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George Mitchell v Finney Lock Seeds – 1983

George Mitchell (Chesterhall) Ltd v Finney Lock Seeds [1983] 2 AC 803

Exclusion clauses construction and Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977


the case revolved around the agreement between the Claimant and the Defendant, where the Defendant agreed to supply the Claimant with 30lb of Dutch winter cabbage seed. The invoice for the seeds, which was considered to be a part of the contract, stipulated that liability of the defendant was limited to replacing the seeds or the plants which were sold, where such were found to be defective. However, the clause excluded liability for loss or damage, including consequential loss or damage which arose from the seed being used. The Claimant planted the seed on 63 Acres of his land, but the seeds were a failure, producing a plant which was too small and which could not be eaten by humans, resulting in losses of £60,000 in addition to interest.

The main issues in this case were whether the exclusion clause could extend to the seeds used by the Claimant, bearing in mind that they were unfit to do the job they were sold to do and whether extending the effect of the exclusion clause in this way would be reasonable under s.2(2) of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

The court held that the exclusion did extend to the seeds sold to and used by the claimants, but it was an unfair term which could be struck down under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

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Answering problem questions in the University of London LLB programme requires a clear understanding of legal principles, good analytical skills and the ability to apply the law to a given set of facts. Here are some tips to help you answer problem questions effectively:

  1. Read the question carefully: Make sure you understand what the question is asking before you begin writing.
  2. Identify the legal issues: Identify the legal issues raised by the facts and the relevant laws that apply to those issues.
  3. Analyze the facts: Analyze the facts presented in the question, focusing on the details that are relevant to the legal issues.
  4. Apply the law: Apply the relevant laws to the facts, making sure to consider all relevant legal principles and cases.
  5. Structure your answer: Use a clear and well-structured approach, starting with an introduction that outlines the main legal issues, followed by a discussion of the relevant laws and a conclusion that summarizes your analysis and sets out your conclusion.
  6. Use relevant cases and statutes: Cite relevant cases and statutes to support your analysis and help illustrate the legal principles you are discussing.
  7. Be concise: Be concise and to the point, focusing on the key issues and avoiding unnecessary detail.
  8. Proofread: Proofread your answer carefully to make sure it is error-free and clear.
  9. Time management: Make sure you manage your time effectively, leaving enough time to review your answer and make any necessary corrections.

By following these tips, you should be able to answer problem questions in the University of London LLB programme effectively and with confidence. Good luck!

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