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Q. Sue Smasher was a promising young tennis player. In July 1991, when she was 16, she entered into the separate agreements, both of which were to run until July 1993. No. 1, with Lew Lobb, a noted tennis coach whereby he undertook to organize her training and decide which tournaments she should play in. In return, Sue agreed to act on Lew's advice and pay him 20% of her winnings from tournaments. No. 2, with Drive Power Ltd, whereby Sue promised to use their sports equipment in return for Drive Power paying all her travel expenses.

In July 1992, she disobeyed Lew's instruction to play in the Tournament of the Century in USA where the total prize money was Ð'Ј1.5mil, and returned to England to defend her title at the EastMouth Championships, where the total prize money was only Ð'Ј20,000. Because these championships would receive far less publicity than the Tournament of the Century, Drive Power refused to pay her airfare from USA. Sue therefore decided not to use their racquets anymore and ordered ten diamond racquets from Hit Firm plc. These racquets had a genuine diamond fixed into the handle and cost Ð'Ј1000 each. After five racquets had been delivered but before any had been paid for, Sue decided to get married and retire from professional tennis. What is the position as to the enforceability of Sue's contracts with Lew Lobb, Drive Power and Hit Firm plc.

A. In Sue's contract with Lew Lobb it comes under the category of beneficial contracts of services, where the minor binds himself/herself on a contract of service or apprenticeship, and these contracts are valid and binding. The minor is bound if the contract as a whole benefit's the minor, as in Clements v London Northwestern Railway Co. She entered into a contract where Lew Lobb undertook to organize her training and decide which tournaments she should play in, which is not at all detrimental to her but instead is highly beneficial. Secondly, the contract must be as a whole, not harsh or oppressive as in DeFrancesco v Barnum. 20% of her winnings is hardly harsh or oppressive, although this is subjective to different persons' views. Therefore, she is bound by the contract and should follow Lew Lobb's advice and go to play in the Tournament of the Century.

Sue's contract with Drive Power Ltd is a voidable contract as it is a partnership agreement as in Corpe v Overton, as both parties benefit from each others' actions. She promised to use their sports equipment (this would give them publicity), and Drive Power pays for all her travel expenses. Therefore, as a voidable contract, it is not binding on Sue, and she can cancel it anytime. Drive Power, however, is in breach of contract. Less publicity was not made an issue by Drive Power during the signing of the contract, therefore they cannot



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