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Advise the parties of their contractual liabilities.

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Introduction

On Sunday, Andrew saw in his local paper, the Daily Bungle, that Basil was offering to sell a set of 1 penny black stamps for �850. The advertisement stated that, "Will sell to the first person to come forward with the money." On Monday, Andrew telephoned Basil and after leaving his contact details left a message on Basil's answering machine saying, "Would you accept �800 for the stamps?" On Tuesday, Andrew who was afraid that Basil might sell the stamps elsewhere posted a letter to Basil in which Andrew stated, "I agree to buy the stamps which you offered for sale in the Daily Bungle for �850." This letter was delayed in the post and was not delivered till Friday. On Wednesday, Basil returned from a business trip and played back the message on the answering machine. He then posted a letter to Andrew stating, "I agree that the stamps are yours for �800." However, this letter was delayed in the post and did not arrive until the following Saturday. On Friday, when Andrew's letter arrived, Basil sent an e-mail to Andrew saying that the stamps were his for �850. ...read more.

Middle

Andrews phone call to Basil stating 'Would you accept �800 for the stamps?" would seem to be or merely a request to supply further information regarding the stamps. Alternatively, if Andrew's statement was indeed a counter offer then taking into account the judgment in Hyde v Wrench would apply. The facts of the case were that Mr. Wrench had offered to sell a plot of land �1000 to Mr. Hyde, he in turn offered to purchase it for �900, to which Mr. Wrench refused. Later on Mr. Hyde then accepted his earlier offer of �1000. Mr Wrench refused to sell and was taken to court on a breach of contract. It was held that as Mr Hyde had countered Mr Wrench's earlier offer, that offer was now invalid and not binding on Mr. Wrench to accept. Therefore in the above scenario if Andrew tries to accept Basil's earlier offer he might not be able to do so. The 'postal rule' as laid down in the judgment in Adams v Lindsell states that any acceptance sent by post will deemed to been have accepted the moment it is put into post. ...read more.

Conclusion

Only then will an acceptance be valid. The facts of the case were that The plaintiffs in London made an offer by Telex to the defendants in Holland. The defendant's acceptance was received on the plaintiffs' Telex machine in London. The plaintiffs sought leave to serve notice of a writ on the defendants claiming damages for breach of contract. Service out of the jurisdiction is allowed to enforce a contract made within the jurisdiction. It was held that the contract is only complete when the acceptance is received by the offeror: and the contract is made at the place where the acceptance is received. Furthermore, Lord Denning stated that "If a man shouts an offer to a man across a river but the reply is not heard because of a plane flying overhead, there is no contract. The offeree must wait and then shout back his acceptance so that the offeror can hear it." Accordingly, as soon as Andrew reads the email sent by Basil accepting Andrew's offer of �850 the contract is formed. In accordance with the above judgments and according to the facts, Andrew and Basil have entered into a valid contract for the sale of a set of penny black stamps for �850. ...read more.

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