Contract (LLB) - Offer

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What is an offer?
Treitel defined it as 'an expression of willingness to contract on specified terms made with the intention that it is to become binding as soon as it is accepted by the person to who it is addressed'.
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To whom can an offer be made?
To an individual or the world at large (Carlill v Carbollic Smokeball Co.)
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What is a bilateral offer?
Where all the parties assume an obligation under the contract. e.g Chris sells his car to Yasmine and Yasmine gives Chris £1000 for it.
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What is a unilateral offer?
Where only one party assumes a obligation under the contract. e.g Yasmine puts an advert in the paper saying she will give anyone who finds her dog £300
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What kind of offer is one to the public at large?
Unilateral offers. They can be addressed to the general public and accepted when the offer is acted upon.
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What is the key case for offers to the public at large?
Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co [1893]
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What is an invitation to treat (ITT) and what case sets the legal principle for an ITT?
An ITT is a premilary stage before an offer is made, where one party invites the other tomake an offer. Gibson v Manchester City Council [1979] - Negotiations to enter into a contract can amount to an ITT but not an offer.
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Are advertisements unilateral or bilateral contracts?
They can be both unilateral and bilateral contracts.
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What is the leading case for an advertisement for a unilateral contract? Why is this the case?
Carlill v Carbollic Smoke Ball Co. Adverts are construed as unilateral offers if it is evident that the seller intended to be bound by the advert. A characteristic that may show intent to be bound is being a manufacturer.
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What is the leading case for an advertisement for a bilateral contract? Why is this the case?
Partridge v Crittenden (1968). Adverts selling specific goods at specific prices usually indicate further negotiation or bargaining is needed.
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Are price-marked goods ITT's or unilateral offers?
They are generally regarded is ITT's.
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What did the case of Fisher v Bell (1960) show?
This case involves a defendant who displayed a flick knife with price tag in the window. It was held that this was not an offer for sale, but an offer for pre offer negotoations.
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What is the key case for what type of offer a price marked good is?
Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd [1953]
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What case shows that an advert of an auction does not bind the auctioneer if the lot is withdrawn?
Harris v Nickerson 1873
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Auctions can be with or without reserve. What is the effect of without reserve? Give a case to back this up
The auctioneer must sell to the highest bidder. Warlow v Harrison 1859, obiter
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A call for bids at an auction is and invitation to treat. What section and case shows this?
S.57 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and Payne v Cave
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An invitation to tender is an invitation to receive bids and an invitation to treat. …unless it commits to bind to a particular quality, e.g. highest price. What case shows this?
Spencer v Harding
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How long does an offer last for?
An offer may state a specific length of time. If it doesn't, the offer will last for a reasonable length of time. eg. offers for perishable goods will lapse very quickly.
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What does the case of Ramsgate Victoria Hotel Ltd v Montefiore (1866) show?
This case shows that where the offer concerns shares, the offer will lapse very quickly as shares are subject to vast fluctuations in prices over very short periods of time.
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If offers are made subject to certain conditions and those conditions are not in place then the offer may lapse. What case evidences this?
Financings Ltd v Stimson (1962)
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Does an offer lapse if the offeree rejects the offer?
Yes. If Yasmine offers to sell Chris a car on Monday and he rejects the offer, he cannot come back the next day and insist on accepting the offer.
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Does a counter-offer terminate the original offer? What is the key case?
A counter-offer will terminate the original offer. Hyde v Wrench [1840]
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Does a request for information terminate the contract? Give the key case example.
No. A request for information will not terminate the original offer as it doesn't amount to a counter-offer. Stevenson v McLean (1880)
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Does the death of the offeror terminate the offer? Give a case example.
There is no clear position on this. However, if the offeree knows that the offeror has died,the offer will lapse; if the offeree is unaware, then it will probably not. Bradbury v Morgan (1862)
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Does the death of the offeree terminate the offer?
There is no English case on this point, but it seems probable that the offer cannot be accepted after the oferees death by the oferee's representatives.
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Can the offer be revoked?
Yes, anytime up until the offer is accepted and it must be communicated.
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What case shows that an offer can be revoked anytime up until the offer is accepted?
Payne v Cave (1789)
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What case shows that an offer can only be withdrawn if it is communicated?
Byrne & Co v Leon Van Tienhoven [1880]
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Does the revocation have to be by the offeror? Give a case example.
No it doesn't, it just has to be a reliable source. The key case for this principle is Dickinson v Dodds [1876]
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What two cases show that unilateral offers cannot be revoked once the offeree has commenced performance?
Errington v Errington [1952] & Daulia Ltd v Four Millbank Nominees
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What case contrasts the general rule that unilateral offers cannot be revoked one the offeree has commenced performance?
Luxor (Eastbourne) v Cooper
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For unilateral offers to the world at large, you must only take reasonable steps to revoke the offer, such as withdrawing in the same newspaper you put the offer in. What case evidences this?
Shuey v United States (1875) In this case the offer was revoked by putting an advertisement in a similar newspaper, even though those who had seen the initial offer had not seen the withdrawal.
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Card 2

Front

To whom can an offer be made?

Back

To an individual or the world at large (Carlill v Carbollic Smokeball Co.)

Card 3

Front

What is a bilateral offer?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is a unilateral offer?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What kind of offer is one to the public at large?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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