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Chapter

Cover Koffman, Macdonald & Atkins' Law of Contract

6. Intention to create legal relations  

This chapter considers the final element of the formation of the contract: the intention to create legal relations. There is generally no difficulty in finding this requirement is fulfilled in commercial cases, but such intention is generally assumed to be absent in domestic or social agreements. The parties’ intentions may usually reflect these assumptions, but the issue of underlying policy is addressed. In commercial situations, issues of ‘intention to create legal relations’ are more likely to arise in relation to a clause which it is claimed is intended to show that there was no such intention in relation to the particular agreement.

Chapter

Cover O'Sullivan & Hilliard's The Law of Contract

4. Certainty  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter examines the certainty requirement in contractual formation and discusses the factors that influence the courts in deciding whether an agreement possesses the requisite degree of certainty, in the context of issues such as agreements to agree, agreements to negotiate in good faith, and agreements to use reasonable or best endeavours to negotiate or agree.

Chapter

Cover Complete Contract Law

5. Consideration and Promissory Estoppel  

This chapter evaluates the other requirement for an agreement to be legally enforceable: consideration. In its simplest form, consideration is often described as being something of value that is given (or promised) by each party in exchange for the other party’s promise or performance. Disputes concerning consideration usually begin by one party claiming that the other is in breach of their contract. The other party then argues that no consideration had been given in return for what they promised to do, and therefore the agreement is not enforceable. In a case concerning consideration, courts will typically focus on the obligations to be enforced, and then work out if something of value was given (or promised) in return for the performance of those obligations. Sometimes, a strict application of the consideration requirement is a barrier to reflecting the parties’ intentions. For that reason, the courts have developed a more relaxed approach in certain circumstances. There is also a limited exception to the requirement for consideration, which is known as promissory estoppel.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

8. Terms of a Contract  

This chapter focuses on the terms or details of a contractual agreement, and considers the implications of what the parties intend to include in the agreement, what they did not mean to be included in the contract, and what significance different terms may have in the contract. It distinguishes between the terms of a contract and representations, and considers whether, when a term has been identified as such, it is a ‘condition’ or a ‘warranty’. The chapter then studies how terms are implied into the contract and how this affects terms that have been expressed. It concludes by examining how parties may seek to exclude or limit a legal responsibility through the incorporation of an exclusion clause.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Alternative Dispute Resolution

17. Reaching a Settlement  

This chapter focuses on key aspects of the final stage of the negotiation or mediation process: reaching a settlement. An agreement reached through mediation or negotiation is essentially a contract. As such, contractual principles will apply, and oral or email exchanges may be binding. To avoid problems, it is important to be clear about process. It is also necessary to check the coverage and detail of a potential settlement fully. A potential agreement may be undermined by a failure to agree detail as the settlement process goes forward, or due to tactics in the final stages. Ultimately, it is very important to finalize the terms of an agreement at the end of the settlement process, perhaps building in terms to assist enforcement or implementation.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

5. Content of the contract and principles of interpretation  

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. This chapter examines what the parties to a contract have undertaken to do; that is, the terms of the contract, and the principles determining how the courts interpret the meaning of those contractual terms. It considers whether pre-contractual statements are terms or mere representations. The chapter then turns to written contracts, focusing on the parol evidence rule, entire agreement clauses, and the effect of signature on the contractual document. It also discusses oral contracts and incorporation of written terms in such contracts by means of signature, reasonable notice, consistent course of dealing, and common knowledge of the parties. In addition to express terms, this chapter looks at how terms are implied, particularly terms implied by the courts—terms implied in law and terms implied in fact. There is discussion of the typical implied terms in sale and supply contracts in the B2B and B2C context. Finally, this chapter focuses on the principles governing the interpretation of contractual terms.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

5. Content of the contract and principles of interpretation  

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. This chapter examines what the parties to a contract have undertaken to do; that is, the terms of the contract, and the principles determining how the courts interpret the meaning of those contractual terms. It considers whether pre-contractual statements are terms or mere representations. The chapter then turns to written contracts, focusing on the parol evidence rule, entire agreement clauses, and the effect of signature on the contractual document. It also discusses oral contracts and incorporation of written terms in such contracts by means of signature, reasonable notice, consistent course of dealing, and common knowledge of the parties. In addition to express terms, this chapter looks at how terms are implied, particularly terms implied by the courts—terms implied in law and terms implied in fact. There is discussion of the typical implied terms in sale and supply contracts in the B2B and B2C context. Finally, this chapter focuses on the principles governing the interpretation of contractual terms.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

5. Intention, Capacity, Consideration, and Privity  

This chapter examines issues relating to contract formation. It discusses the elements of an intention to create legal relations and the presumptions relating to commercial or business agreements and domestic agreements. It considers the law relating to capacity to contract, looking at the enforceability of different types of contracts made with minors. It considers the validity of contracts made with corporations and persons who may lack capacity through mental illness or intoxication. It also explains the importance of consideration in a contract, what constitutes consideration, whether consideration provided is sufficient, and who must provide the consideration. It discusses the law relating to part-payment of debts and promissory estoppel. Finally, the chapter considers the doctrine of privity of contract, and the exceptions to the doctrine, including the Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

3. The Formation of a Contract of Employment  

This chapter discusses how an employment contract is formed, and it then looks at the terms and conditions of employment and how these terms are to be interpreted. The types of terms discussed include express terms, implied terms, statutory terms, collective agreements and how such collective terms are incorporated, and looks at custom as a source of employment terms and works and staff rules. The chapter also considers other aspects of the contract of employment such as disciplinary and grievance procedures, job descriptions, written particulars of the contract of employment, the right to itemised pay statements, variation of contractual terms, and an overview of occupational pension schemes.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

7. The terms of the contract  

This chapter focuses on the actual content or terms of a contract. It discusses the two main classifications of contractual terms, namely express and implied terms, and considers the courts’ approach in the determining when terms should be implied into a contract. It explains that express terms are those specifically agreed upon by the parties while implied terms are those that may be implied by the court, statute, or custom. This chapter also explains how some implied terms can be excluded via an express provision and discusses the parol evidence rule, collateral contract, and entire agreement clause. The chapter concludes by looking at the principles established by the courts when interpreting contractual provisions.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

5. Content of the contract and principles of interpretation  

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 explores how the terms of the parties’ agreement (that is, the contractual promise to be performed) are identified and how the courts interpret the meaning of those terms. It considers the status of statements made prior to the conclusion of the contract (as terms or representations) and why this matters. The parol evidence rule applies where the contract is written and provides that the writing represents the entire contract. This definition is flawed, however, because it allows the rule to be sidestepped by defining the contract as partly written and partly oral. Alternatively, an oral term can take effect as a collateral contract, which is separate to any written contract to which the parol evidence rule applies. The effect of the parol evidence rules can be achieved by incorporating an entire agreement clause. This chapter also considers the effect and impact of a no oral modification clause (or NOM). This chapter examines methods of achieving incorporation of terms such as signature, reasonable notice (or a higher standard of notice if the term is onerous or unusual), consistent course of dealing and common knowledge of the parties. In addition to the express terms, there may be terms implied by custom, by courts or by statute. Finally, the chapter considers the principles on which contracts are interpreted including the relevance, or otherwise, of pre-contractual negotiations.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

5. Content of the contract and principles of interpretation  

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 explores how the terms of the parties’ agreement (that is, the contractual promise to be performed) are identified and how the courts interpret the meaning of those terms. It considers the status of statements made prior to the conclusion of the contract (as terms or representations) and why this matters. The parol evidence rule applies where the contract is written and provides that the writing represents the entire contract. This definition is flawed, however, because it allows the rule to be sidestepped by defining the contract as partly written and partly oral. Alternatively, an oral term can take effect as a collateral contract, which is separate to any written contract to which the parol evidence rule applies. The effect of the parol evidence rules can be achieved by incorporating an entire agreement clause. This chapter also considers the effect and impact of a no oral modification clause (or NOM). This chapter examines methods of achieving incorporation of terms such as signature, reasonable notice (or a higher standard of notice if the term is onerous or unusual), consistent course of dealing and common knowledge of the parties. In addition to the express terms, there may be terms implied by custom, by courts or by statute. Finally, the chapter considers the principles on which contracts are interpreted including the relevance, or otherwise, of pre-contractual negotiations.