contract law revision (missing a few)



  • Unilateral offer: offer made by one party- Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball 

  • Express offer: offer made by express communication- Taylor v Laird

  • Implied offer- Wilkie v LPTB

  • Invitation to treat- Fisher v Bell

  • Advertisement- Partridge v Crittenden, BUT OFFER CAN BE REVOKED BY ACCEPTANCE- Routledge v Grant

  • Auction- Harris v Nickerson

  • Ways to end an offer: 1. Acceptance. 2. Refusal. 3. Counter Offer- Hyde v Wrench. 4. Lapse of time- Ramsgate v Montefoire


Postal rule- Addams v Lindsell- acceptance takes place as soon as letter is posted

Assumed acceptance even if letter doesn’t arrive- Household Fire Insurance v Grant

  • If acceptance is out of business hours, communication happens the next working day- Shipping & Chartering v Astarte Shipping

  • Acceptance can be done by writing, spoken or conduct

  • In unilateral contracts its done by fully performing the act- Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball

  • Silence NOT acceptance- Felthouse v Bindley


What is consideration?

Consideration is the benefit to one and detriment to the other. Eg. loss of money to benefit your neighbour’s broken window 

Types of consideration:

  • Executed- present consideration

  • Executory- future consideration 

  • Past consideration- not good consideration

General rules of consideration:

  • Can’t be a pre-existing public duty- Collins v Godefroy

  • Must be of some value but doesn’t have to be adequate- Chappel & Co. v Nestle & Co

  • Can’t be a pre-existing contractual obligation- Stilk v Myrick, unless a benefit is added or detriment is avoided- Williams v Roffey

Intention to create legal relations


Where the parties intend to enter a legally binding arrangement 

Domestic and social agreements 

It is assumed that there is no intention. 

Balfour v Balfour- husband stopped sending maintenance payments to wife. NOT contract because it was a purely social and domestic agreement, there was no legal proof and so the husband was not legally bound to send her maintenance payments


  • When there is a 3rd party- Simpkins v Pays- 2 family members + lodger entered a weekly competition and agreed that they would share the winnings if either of them won. 1 family member won £250 and refused to share the winnings. LEGALLY BINDING, bc lodger was a party to the contract and it was oral 

  • Where the parties have separated- Merritt v Merritt- husband paid money to ex-wife and if she kept up mortgage payments he would transfer the house to her when the mortgage was completed. Husband refused to transfer house to her. LEGALLY BINDING bc wife fully performed her duty in the contract, and it was written

Commercial agreements


Assumed that the are intentions to create legal relations. 


  • Expressed in the agreement itself as “binding in honour only”- Jones v Vernon Pools- the coupon contained the words that the entry “shall not give rise to any legal relationships, or be legally enforceable”- UNENFORCEABLE

Privity of contract

Means that a contract cannot confer rights or impose obligations under it on any person other than those who are in the contract

Common rules in privity:

  • Only


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