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Bell v Lever Bros [1932]

Facts

  • Bell & Snelling worked for Lever Bros, but contrary to their employment contracts also traded for personal profit
  • After completing their objectives, Bell & Snelling were given large payoffs are were made redundant

Issue

  • Could the redundancy contracts be void for common mistake when Lever Bros later found out about the personal trading, which would have allowed employment termination with no payoff?

Decision

  • No

Reasoning

  • The mistake was not an “essential and integral element of the subject matter of the contract”
  • The personal profit made was negligible compared to the profit Bell & Snelling made for Lever Bros
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