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Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law

Hyde v Wrench (1840) 49 ER 132  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Hyde v Wrench [1840] EWHC Ch J90; (1840) 49 ER 132; (1840) 3 Beav 334. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law 5e

Hyde v Wrench (1840) 49 ER 132  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Hyde v Wrench [1840] EWHC Ch J90; (1840) 49 ER 132; (1840) 3 Beav 334. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

Chapter

Cover Koffman, Macdonald & Atkins' Law of Contract

2. Formation of the contract  

This chapter identifies the key elements required for a contract to be formed. It looks in depth at agreement, breaking it down into offer and acceptance. An offer is distinguished from an invitation to treat in principle, and specific examples of communications which are commonly identified as invitations to treat or offers are considered (e.g. advertisements, displays in shops, auctions, and website ‘shops’/advertisements). The chapter looks at termination of offers by various means, including counter offers and revocation. What constitutes an acceptance is addressed, and the special rule relating to the time of effectiveness of posted acceptances (‘the postal rule’) is considered, as is its extension to contexts such as e-mailed acceptances. The ‘battle of the forms’ is also looked at.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law

Butler Machine Tool Co. Ltd v Ex-Cell-O Corporation (England) Ltd [1979] 1 WLR 401, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Butler Machine Tool Co. Ltd v Ex-Cell-O Corporation (England) Ltd [1979] 1 WLR 401. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law 5e

Butler Machine Tool Co. Ltd v Ex-Cell-O Corporation (England) Ltd [1979] 1 WLR 401, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Butler Machine Tool Co. Ltd v Ex-Cell-O Corporation (England) Ltd [1979] 1 WLR 401. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

2. Bargaining and agreeing  

Offer, acceptance, and formation

This chapter focuses on agreement between parties as a requirement in the formation of a contract. Agreement is said to be reached when one party (the ‘offeree’) makes an offer to another proposing certain terms by which he intends to be bound, which that other party accepts as made. An agreement will only be taken to have been reached if the acceptance perfectly mirrors the offer. This chapter first examines the relatively straightforward situation of a seller and buyer bargaining over a prospective sale. It explains the distinction between an offer, an invitation to treat, and a counter-offer, as well as the importance of communicating acceptance and applicability of the postal rule to modern forms of communication. It also considers how the principles of offer and acceptance translate to other forms of contracting. The chapter covers the most influential and important cases in the subject area.

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 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 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.

Chapter

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 Legal Systems & Skills

12. Negotiation and mediation  

Scott Slorach, Judith Embley, Peter Goodchild, and Catherine Shephard

This chapter provides guidance as to how to conduct a negotiation and a mediation, and explains the difference between the two. It explains how, why, and when a law student might require these skills, and how to further develop the skills for professional practice. Advice is given about how to prepare a negotiation plan.