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On 1 March, Ben, a science lecturer at a local university (NWK), sent a letter by post to Ian, a local astronomyexpert, inviting Ian to speak to Ben’s class. The letter said:

“I will pay you $1,000 to l speak to my class on 1 June. Pleaserespond to me by 1 May if you accept.”

Ian replied with a letter to Ben that he postedon 1 April.It said:

“I would be thrilled to speak to your class on June 1. I will see you then.”

The next day, on 2 April, Ian became aware of a better speaking opportunityat a local business seminar tentatively scheduled for 1 June. He immediately sent the following email to Ben:

“I would have enjoyed speaking to your class on 1 June. However,I’m expecting a better offer for that day, so I must decline. Thankyou.”

Ben received the email immediately. Later that day, Ben identified another potentialspeaker, Sharon, who was listed on the webpage of another university nearby (SWK) as a staff member with expertise in astronomy. He clicked on her email address and sent her a message in which he offered Sharon$1,000 to speak to his class. Sharon accepted by email the next day.Neither Ben nor Sharon realised the staff list had her listed as having astronomy expertise; she was actually an expert in astrology. Ben expected an astronomy lecture, but Sharon incorrectly believedthe desired topic was astrology.

On 3 April, Ben received Ian’s letter and threw it away.Ian was not selected to talk to the people at the business seminar. On 1 June, both Ian and Sharon showed up to speak to Ben’s class. Ben told Ian that he was notneeded. Ian angrily told Ben that he would sue for breach of contract.

After Ian left, Sharon began setting up her astrology charts and announced that shewould provide free fortune telling after her lecture. Ben realized thatSharon was not an astronomy expert and told her he would not pay her for an astrology lecture. Sharon angrily told Ben, “I’m going tosue you and get my money.” Ben responded, “You’re not an astronomy expert as I thoughtand, besides, our deal wasn’t in writing.”

Required:

1.         Ian brings a claim for breach of contract against Ben. Discusswhether Ian and Ben formed an enforceable contract andwhether Ian is likely to succeed with his claim.                      

2.         Sharon brings a claim for breach of contract against Ben. Discusswhether Ben has any defences to the claim and whether Sharon is likely to succeed with her claim.        



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