Equity - Mistake of Salary in Contract Offer Problem Question

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Luceelu22
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Just a bit confused as to what aspect of equity (promissory estoppel or specific performance?) would apply here.

The question in brief is:
'Brian' receives job offer with starting salary of 30,000 from Firm A.
In reply to this, at talks Firm B tells Brian that their max starting salary is 20,000.
But Brian then receives a letter from Firm B stating that they will pay him 40,000 (wasn't proofread, typo instead of 20,000)

On basis of this letter, Brian rejects the 30,000 offer from Firm A and calls up Firm B to accept their offer, but they refuse to honour 40,000, say max is 20,000.
Firm A would then not re-instate their offer of 30,000 and Brian is now jobless.

What would be Brian's causes of action against Firm B in equity? (Estoppel or Specific Performance?)
It also asks what defences Firm B could use, which would obviously be mistake.
If anyone could help I'd be very grateful, especially if any one knows any common law cases similar to the above facts, haven;t been able to find them myself .
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Was the question set in an equity module? If not, why do you assume that equity will render Brian any assistance? I would have thought that it would not, given that (a) promissory estoppel cannot be used as a cause of action; (b) you cannot get specific performance of a contract of employment (on either side).
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Theplace
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[QUOTE=Luceelu22;68979642]Just a bit confused as to what aspect of equity (promissory estoppel or specific performance?) would apply here.

The question in brief is:
'Brian' receives job offer with starting salary of 30,000 from Firm A.
In reply to this, at talks Firm B tells Brian that their max starting salary is 20,000.
But Brian then receives a letter from Firm B stating that they will pay him 40,000 (wasn't proofread, typo instead of 20,000)

On basis of this letter, Brian rejects the 30,000 offer from Firm A and calls up Firm B to accept their offer, but they refuse to honour 40,000, say max is 20,000.
Firm A would then not re-instate their offer of 30,000 and Brian is now jobless.

What would be Brian's causes of action against Firm B in equity? (Estoppel or Specific Performance?)
It also asks what defences Firm B could use, which would obviously be mistake.

What class is this for?
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Luceelu22
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(Original post by Forum User)
Was the question set in an equity module? If not, why do you assume that equity will render Brian any assistance? I would have thought that it would not, given that (a) promissory estoppel cannot be used as a cause of action; (b) you cannot get specific performance of a contract of employment (on either side).
Yep it's a solely equity module! So has to be related to equity.
Only two things I could think of were originally promissory, but as you said this can't be a cause of action and any exceptions to this seem to be for land only (proprietary)
Was thinking perhaps Specific Performance for damages (as they'd never enforce the parties to work together) with firm using mistake as a defence.
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Luceelu22
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[QUOTE=Theplace;68980214]
(Original post by Luceelu22)
Just a bit confused as to what aspect of equity (promissory estoppel or specific performance?) would apply here.

The question in brief is:
'Brian' receives job offer with starting salary of 30,000 from Firm A.
In reply to this, at talks Firm B tells Brian that their max starting salary is 20,000.
But Brian then receives a letter from Firm B stating that they will pay him 40,000 (wasn't proofread, typo instead of 20,000)

On basis of this letter, Brian rejects the 30,000 offer from Firm A and calls up Firm B to accept their offer, but they refuse to honour 40,000, say max is 20,000.
Firm A would then not re-instate their offer of 30,000 and Brian is now jobless.

What would be Brian's causes of action against Firm B in equity? (Estoppel or Specific Performance?)
It also asks what defences Firm B could use, which would obviously be mistake.

What class is this for?
Equity! So has to be related to equitable causes of action/remedies and not law of contract.
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(Original post by Luceelu22)
Was thinking perhaps Specific Performance for damages (as they'd never enforce the parties to work together) with firm using mistake as a defence.
Specific performance for damages is a contradiction in terms. You either get damages for breach of contract or you get specific performance of the contract.
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Luceelu22
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(Original post by Forum User)
Specific performance for damages is a contradiction in terms. You either get damages for breach of contract or you get specific performance of the contract.
Sorry meant unlikely that he would get specific performance and damages would be granted instead.

What causes of action in equity which would apply do you think, even if likely to be unsuccessful, if estoppel can't apply?
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(Original post by Luceelu22)
Sorry meant unlikely that he would get specific performance and damages would be granted instead.

What causes of action in equity which would apply do you think, even if likely to be unsuccessful, if estoppel can't apply?
I don't really see any on those facts, sorry I couldn't help
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Mimir
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You need to read through the maxims of equity (equity will not act in vain; he who seeks equitable remedies must come with clean hands; etc) which will give an idea of its appropriateness.

An equitable remedies such as specific performance must be proportionate and enforceable (amongst other things).

The facts of your scenario are a little vague to be able to require or enforce a specific performance remedy.
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