the 50% discount because there was consideration for the promise, albeit a promise to reduce the price, stemming from the principle in Williams v Roffey.

2. Even if X-treme's original promise of a discount had not been binding, X-treme would be estopped by the later promise to accept £1000 in full settlement of the balance as the promise had been made with the intention that it be acted upon and David had relied on this. Furthermore, given that duress had not been argued in either instance, it would appear that David had come to equity with ‘clean hands’.

X-treme appeals against both of these findings.
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