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Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law

Adams v Lindsell [1818] EWHC KB J59; (1818) 1 B & Ald 681; (1818) 106 ER 250  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Adams v Lindsell (1818) 106 ER 250. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

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Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law 5e

Adams v Lindsell [1818] EWHC KB J59; (1818) 1 B & Ald 681; (1818) 106 ER 250  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Adams v Lindsell (1818) 106 ER 250. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

Chapter

Cover Koffman, Macdonald & Atkins' Law of Contract

23. Additional chapter: An outline of the law of restitution  

This chapter presents an outline of the law of restitution and the factors that might make an enrichment unjust. The law of restitution is part of the law of obligations alongside contract and tort, although it also includes elements of property law. The law of restitution can be seen as a response to an unjust enrichment where the defendant should not be unjustly enriched at the expense of the claimant, although the principles may extend beyond this. Unjust enrichment requires one party to have been enriched; for the enrichment to have been at the expense of the other party; and for the enrichment to have been unjust. There are defences available to the enriched party.

Chapter

Cover Koffman, Macdonald & Atkins' Law of Contract

22. Additional chapter: Capacity  

This chapter considers the scope of contractual capacity, noting the tension in the law between the need to protect someone who is incapacitated and the desire to not treat too harshly the person dealing fairly with the incapacitated person. The general rule is that a minor will not be bound by a contract, although the person contracting with them will be. There are exceptions which will bind both parties unless the minor repudiates, and on becoming 18 a minor may ratify a contract made before that date. The law recognizes the general incapacity to contract of minors, the mentally incapacitated, and in certain circumstances where an individual is intoxicated. An adult of sound mind has full contractual capacity, although they may be able to claim that the contract is not enforceable on some other basis, for example undue influence.

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Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Contract Law

12. Additional Remedies  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary, and other features. The standard common law remedy of damages will not always prove adequate for the victim of a breach of contract. Equity therefore developed a number of additional remedies, discretionary in nature, aimed at ensuring that a claimant was not unreasonably confined to an award of damages; in particular, specific performance and injunctions. The possibility of awarding restitutionary damages, in part to offset any unjust enrichment secured by a contract-breaker, is also considered.

Chapter

Cover Anson's Law of Contract

23. Agency  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

Agency is the relationship that exists where one person (the principal) authorizes another (the agent) to act on its behalf and the agent agrees to do so. This Chapter discusses the modes of agency creation and the different kinds of agency, and the effect of agency: (a) the relations between the principal and third parties; and (b) the relations between the agent and third parties.

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Cover JC Smith's The Law of Contract

28. Agreed remedies  

This chapter focusses on remedies agreed by the parties for breach of contract. Parties may wish to include a term in the contract which dictates what should happen in the event of breach of contract. If the term states that a certain amount of money should be paid upon breach, that term might be valid as a liquidated damages clause or unenforceable as a penalty. If the amount chosen is a genuine pre-estimate of loss, or is ‘commercially justified’, then it is likely to be valid. If the defaulting party had already paid money to the innocent party as a deposit, the innocent party may be able to forfeit that deposit. A term stipulating that specific performance or an injunction will be granted upon breach will not bind the court. However, the court may take into account such a term when deciding whether to exercise its equitable discretion.

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Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

2. Agreement  

Robert Merkin and Séverine Saintier

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. A contract is a legally enforceable agreement. This chapter explains how the existence of an agreement is determined. After considering how the courts assess whether an agreement has been, using subjective and objective methods, it discusses the precise criteria used to determine agreement, namely offer and acceptance. The chapter defines offers and distinguishes them from invitations to treat. It focuses on identifying acceptances and distinguishing acceptances from responses which are not a mirror image of the offer, such as counter-offers. Much emphasis is placed on explaining the communication principles applicable to acceptances—postal and instantaneous communications, including email. The chapter explains revocations of offers and the communication principles applicable to revocations. The courts will enforce an agreement only if it is sufficiently certain in its terms. the This chapter therefore considers how the courts deal with vagueness and incompleteness, including agreements to agree and whether there can ever be a duty to negotiate in good faith. It also examines the position where there is no contract due to uncertainty, but there has been performance. Finally, the chapter distinguishes bilateral and unilateral contracts and the special principles applicable to unilateral contracts.

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Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

2. Agreement  

Robert Merkin, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter explains how to determine whether parties have reached an agreement. Traditionally, the existence of agreement is determined objectively on the basis of an offer and corresponding acceptance. However, this approach has been challenged for being artificial and inflexible, and even in the absence of these traditional criteria the courts have occasionally found agreement, particularly where there has been performance. For formation there needs to be an offer (as opposed to an invitation to treat) and that offer must be accepted before it has been rejected or otherwise lapsed. In order to be effective, offer and acceptance must be properly communicated, which normally means ‘received’. The chapter also considers the mirror-image rule, whereby an acceptance must be unconditional and correspond with the exact terms proposed by the offeror. This chapter also examines principles that determine when an agreement can be enforced with sufficient certainty and whether liability will arise in the absence of agreement. An apparent contract will be void if the terms are considered too uncertain or where there is no context for gap filling. But this must be balanced with the need to prevent the parties from using allegations of uncertainty to escape from bad bargains. This chapter therefore considers how the courts deal with the difficult question over agreements to agree.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

2. Agreement  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas of the law curriculum. This chapter explains how to determine whether parties have reached an agreement. Traditionally, the existence of agreement is determined objectively on the basis of an offer and corresponding acceptance. However, this approach has been challenged for being artificial and inflexible, and even in the absence of these traditional criteria the courts have occasionally found agreement, particularly where there has been performance. For formation there needs to be an offer (as opposed to an invitation to treat) and that offer must be accepted before it has been rejected or otherwise lapsed. In order to be effective, offer and acceptance must be properly communicated, which normally means ‘received’. The chapter also considers the mirror-image rule, whereby an acceptance must be unconditional and correspond with the exact terms proposed by the offeror. This chapter also examines principles that determine when an agreement can be enforced with sufficient certainty and whether liability will arise in the absence of agreement. An apparent contract will be void if the terms are considered too uncertain or where there is no context for gap filling. But this must be balanced with the need to prevent the parties from using allegations of uncertainty to escape from bad bargains. This chapter therefore considers how the courts deal with the difficult question over agreements to agree.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

2. Agreement  

How does contract law determine whether the parties have committed to the contract and what each has committed to? This chapter discusses: the primacy of the objective test of intentions; the offer and acceptance test of agreement and what happens when one party appears to be mistaken about what is in the contract; when an offer is terminated so that any purported acceptance is ineffectual; assessment of the mirror image approach; the requirement of certainty; the nature of the requirement of intention to create legal relations; and the law’s approach to the benefits conferred in anticipation of contracts that do not materialise.

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Cover Contract Law Directions

2. Agreement  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. A contract requires that the parties reach an agreement which normally consists of a matching offer and acceptance. This chapter discusses the following: the objective test of agreement; identifying an offer and acceptance; rejection, counter-offers and inquiries; communication of acceptance including the postal rule and the contrasting rule for revocation; mode of acceptance; the death of an offer; and unilateral contracts.

Chapter

Cover Anson's Law of Contract

2. The Agreement  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

A contract consists of an actionable promise or promises. Every such promise involves at least two parties, a promisor and a promisee, and an outward expression of common intention and of expectation as to the declaration or assurance contained in the promise. This outward expression of a common intention and of expectation normally takes the form of an agreement. This chapter discusses the establishment of an agreement by offer and acceptance; uncertain and incomplete agreements; and the intention to create legal relations.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Directions

2. Agreement  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. A contract requires that the parties reach an agreement which normally consists of a matching offer and acceptance. This chapter discusses the following: the objective test of agreement; identifying an offer and acceptance; rejection, counter-offers and inquiries; communication of acceptance including the postal rule and the contrasting rule for revocation; mode of acceptance; the death of an offer; and unilateral contracts.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Concentrate

1. Agreement  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses the components of agreement; an essential ingredient of a contract. Traditionally, an agreement is comprised of an offer and a corresponding acceptance. There are two types of agreement: bilateral and unilateral. Bilateral agreements are by far the most common in practice and consist of a promise in exchange for a promise. Unilateral agreements consist of a promise in exchange for an act. This chapter analyses the agreement process in terms of offer, acceptance, and revocation of offers in bilateral and unilateral scenarios in order to provide structures and scenarios for future use. It also explains the two-contract analysis which is used to impose pre-contractual liability in English law.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

2. Agreement  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. A contract is a legally enforceable agreement. This chapter explains how the existence of an agreement is determined. After considering how the courts assess whether an agreement has been, using subjective and objective methods, it discusses the precise criteria used to determine agreement, namely offer and acceptance. The chapter defines offers and distinguishes them from invitations to treat. It focuses on identifying acceptances and distinguishing acceptances from responses which are not a mirror image of the offer, such as counter-offers. Much emphasis is placed on explaining the communication principles applicable to acceptances—postal and instantaneous communications, including email. The chapter explains revocations of offers and the communication principles applicable to revocations. The courts will enforce an agreement only if it is sufficiently certain in its terms. This chapter therefore considers how the courts deal with vagueness and incompleteness, including agreements to agree and whether there can ever be a duty to negotiate in good faith. It also examines the position where there is no contract due to uncertainty, but there has been performance. Finally, the chapter distinguishes bilateral and unilateral contracts and the special principles applicable to unilateral contracts.

Chapter

Cover Complete Contract Law

2. Agreement Part I: Offer  

This chapter discusses the principles relating to offers. For an offer to be made there must be an apparent intention to make one. Ordinary displays of priced goods are regarded as invitations to treat, which customers make an offer to buy. Ordinary adverts are regarded as invitations to treat, but one can be an offer if there is an apparent intention to make one. Meanwhile, an auction ‘without reserve’ will ordinarily amount to an offer for a unilateral contract to sell to the highest bidder. Ordinarily, an invitation for tenders is an invitation to treat and each tender is an offer. When an invitation for tenders says that the most competitive tender will result in a contract, it will be treated as an offer for a unilateral contract under which the best tender will be accepted. Offers can be ended by lapse, revocation, rejection, and (possibly) death.

Chapter

Cover Complete Contract Law

3. Agreement Part II: Acceptance  

This chapter examines the key cases and principles relating to acceptance. Where an offer has an essential requirement relating to acceptance (like the method of acceptance) then it must be followed. However, equivalent alternatives might be permitted if the offeror has not done enough to make the requirement essential. Acceptance must be in response to an offer, but the motive for accepting is not relevant. The general rule is that acceptance is effective once it has been communicated (received). Automated ticket and vending machines present an offer so that acceptance takes place when the customer is committed—as when payment is made. Meanwhile, emailed acceptance and the use of websites to communicate acceptance are likely to operate on the basis of the general rule. The traditional analysis based on offer and acceptance will be applied to ‘battle of forms’ cases. In exceptional cases, courts may look to the wider context in such cases to identify the terms of an agreement.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Concentrate

2. Agreement problems  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter focuses on issues which may prevent the parties from reaching agreement. Agreement problems generally affect the agreement by rendering it void. It is necessary, however, to distinguish a void contract from one which is merely voidable. If an apparent agreement is too uncertain in its terms (e.g. because it is vague or essential terms are missing), the courts will not enforce it because they will not construct a binding contract for the parties. An apparent agreement may be void where the parties entered into the agreement under a ‘fundamental’ mistake which the law recognizes as preventing the parties from ever reaching agreement.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

2. Agreement: Objective or Subjective?  

This chapter discusses the approach adopted by the courts when seeking to ascertain the intention of the parties to a contract. The general rule is that the existence and content of an agreement are questions that must be answered by reference to the intention of the parties, objectively ascertained. Two leading cases are presented that consider the scope of the objective test, namely Smith v. Hughes (1871) LR 6 QB 597 and Centrovincial Estates plc v. Merchant Investors Assurance Company Ltd [1983] Com LR 158. The discussion then turns to the case where one party attempts to ‘snap up’ an offer which he knew that the offeror did not intend, and the case where one party was at fault in failing to notice that the other party’s offer contained a mistake, or he was himself responsible for inducing that mistake in the other party. The chapter concludes that it is not necessary to resort to a subjective approach in order to explain these cases; they can be analysed in terms consistent with the objective test which is generally applied by the courts.