Offer and Acceptance in Contract Law | elecciones2013.info | Learn Law
Key concepts that you need to familiarise yourself with in relation to offer and acceptance include the distinction between an offer and an invitation to treat - you. The relation of the paper to Ashley's Formation of Contract Inter Absentes, SEECTED Offer and Acceptance, and Some of the Resulting Legal Relations. In order to form a contract, the essential elements are: Intention to create legal relations. Offer and acceptance. Consideration. Capacity.
Signing of a contract is one way a party may show his assent. Alternatively, an offer consisting of a promise to pay someone if the latter performs certain acts which the latter would not otherwise do such as paint a house may be accepted by the requested conduct instead of a promise to do the act. The essential requirement is that there be evidence that the parties had each from an objective perspective engaged in conduct manifesting their assent.
This manifestation of assent theory of contract formation may be contrasted with older theories, in which it was sometimes argued that a contract required the parties to have a true meeting of the minds between the parties. They can only act upon what a party reveals objectively to be his intent.
Hence, an actual meeting of the minds is not required. This requirement of an objective perspective is important in cases where a party claims that an offer was not accepted, taking advantage of the performance of the other party. Rules of acceptance Communication of acceptance There are several rules dealing with the communication of acceptance: Prior to acceptance, an offer may be withdrawn. Bindley ER However, a mere request for information is not a counter-offer.
It may be possible to draft an enquiry such that is adds to the terms of the contract while keeping the original offer alive. Battle of the forms Often when two companies deal with each other in the course of business, they will use standard form contracts. Denning MR preferred the view that the documents were to be considered as a whole, and the important factor was finding the decisive document; on the other hand, Lawton and Bridge LJJ preferred traditional offer-acceptance analysis, and considered that the last counter-offer killed all preceding offers.
Postal acceptance rule As a rule of convenience, if the offer is accepted by post, the contract comes into existence at the moment that the acceptance was posted. This rule only applies when, impliedly or explicitly, the parties have in contemplation post as a means of acceptance. It excludes contracts involving land, letters incorrectly addressed and instantaneous modes of communication. Knowledge of the offer In Australian law, there is a requirement that an acceptance is made in reliance or persuance of an offer: It may be addressed to one particular person, a group of persons, or the world at large, as in an offer of a reward.
Of course you do. A bus company may offer a single person with a journey in exchange for money and usually some good behaviour, such as not distracting the driver.
There are differences between an offer and an invitation to treat. An invitation to treat is where offers are merely invited, and then those being offered something are free to accept or reject the offer.
Additionally, Grainger and Sons v Gough, ruled that catalogues and price lists are also akin to adverts. Auctions are another example of an invitation to treat. Just apply that to your eBay-ing behaviour and it makes perfect sense! Whether an acceptance has in fact occurred is ascertained objectively from the behaviour of the parties, including any correspondence that has passed between them.
Offers must also be accepted unconditionally. If the offeree proposes a counter offer, this makes the original offer irrelevant. If the seller accepts a counter offer, this is a valid offer and acceptance. It may seem obvious, but acceptance must be communicated. Only if the person who submitted the original offer accepts the counter-offerwould you have yourself a contract. Evans,  4 DLR In this case, two persons were haggling over the price of property.
The court stated that a counter-offer normally terminates the original offer, which is no longer subject to acceptance. But in this case, the judge thought that the "cannot reduce price" message "was a renewal of the original offer Butler Machine Tool Co. In some cases, the battle is won by the person who fires the last shot.
He is the person who puts forward the latest term and conditions; and, if they are not objected to by the other party, he may be taken to have agreed with them. The purchase order was never signed by the plaintiff.
The court decided that the reference to arbitration had never formed part of the contract between the two parties. The court noted that the defendant did not draw the attention of the plaintiff to the arbitration clause nor did it complain when the plaintiff did not sign the purchase order.
Helicopter Exploration Company SCR acceptance by conduct Correspondence had been exchanged between two parties which did not make it clear if there was a contract. The plaintiff wrote back: While it has been repeatedly held that an acceptance must be absolute and unequivocal, it is equally clear that such an acceptance need not be in express terms and may be found in the language and conduct of the acceptor. Bindley, ER An uncle and nephew were negotiating the price of a horse.
The uncle wrote offering a certain amount. The nephew did not reply but asked an auctioneer to exempt the horse from an auction. The auctioneer forgot the instruction and the horse was sold to another party.
Contract Law – Offer & Acceptance | AllAboutLaw
The uncle sued and the court disagreed saying that there was no contract; the nephew had never communicated his intention to accept to his uncle "or done anything to bind himself. Quoting an old English decision, the court said: Henshaw17 US A contract was found not to exist between these two parties because the defendant had delivered acceptance to a place other than that stated in the offer. Any qualification of, or departure from, those terms, invalidates the offer, unless the same be agreed to by the person who made it.
Until the terms of the agreement have received the assent of both parties, the negotiation is open, and imposes no obligation upon either. By the given time, in spite of best efforts, the real-estate agent Mr. Tilley could not locate the bank manager but managed to leave a telephone message, just before 6 pm, that the offer had been accepted.
But the court held that the offer had been properly accepted because "acceptance was conveyed to defendant through its agent Tilley.
The verbal communication of the acceptance of the counter-offer to a responsible person in charge at the defendant's bank was, in my opinion, sufficient acceptance of the offer. Clark SCR A potential purchaser took 25 days to respond to an offer of farm land. By that time, the land had been sold to someone else. An offer, unless revoked or containing a deadline, is only valid for a reasonable time, each case to be decided on its merits. For stocks the time frame would be far shorter than for farmland.
In the context of this case, 25 days was judges to be too long, or unreasonable.
Offer and acceptance
Manchester Diocesan Council of Education v. Commercial and General Investments Ltd. One interesting problem that has surfaced in contract law is the use of modern technology in the communication of an acceptance.
It has led to an exception to the general rule that acceptance must be personally delivered to the offeror. In the absence of specific instruction to the contrary by the offeror, a person may mail an acceptance to the offeror and the contract is said to be perfected when the acceptor places this acceptance in the mail box for return mail even if, in fact, it never reaches the offeror.
This is known as the postal rule. If the post office loses or delays the acceptance letter, there is still a binding contract. The rule was summarized in Henthorn v. Fraser 2 Ch. The implications of the above used to be important in determining not only where the contract was made but then, under which law will the contract be subject?
The general rule is the law of the state where acceptance was brought to the offeror's attention, except for situations where the postal rule applies.
Then, since the contract is perfected wherever the acceptance is posted, it would be that law which would apply. However, courts no longer solely rely on those strict rules for deciding which law to apply to a contract. A fairer, more general rule now applies wherein the laws of the state with which the contract has the "closest and most real connection" will apply. As this is an area of the law that is uncertain, many contracts specifically state which laws will apply to resolve any dispute about the contract.
For contracts formed by correspondence through the post, the judge said that the "post office is the agent of both parties. If the post office be such common agent, then it seems to me to follow that, as soon as the letter of acceptance is delivered to the post office, the contract is made complete and final and absolutely binding as if the acceptor had put his letter into the hands of a messenger sent by the offerer himself as his agent to deliver the offer and receive the acceptance.