British Business Law

A contract is an agreement between two or more persons, which is intended to create legally binding obligations. The word binding is used for there are some contracts which are valid but are not enforceable. But before a contract becomes binding and enforceable, it must have fulfilled essentials of a valid contract which include: that there must be an offer and acceptance; there must be consideration or the contract must be under deed; there must be an intention to create legal relations; there must be contractual capacity; the object of the contract must be lawful and lastly is that the contract must be genuine consent i. e. the consent must not be obtained through mistake, misrepresentation or undue influence.

For the case where Andrew posted a letter to Betty offering to sell his car on November 1 for ? 1000, the offer became effective when his letter reached Betty not when the letter was of offer was posted. Betty received the letter on 2 November and posted her reply to Andrew on 4 November although Andrew had already sold his car to Colin on 3 November. The acceptance is considered complete immediately the letter of acceptance is posted, even if it is lost or destroyed in the post so that it never arrives.

The court of law enforces the contract as long as the offeree can prove that he posted the letter of acceptance to the offeror. For this case, the contract for the sale of Andrew car to Betty became binding immediately he posted the letter of acceptance and it is immaterial that Andrew sold the car to Colin since the contract between him and Betty was binding. A relevant case studied in this concept is that of Adams vs. Lindsell of 1818. “In this case, on September 2, A wrote offering to sell wool at a price, and requesting a reply by post.

The letter delayed and reached L on September 7. The reply of acceptance was posted immediately and reached A on September 9. A sold the wool on September 8. It was held that there was a valid contract between A and L because the acceptance was communicated as soon as the offer was received. ” For the case between Andrew and Betty, the contract is enforceable at a court of law. Question One (b) Where Betty received the letter on 2 November and replied it immediately stating that she has accepted the offer but not for ? 1000 as stated in the offer, but for ?

750 since according to her, ? 1000 was too much for her to afford. Even if the she replied the offer on time, the contract is not binding at all since he accepted the offer with lesser amount that stated in the offer by Andrew. Under the law of contract, the acceptance of offer must be absolute and unqualified. Where the acceptor varies the terms of offer, it amounts to counter-offer which destroys the original offer. A relevant case studied is that of Nfal vs. Merrett of 1980. “In this case, M offered his land for sale to N, at ? 280.

N replied accepting the offer enclosing ? 80 with a promise to pay the balance by installment of ? 50 each. It was held that the defendant was not liable for refusing to sell his land as there was no unqualified acceptance. ” Similarly, the case between on Betty and Andrew, the contract cannot be enforced since the original offer stated that the car was to be sold for ? 1000 but not ? 750 as accepted by Betty. Question One (c) On the other hand, where Betty received the letter on 2 November and replied it immediately with the wrong address.

It is immaterial that the letter was not received by Andrew until 12 November and he had wrote to her on 9 November stating that he had decided to keep the car for his own use since the contract will still be enforceable in a court of law. An offer may be revoked by an express notice before it is accepted. Revocation by post does not take effect until it is actually received by the offeree. A relevant case studied is that of Bryne vs. TienHoven of 1980. “In this case, on October 1, the defendant posted an offer to sell some goods to B in New York.

B received the offer on the 11th, and immediately telegraphed his acceptance. On 8 October, the defendant wrote a letter to B, revoking his offer, and B received this on 25th. It was held that the revocation, though posted on 8th, was of no effect until it reached B on 25th and the contract was complete on 11th when he telegraphed his acceptance. ” Likewise, the contract between Andrew and Betty became binding immediately the letter of acceptance was sent on 2, and there is no way Andrew would have revoked the offer on 9 November as the contract was already binding.

Question Two One the issue where Jeremy tells Frank that he will let off the ? 750 of the ? 1500 he owed him if he continues being Jeremy’s tenant, Jeremy ought to keep his words since Frank honored his obligation. The contract between Jeremy and Frank was that if Frank pay ? 750 out of the ? 1500 debt he owned him and continue being Jeremy’s tenant, he will be let of the other ? 750. For this case, each party ought to fulfill their obligation of the contract between them failure to which, the contract will be enforceable in the court of law.

Since Frank honored his obligation of paying up the ? 750 and continued being Jeremy’s tenant, there is no way Jeremy should continue asking for the balance of ? 750 since he has already written off immediately Frank honored his obligation to the contract. Frank may sue Jeremy if he for specific performance or injunction remedies if he continues to claim that he owes him ? 750. Both specific performance and injunction are equitable remedies, which may be awarded at the discretion of the court to a person who suffer a legal injury where damages would not be an adequate remedy.

Specific performance is an order requiring a person to carry out a contractual obligation. On the other hand, where Jeremy told Gerald that he will let him off ? 750 out of the ? 1500 and continue being Irma’s tenant, there is contract between Jeremy and Gerald. For this case, the two parties to a contract ought to fulfill their obligations to a contract as agreed. For this case, Gerald was to pay ? 750 and continue being Irma’s tenant, which he did. On the other hand, Jeremy was to write off the debt of ? 750 after Gerald honored his obligation of paying ?

750 and continued being Irma’s tenant. For this case, Jeremy ought to fulfill his obligation of writing off the ? 750 debt. Since is still claiming for the balance of ? 750 he ought to have written off, the court of law ought to enforce the contract and restrain Jeremy from asking for ? 750 from Gerald since he had fulfilled his obligation. On the other hand, Harvey had fulfilled his obligation of paying the ? 750 debt out of ? 1500 he owed. For this case, Jeremy also needs to fulfill his obligation of taking charge of ?

750. Failure to which, the court of law will enforce the contract between Jeremy and Harvey since he failed to fulfill his obligation. The court of law will give a ruling on Jeremy breach of contract and will give reward remedies for breach of contract. On breach of contract, the innocent party becomes entitled to action for damages, action of specific performance and action for injunction.


  1. Emanuel, S. L. (2004): Fundamental of Business Law, 4th Edn, London, Educational Publisher Emerson R. W (2003): Business Law, 5th Edn, London,
  2. Educational Publisher Jertz, A. , Miller L. R, (2004): Fundamentals of Business Law, 3rd Edition, London, Macmillan Publisher Kronman, A. T (1985);
  3. Contract Law and the State of Nature, Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, Vol. 1, No. 1 (spring, 1985), pp. 5-32 Penrose, R (2005): Road to Reality:
  4. A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe, London, Longman Publisher McKendrick, E. (2005): Contract Law: Text, Cases and Materials, Oxford: University Press

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