Contract Law Cases

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  • CONTRACT LAW CASES
    • Offer and Acceptance
      • Gibson v Manchester CC: offer must be definite in its terms
      • Partridge v Crittenden: advertisements are an invitation to treat
      • Carlil v Carbolic Smoke Ball: unilateral contract = offer only accepted by performance
      • Guthing v Lynn: offer must be certain before accepted
      • Fisher v Bell: ITT only becomes offer once presented to check out in a shop
      • PSGB v Boots Cash Chemists: a seller of goods is not obliged to sell goods to you
      • BCA v Wright: lots are an invitation to treat
      • Harvey v Facey: a request or reply to a request is not an offer
      • Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking: an offer can be made by a machine
      • Taylor v Laird: an offer comes into existence when communicated to the offeree
      • Stevenson v McLean: query about terms is not a counter offer
      • Routledge v Grant: an offer can be withdrawn at any point
      • Hyde v Wrench: a counter-offer is a rejection of an offer
      • Ramsgate Victoria Hotel v Montefiore: a long delay of offer/acceptance can cause the offer to lapse
      • Felthouse v Bindley: silence is not acceptance
      • Yates v Pulleyn: directory requirement is acceptance
      • Reveille Independent v Anotech: acceptance can take place through conduct
      • Adams v Lindsell: acceptance takes place the moment a letter is posted
      • Brinkibon v Stahag Stahl: offer through e-mail is only effective when office is open
      • Thomas and Gander v BPE Solicitors: if an email can be read on a portable device, this may be acceptance
    • Consideration
      • Re McArdle: consideration has no value if already being done at time of agreement
      • Ward v Byham: no legal obligation to keep child happy = contractual obligation
      • White v Bluett: sufficiency means consideration must have some value - not love and affection
      • Chappell v Nestle: the law doesn't concern itself with the equivalence of consideration
      • Thomas v Thomas: parties agree that the value of things being exchanged is acceptable
      • Currie v Misa: consideration is 'some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party or some loss or responsibility undertaken by the other'
      • Re Casey's Patent: can be an implied understanding that the task is paid for after the fact
      • Tweddle v Atkinson: must move from the promisee - can't be sued unless provided consideration
      • Collins v Godefrey: pre-existing duty prevents there from being consideration
      • Stilk v Myrick: pre-existing contract can stop there being consideration
      • Pinnel's Case: payment of a lesser sum, the day a debt is due can not be in satisfaction of the greater debt
      • Foakes v Beer: a promise to accept part payment of an existing debt in place of a whole debt is not consideration
      • CLPT v High Trees House: agreement to end contract consideration acted on voluntarily
      • Re Selectmove: promissory estoppel = if one party varies the contract and the other party relies on the promise, the promisor cannot go back as they are estopped
      • Dunlop Pneumatic Tyres v Selfridge: only those party to a contract are bound to it and may benefit from it
      • Jackspn v Horizon Holidays: privity can cause injustice
      • Shanklin Pier v Detel Products: collateral contract = can avoid privity by finding secondary contract
      • Beswick v Beswick: someone who is not party to a contract can enforce if they are named or benefited by a term (s1 Contracts Rights of Third Parties Act 1999)
      • James v Vernon Pools: business agreements are presumed to be legally binding but this can be rebutted
      • Edward v Skyways: burden of proof is on person seeking to establish there was no legal intention
      • Esso Petroleum v Commissioners of Custom/Excise: trying to gain from business offer = intention held
      • Kleinwort Benson v Malaysian Mining: letter of comfort is written assurance from a parent company who has no legal obligation to pay
      • Sadler v Reynolds: burden of rebutting presumption affected by situations which fall between social and business
      • Balfour v Balfour: social and domestic agreements are usually not binding but this presumption can be rebutted
      • D and C Builders v Rees: to rely on promissory estoppel you must prove you behaved equitably and relied on detriment to promise
      • Jones v Padavatton: presumption of social agreement not rebutted if neither party intended to enter a contract at the time
      • Simpkins v Pays: if money has changed hands, it's likely to be a business agreement
      • Parker v Clarke: financial security at risk = legally binding
    • Contract Terms
      • Poussard v Spiers and Pond: if a condition is breached then a contract can be repudiated
      • Bettini v Gye: only damages can be claimed for breach of warranty
      • Hong Kong Fir Shipping v KKK: innominate term = wait until effect of breach to decide if it is condition or warranty
      • Couchman v Hill: important statement = term
      • Oscar Chess v Williams = private seller of car not expected to have same knowledge as a dealer
      • **** Bentley v Harold Smith Motors: skill of person making a statement is important in it being a term
      • Routledge v McKay: time lapse between statement and contract means it may not be a term
      • The Moorcock: business efficacy test - 1 = is it necessary to make contract effective? 2 = if the parties thought about it, would it be added?
      • Shirlaw v Southern Foundaries: officious bystander test ("of course" test)
      • Shell UK v Lostock Garage: terms will not be implied if parties would never have agreed to it if they thought about it
      • Egan v Static Control Components: 'genuinely implied terms' = what a reasonable person would have understood to be intention of both parties
      • Marks and Spencer v BNP Security: clarified law of implied terms
      • Hutton v Warren: terms can be implied by custom
      • Hillas v Arcos: terms can be implied by prior dealings between parties
    • Exclusion Clauses
      • Glynn v Margetson: "must reject words or whole provisions if they are inconsistent with what one assumes to be the main purpose of the contract"
      • Pink Floyd Music v EMI: ordinary English words will mean what they say
      • Investors Comp Scheme v WB Building Society: objective test must be applied to ambiguous terms
      • L'Estrange v Graucob: bound by signed contract even if not read
      • Curtis v Chemical Cleaning and Dyeing: oral assurances can stop a party relying on exclusion clauses if misrepresents effect
      • Olley v Marlborough Court Hotel: exclusion clauses can only happen if the unsigned document was brought to attention of person suffering from it
      • Chapleton v Barry UBC: exclusion clause must be expressly in contract and not just a receipt
      • Thompson v LMS Railway: only have to take reasonable steps to bring clause to attention of reasonable person
      • Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking: exclusion clause only incorporated in document that has contractual significance
      • Hollier v Rambler Motors: a failure to sign a contract doesn't stop the terms from being present if it was an oversight and there are prior dealings
      • McCutcheon v David MacBrayne: inconsistent prior dealings will not automatically incorporate a term into a contract
      • Scruttons v Midlands Silicones: exclusion clause may not offer protection to third parties
      • New Zealand Shipping v Scatterwaite: exclusion clauses that expressly give rights to third parties may be enforceable
      • Transocean v Providence Resources: contra proferentem = ambiguous term interpreted against person intending to rely on it
      • Persimmon Homes v Ove Arup: if a meaning is clear and unambiguous, a contra proferentem approach can't be used
      • Oliver Nobahar-Cookson v Hut Group: exclusion clauses should be narrowly construed to resolve ambiguity
      • Warren v Trueprint: Unfair Contract Terms 1977 (s3) = reasonableness test where one party is subject to another's standard written terms
      • Smith v Eric S Bush: Unfair Contract Terms 1977 (s11) = insertion of exclusion clause has to be reasonable in light of what parties know at time
      • Watford Electronics v Sanderson: if parties are of equal bargaining power = exclusion clause is reasonable
      • George Mitchell v Finney Lock Seeds:  Unfair Contract Terms 1977 (s11(4)) = restricting money means regard must be given to how much a person can cover themselves by insurance
  • Consideration
    • Re McArdle: consideration has no value if already being done at time of agreement
    • Ward v Byham: no legal obligation to keep child happy = contractual obligation
    • White v Bluett: sufficiency means consideration must have some value - not love and affection
    • Chappell v Nestle: the law doesn't concern itself with the equivalence of consideration
    • Thomas v Thomas: parties agree that the value of things being exchanged is acceptable
    • Currie v Misa: consideration is 'some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party or some loss or responsibility undertaken by the other'
    • Re Casey's Patent: can be an implied understanding that the task is paid for after the fact
    • Tweddle v Atkinson: must move from the promisee - can't be sued unless provided consideration
    • Collins v Godefrey: pre-existing duty prevents there from being consideration
    • Stilk v Myrick: pre-existing contract can stop there being consideration
    • Pinnel's Case: payment of a lesser sum, the day a debt is due can not be in satisfaction of the greater debt
    • Foakes v Beer: a promise to accept part payment of an existing debt in place of a whole debt is not consideration
    • CLPT v High Trees House: agreement to end contract consideration acted on voluntarily
    • Re Selectmove: promissory estoppel = if one party varies the contract and the other party relies on the promise, the promisor cannot go back as they are estopped
    • Dunlop Pneumatic Tyres v Selfridge: only those party to a contract are bound to it and may benefit from it
    • Jackspn v Horizon Holidays: privity can cause injustice
    • Shanklin Pier v Detel Products: collateral contract = can avoid privity by finding secondary contract
    • Beswick v Beswick: someone who is not party to a contract can enforce if they are named or benefited by a term (s1 Contracts Rights of Third Parties Act 1999)
    • James v Vernon Pools: business agreements are presumed to be legally binding but this can be rebutted
    • Edward v Skyways: burden of proof is on person seeking to establish there was no legal intention
    • Esso Petroleum v Commissioners of Custom/Excise: trying to gain from business offer = intention held
    • Kleinwort Benson v Malaysian Mining: letter of comfort is written assurance from a parent company who has no legal obligation to pay
    • Sadler v Reynolds: burden of rebutting presumption affected by situations which fall between social and business
    • Balfour v Balfour: social and domestic agreements are usually not binding but this presumption can be rebutted
    • D and C Builders v Rees: to rely on promissory estoppel you must prove you behaved equitably and relied on detriment to promise
    • Jones v Padavatton: presumption of social agreement not rebutted if neither party intended to enter a contract at the time
    • Simpkins v Pays: if money has changed hands, it's likely to be a business agreement
    • Parker v Clarke: financial security at risk = legally binding

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