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Offers last forever unless expressly revoked. Critically evaluate this statement as it relates to the formation of contracts.

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Introduction

?Offers last forever unless expressly revoked.? Critically evaluate this statement as it relates to the formation of contracts. Basically, contract cannot come into existence until there has been a valid offer and corresponding acceptance. In other words, If an offer is withdrawn prior to acceptance, then no contract can result. Offer means an expression of willingness to contract made with the intention that it shall become binding on the offeror as soon as it is accepted by the offeree. The offer may be communicated in writing, orally, by conduct or combination of all three. If an offer is withdrawn prior to acceptance, then no contract can result. It may be contested that even if an offer has been communicated to the intended offeree, the offer will never last forever. There are several situations where an offer can be terminated and these can range from revocation of offer, lapse of time, failure of a precondition, rejection, counter-offer, death of the offeror. ...read more.

Middle

However, communication need not be made by the offeror himself, it could be made through a reliable third party as shown in the case, Dickinson v Dodds where the plaintiff was told by a neighbor that a farm which had been offered to him had been sold to a third party. The court held that the offer had been validly revoked. An offer may be terminated when reasonable time has lapsed as was in the case, Ramsgate Victoria Hotel v Montefiore where defendant offered to buy shares in the company. He heard nothing from the company, after five months, he was then informed the shares had been allotted to him. Defendant refused to take up the shares. The court held that offer had lapsed as five months were not a reasonable length of time for acceptance of an offer to buy shares with a rapidly fluctuating price. ...read more.

Conclusion

An offer lapses when the offeree rejects it and the offeree cannot subsequently accept the original offer. In this case, the defendant offered to sell his farm at £1000, and the claimant responded by offering to buy it at £950. It was held that this was a counter-offer which terminated the original offer which was therefore no longer open for acceptance. Lastly, it appears that the offer will lapse if the offeree knows that the offeror has died. If the offeree is unaware of the offeror’s death, it probably will not as stated in Bradbury v Morgan. If an offer requires personal performance by the offeror such as painting a picture, it will usually lapse on the offeror death. In conclusion, based on the cases expressed, we can clearly see that an offer does not last forever, as an offer can be rescinded by either parties for the reasons outlined above. ...read more.

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