Identify and analyse any legal claims that may arise in the below scenario, using UK law and case authority: law of contract Course Work, OU, UK

University The Open University (OU)
Subject law of contract Course Work

Identify and analyse any legal claims that may arise in the below scenario, using UK law and case authority; Antonio Ramsey runs a successful Italian restaurant business (Antonio’s) in Canonbury. His restaurant provides in-person dining; takeaway; and delivered food. Due to its popularity, Antonio increased the size of the business in 2022.

At that time he wanted to guarantee his supplies of genuine Italian pasta, so entered into a 3-year contract with Italian Wholesale Foods Ltd (IWF), guaranteeing that they would supply a set minimum quantity of pasta per week, if required. As part of the contract, Antonio promised during the contractual period to only buy genuine Italian pasta from IWF. A year after entering into the contract, in June 2023, IWF informed Antonio that due to price rises of key ingredients it would immediately be increasing the price of pasta by 50%.

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Furthermore, it said that in 3 months time due to global shortages of pasta it would no longer be able to guarantee the set minimum supply. Antonio was furious, and believing he might get his pasta elsewhere, phoned IWF saying he was terminating the contract and would be suing IWF. A clause in the contract between Antonio’s and IWF stated, ‘In the event that either the price of Italian eggs or wheat rises by over 10%, IWF is entitled to pass on to its customers the full additional costs that it incurs.’

As part of the expansion of his business in 2022, Antonio also had all of his IT upgraded, entering into a contract with large IT service provider – IT R-US, for new equipment, servicing, and the provision of regular software updates. Unfortunately, in 2023 following one software update, the order system fell into chaos for a week, whilst IT R-US tried to fix it. Antonio estimated that this caused him to lose £10K worth of business. IT R-US refused to pay him for the loss pointing to a clause in the standard form contract which he had signed, which stated, ‘We will use our best endeavours to rectify any problems that occur from the IT equipment or software that we provide, but we will not be liable for any direct or indirect losses incurred by our clients.

During the week when the software problems occurred, one customer, Tina, had ordered food for her 50th birthday party. Her order got mixed up and she didn’t receive anything from Antonio’s, so instead hurriedly had to spend an additional £300 getting emergency food from another supplier. She was left very distressed.

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