Williams V Roffey

Topics: Money, Contract, Plaintiff, Defendant, State, Suffering / Pages: 4 (901 words) / Published: Oct 28th, 2008
1. The decision in Williams v Roffey moved away from the actual technicalities of finding traditional consideration, to actually looking at the factual benefit which a promisor may gain. In this sense it was stated that the duty to perform an existing contract could be good consideration so long as some kind of benefit went to the promisor, whereas previous to this performance of an existing contract was in fact no consideration, (as stated in Stilk v Myrick). This decision developed the doctrine of consideration in that it was always seen that for consideration to move from the promisee, it should be by suffering detriment, whereas Williams v Roffey stated that this requirement could be satisfied by when the promisor receives benefit from the promisee, without the promisee actually suffering detriment.

"In my view where the original subcontract price is too low, and the parties subsequently agree that additional moneys shall be paid to the subcontractor, this agreement is in the interests of both parties. This is what happened in the present case, and in my opinion the agreement of 9 April 1986 does not fail for lack of consideration."

But where, as in this case, a party undertakes to make a payment because by so doing it will gain an advantage arising out of the continuing relationship with the promisee the new bargain will not fail for want of consideration.

I consider that the modern approach to the question of consideration would be that where there were benefits derived by each party to a contract of variation even though one party did not suffer a detriment this would not be fatal to the establishing of sufficient consideration to support the agreement. If both parties benefit from an agreement it is not necessary that each also suffers a detriment.

3. Glidewell states that negotiations to modify a contract so it is more feasible (for example a mistake has been made in price at the outset) then it

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