YOU’RE FIRED: A LITIGATOR ON THE APPRENTICE 5: BODYBUILDING IN BIRMINGHAM: MASSAGING THE NUMBERS
This week the teams were involved in selling goods and services at a bodybuilding expo in Birmingham. Our two lawyers are on the same team and this week it was the winning team. Lawyers and bodybuilding, it seems, are a better combination than the lawyers and doughnuts combo we saw last week.
LAWYERS AND NUMBERS
Our Solicitor Sarah Ann showed a lack of familiarity with mathematics when she said that her team had to give “152 million per cent” effort to the task.However she stepped up to the plate this week becoming project manager.
LAWYERS AND TACT
Sarah Ann showed a certain lack of familiarity with tact when she approached a potential vendor with the brusque approach “Hi, I’m Sarah – how much does this cost?”. This, more of less directly, led to her team losing the product. As her team member said “the vendor has his heart and soul in that product we were too much money, money, money.” There is a lesson there.
MASSAGING THE NUMBERS
Credit where credit is due. Sarah’s team won. A combination of massage and selling “small ticket” items won the day. However it was the massages and smaller products that won the day. “Little and often” proved to be the winning edge.
SAUNAS AT LAW
In Newman v Framewood Manor Management Co Ltd  EWCA Civ 159 the courts had to consider whether a sauna was a sufficient replacement for a jacuzzi. It probably wasn’t – but it made no difference.
As to the jacuzzi claim, the judge noted that the jacuzzi fell within the description of “whirlpool” in the lease. He also held that the facility was significant in terms of the lease but that an award of damages had to take account of the fact that the Company had replaced the jacuzzi with a sauna. He held:
“Jacuzzi or spa bath The original spa bath or jacuzzi, was a domestic model which has proved inadequate. It had dirty water, there was a filtration problem, there were other problems to do with the fact that it was a domestic model and not designed for the users who lived in 19 adjacent apartments. The defendant company decided to switch it off and to replace it with a sauna. The spa bath or jacuzzi is referred to in the lease at (i) on page 12. I regard this as a substantial part of the rights of the tenants. The defendants argue that a replacement with a sauna was enough, and that this was reasonable, because that is what the tenants by a majority voted to do. A jacuzzi however is not the same as a sauna. In my judgment, the lack of the jacuzzi has to be set against the installation of the sauna. Any loss by removal of the inadequate jacuzzi is wholly covered by its replacement by the sauna, so although it is materially different, I am not able to say that there is any cause of loss of damage which has been sustained.”
“It is remiss of me that I had not appreciated that specific performance involving reinstatement of a jacuzzi was still sought. I am not able to order specific performance for the reinstatement of a jacuzzi, for the following reasons.
A sauna has now been installed in the place of the jacuzzi. I have found that there is financially no loss in having the sauna rather than the jacuzzi. Put slightly differently, no award of damages could be made. Secondly, the cost of a new and better quality non-domestic jacuzzi, is put at over £30,000. The figures are what a layman would call ball park figures, and I reduce it to £20,000 as being the more likely and realistic figure.
I have to balance the cost to be incurred by the defendant company in carrying out the installation of a better quality jacuzzi, against what I have found to be no award of damages because the sauna is a sufficient replacement of the domestic jacuzzi that was there originally. In balancing these, I do not consider that specific performance could be ordered.”
OUR LAWYERS LIVE TO COMPETE FOR ANOTHER DAY
Next week the teams are designing high end shoes. Lets hope our lawyers can put their “heart and sole” into that.