• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Establish whether or not there is a contract between Hettie and Barbara.

Extracts from this document...


The first issue to consider in order to establish whether or not there is a contract between Hettie and Barbara is to define a contract. Also, it will be useful to explain the concept of offer and acceptance, which will lead to the conclusion of whether there is a contract between the two parties, Barbara and Hettie for the sale of the grand piano. The standard definition of contract by English lawyers is that a contract is an agreement which is legally enforceable or legally recognized as creating a duty. However, one widely used definition is that in the American Restatement of Contracts: A contract is a promise or a set of promises for the breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law in some way recognises as a duty.1 In other words, a contract is essentially a two-sided bargain which can only be concluded by the action of both parties. An offer is a clear and unambiguous statement of the terms upon which the offeror is willing to contract, should the person or persons to whom the offer is addressed decide to accept. An offer may be made expressly, but it may equally be implied from the offeror's language, or it may be inferred from his conduct. ...read more.


There is nothing specific by way of offer or rejection, but amere inquiry, which should have been answered and not treated as a rejection of the offer.' Barbara's letter on Tuesday also included a counter-offer, which 'kills off' the original offer due to the introduction of new terms, in this case, her 'assuming' that the adjustable stool and piano music will be included. This counter-offer killed off Hettie's original offer and makes it incapable of subsequent acceptance by Barbara. The rule of counter offer can be seen in operation in the case of Hyde v Wrench3 where an offer to sell an estate for �1,000 was met by a counter-offer to buy for �950. The counter-offer was rejected, and the buyer then wrote to say that he was prepared to pay �1,000 after all. But the seller now refused to sell to the offeree, even at this price, and the offeree sued. Although the offer to sell had not been withdrawn, it was held that there was no contract, as the counter-offer had amounted to a rejection of the original offer. So based on the classic illustration of the rule of counter-offer above, Barbara's letter cannot be deemed as an acceptance of Hettie's offer due to the counter-proposal introduced. ...read more.


On the other hand, if Hettie's revocation is based on Barbara's assumption that the music stool and piano music will be included, then her revocation is valid, as stated earlier in the case of Hyde v Wrench that the introduction of a counter-offer amounts to a rejection of the original offer. In effect, the revocation by Hettie makes it incapable for a binding contract to exist between herself and Barbara. James LJ: '...It is to my mind quite clear that before there was any attempt at acceptance by the plaintiff, he was perfectly well aware that Dodds had changed his mind and that he had, in fact, agredd to sell the property to Allan. It is impossible therefore, to say there was ever that existence of the same mind between the two parties which is essential in point of law to the making of an agreement.'7 So Barbara's quick acceptance of Hettie's original offer (in the stipulated mode of acceptance instructed by Hettie) does not bring about a binding contract between the two parties, as Barbara is perfectly well aware that Hettie is planning to sell her piano to Philip, and cannot as a point of law endeavour to bind Hettie in a contract, as there has to be an existence of the same mind between them to make it legally binding agreement. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Law of Contract section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Law of Contract essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "The requirement of consideration is an unnecessary complication in the formation of contracts."

    4 star(s)

    Ltd [1955] where it was held that the promisor was merely being estopped from enforcing his full legal right. It must also be inequitable for the promisor to break his promise, otherwise as in the cases of D & C Builders v Rees and the Post Chaser [1982], such reliance

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Contract Law - Offer And Acceptance

    3 star(s)

    View/Point of .. Offer Acceptance 1 Running bus By applying ticket/getting on the bus 2 Asking ticket =ITT, issuing it Accept ticket 3 (advance book' Issuing ticket Accepting booking Sales of Shares * In commercial language, makes an "offer to public", asking them to subscribe for share but they reserved

  1. Four ways in which a contract may be discharged.

    Later the same day he cancelled the agreement. White & Carter refused to accept the cancellation. They prepared the advertising plates and displayed them for three years. They then sued for the contract price. 5. REMEDIES FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT.

  2. Legal Studies Assess Two

    However, a jury was not even used in the Supreme Court trial of this case because it is a civil case, not a criminal case, and juries are not often used in civil cases. 7. The verdict and whether it was a just outcome for the individual and society.

  1. Contract law - Advise Sarah - The first thing to ascertain is whether the ...

    house by mortgage, and allowed his daughter and son-in-law to live in it, promising that the house would become theirs when they had paid off the mortgage. The father died before the mortgage repayments were complete, and left the house in his will to his widow.

  2. What is the importance of implied terms to the contract of employment

    In Malik, an employee whose employers had engaged in fraudulent activities so that the stigma affected his employability was told by the trial judge29 that there was no term in the contract of employment which required the employer to put the employee in a good position for employment, should the current employment be terminated.

  1. Invitation To Treat

    A free mind and personal wishes are essential for the validity of a will. A will executed under force, fear, fraud, and duress, undue influence, solicitation of others or against his wishes is not valid.

  2. Outline the basic rule of the law of contract regarding the effective revocation of ...

    On June 29 the plaintiff wrote back to the defendant "accepting" the offer of June 6. The plaintiff brought an action for specific performance. The defendant filed a general demurrer. It was held that there was no existence of a valid binding contract between the parties for the purchase of the property.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work