AQA A2 Law - Unit 4 (Contract Law) Cases - Offer and Acceptance (Part 2)

Just a few important cases from the offer and acceptance section of the unit.

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  • Created by: Naz
  • Created on: 25-04-09 15:45

Household Fire Insurance v Grant (1879)

Grant made a written offer to buy shares. Notification of acceptance was posted but never received. When the company went into liquidation, he claimed he was not a shareholder.

HELD: The court said that he had become a shareholder eventhough he was unaware of it.

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Holwell Securities v Hughes (1974)

The plaintiff had an option to purchase property from the defendant. Clause 2 of the option agreement stated: " the said option shall be exercisable by notice in writing to the defendant at any time within six months from the date hereof" The plaintiff's solicitors wrote a letter to the defendant giving notice of the exercise of the option. The letter was posted, properly addressed and stamped but was never actually delivered to the defendant.

HELD: The postal rule failed to apply because the acceptance was to be 'by notice in writing' but this did not happen.

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Brinkibon v Stahag Stahl (1983)

Brinkibon was a London company that purchased steel from Stahag, a seller based in Austria. Brinkibon sent their acceptance to a Stahag offer by Telex to Vienna. The buyers issued a writ claiming damages for breach of the contract. They would only be able to do so if the contract had been formed in England.

HELD: The Lords decided that the contract was formed in Vienna. They accepted the principle in Entores v Miles Far East Co where in the case of instantaneous communication, which included Telex, the formation occurs in the place where the acceptance is received.

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Entores v Miles Far East Corporation (1955)

A dutch company accepted an offer by an English company, and the issue arose about where the contract was formed.

HELD: It was held to be formed in England as that is where acceptance was received by Telex.

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Butler Machine Tool v Ex-Cell-O Corporation (1979)

The Butler Machine Tool Company offered a machine with specific terms and conditions for purchase including a price variation clause. The buyer sent back an order form outlining their own terms and conditions, which did not include a price variation clause. Attached to this order form was a tear off slip to be signed by the seller acknowledging their acceptance of the buyer's terms, which was returned by the seller. However, when the machine was delivered they claimed an extra fee under the price variation clause.

HELD: The court's decision held that the contract was made on the buyer's terms, without a price variation clause. Therefore the seller had no right to claim the extra fee.

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Routledge v Grant (1828)

The defendant offered to lease the plaintiff's property with the plaintiff to give a final answer on the matter within six weeks. Winthin six weeks, he withdrew his offer, which the plaintiff then attempted to accept anyway.

HELD: It was held that the defendant could withdraw his offer at any time before acceptance, regardless of the stipulated six weeks. Revocation of an offer must be communicated prior to acceptance.

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Byrne v Tienhoven (1880)

The defendant wrote to the plaintiff offering goods for sale. When the plaintiff received the offer he sent a telegram with his acceptance but three days later the defendant sent a letter withdrawing the offer. This did not arrive until after the acceptance from the plaintiff was confirmed by post.

HELD: It was held that there was a binding contract on acceptance. Revocation was communicated after acceptance.

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Dickinson v Dodds (1876)

The defendant wrote to the plaintiff offering to sell land and told him he had until Friday 9am to accept. The plaintiff found out on Thursday that the defendant was planning to sell the land to someone else so he gave his written acceptance to the defendant's mother-in-law. However, she forgot to give it to the defendant and he sells the land to someone else.

HELD: It was held that there was no binding contract for the sale of this property between the defendant and plaintiff.

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Ramsgate Victoria Hotel v Montefiore (1866)

An offer to buy shares in the hotel company was made in June and an attempt to accept was made in November but by this time the shares were no longer wanted.

HELD: It was held that the lapse of time was so great that the offer to buy the shares had lapsed.

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Shuey v US (1875)

The plaintiff apprehended a 'wanted' criminal and went to claim the reward. However the reward had since been revoked in the same manner in which the offer had been made.

HELD: It was held that the individual was not entitled to the reward as the same notoriety had been given to the revocation as the original offer.

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