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Contact law

Tanya saw an advertisements in the classified of her local where which inviting
people to come forward to second hand purchase a full set of professional golf clubs
with an accompanying bag on wheels, This was an invitation to the general public to
come forward out of their own choice to make an offer. Advertisements, catalogues,
price lists, window display are all treated as being ‘invitations to treat’ and not binding
to the seller (Harris, P, 2007)1. Generally, as highlighted in the case Partridge v
Crittenden2;it was held that advertisements are an invitation to to negotiate to do
business and its not at offer. This was done to protect sellers of from being
responsible to everyone who responds to buy advertised goods in the event an
overwhelming number of people respond to anadvertisement where the goods on
sale are on limited number. This implies that in the question that Tanya or anyone
who had seen the ad²vertisement was the one who was going to set the ball rolling
by making an offer. In case of Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash
Chemist³, it was held that in this circumstance there is no binding to the seller and an
invitation to treat and customers are the ones who come to make an offer which the
vendor was at liberty to refuse. There was no show in whatever way that Susan
wanted to be bound but she was just inviting offering from members of the general
public as in the case of unilateral offers. According Professor Mulcany and Tilloston
(2004)4, an offer is defined by the English courts an expression of pledge to enter
into legally binding agreement.
Susan could withdraw the items she was advertisements at anytime or even change
the item, like what she did by withdrawing the wheeled golf bag from the goods she
was selling.
Harvey v Facey5, part of an offer is not accepted by the offeree. There is no contract

On the 8th of February, Tanya hears of another invitation to treat to another full set of
golf clubs with a consideration of £1500 off his brother Terry. This situation like the
advertisement she responded to from the local paper make it just an invitation to
treat, that is non-binding to anyone. In response to Tanya hearing about this sale,
she write to Michael, the seller expressing her intensions to buy the golf clubs at the
going price she had heard from her brother. This is a valid offer, as Tanya in her
letter appears to be readily willing to enter into a legal agreement if Michael is to

Student no. 0910239: Contract Law

accept her offer. In her promise it is her assent to the terms of the would-be contract
once the offer is accepted unconditionally and agreement on all terms. If Michael
were to agree there will be no turning back, a valid contract will would have been
made, so this makes Tanya letter is a proper offer.

Michael by conduct takes it as a genuine offer, and Michael in turn makes a

conditional acceptance to the offer. This kind of acceptance is termed a conditional
acceptance, and is not binding. Tanya can not raise the issue that Michael duly
accepted her offer because Michael by giving a condition on his acceptance
requesting Tanya to fulfill some condition of ‘first come first serve’ which
automatically makes it a counter-offer. Tanya is not bound the new set up, it is now
up to her to act on this condition. There are two cases which reveal this kind of
situations can easily make Michael get away from any purported obligation which
Tanya might assume to have existed. In the Hyde v Wrench6 case, where Hyde
made a counter offer by purporting to be accepting but a at a reduced consideration
to buy a farm from Wrench who turned down the offered which in turn Hyde tried to
revert to the original terms which were turned down as well. When Hyde tried to sued
alleging to have agreed sale on the original price, the case was held that no contract
existed. In the other case Northland Airline Ltd v Dennis Ferranti Meters Ltd7where
there was a negotiation for the sale of an aircraft, the seller sent a telegraph offering
to sell the aircraft, the consideration and terms. In reply the buyer replied accepting
the offer with his own conditions as to how he will pay and time for the delivery. This
was taken as a counter-offer as it brought up new terms. The sellers ignored this
counter-offer and sold the subject matter to a third party, when the buyer tried to sue
it was held at the court of appeal that there was no contract between the two parties.
This is tantamount to a counter-offer because it brings new terms to the contract
which the previous did not know. There is a general rule that an acceptance should
be unconditional and should note bring new rules (Calamari et al, 1998)8

Social arrangement. Giving rise to a legally enforceable obligations

Postal rule has limitations on in that it was found by Lord Herschell in Henthorn v
Fraser (1892)9, that where situations are such that the post was the most reasonable

Student no. 0910239: Contract Law

way to acceptance of an offer. But Tanya lived a few blocks, However, the intentsion
of post in acceptance was made inorder to have have a record of the communication
of the acceptance, and a proof was what Susan wanted Tanya to give and maybe for
other reasons known to him. So this was a condition, she had to act upon. The rule
in Adams v Llindell (1818)10 is that the contract is complete in posting. However,
Tanya went to Susan’s house to convey her acceptance unfortunately there was no
reply, for records purposes she deposited her acceptance in form of a note in Susan
mailbox. Looking at the intension, she has a base to argue her case that she did do
as the condition of the offer stated there should be a documental proof of
acceptance. The fact that she put it in the mailbox where Susan would have
collected the acceptance by post gives a weight again of her situation.
Another line of argument against Tanya might be that acceptance through the post,
so the postal rule cannot be applied in this situation. Tanya, by going to the
residence of the offeror to deliver the acceptance, acted as private courier for
herself. As a courier she was supposed to hand deliver to someone at the address to
the seller or anyone she would have met there, this delivery would have formed a
valid acceptance. Unfortunately, there was no one at the house to communicate the
acceptance, and the only situation where need for the receipt of acceptance letter
can be omitted is where the postal rule under the case of Adams v. Lindsell (1818) 10
of which this scenario appears not to qualify on.

Partridge v Crittenden [1968] 1 WLR 1204

Harris, P, 2007 Law in Contract, 7th edition ltd Harlow: Pearson Education
Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots [1953] 1 QB 401; [1953] 1 All E.R.
Mulcany, L and Tilloston, J (2004). Contract law in Perspective 4th ed. London
Harvey v Facey [1893] A.C. 552
Hyde v Wrench (1840) 3 Beav 334; 49 All E.R. 132
Northland Airlines Ltd v Dennis Ferranti Meters Ltd (1970) 114 Sol Jo 845
Calamari, John D., and Joseph M. Perillo. 1998. The Law of Contracts. 4th ed. St.
Paul, Minn.: West Group.
Henthorn v Fraser [1892] 2 Ch 27

Student no. 0910239: Contract Law

Adams v Lindsell [1818] 1 B & Ald 681; 106 ER 250
Ibid [1818] 1 B & Ald 681; 106 ER 250

Student no. 0910239: Contract Law

Upex, R and Bennett, G 2004 Davies on Contract 9th Ed London: Sweet & Maxwell
Harris, P, 2007 Law in Contract, 7th edition ltd Harlow: Pearson Education
Mulcany, L and Tilloston, J (2004). Contract law in Perspective 4th ed. London:
Cavendish Publishing
Calamari, John D., and Joseph M. Perillo. 1998. The Law of Contracts. 4th ed. St.
Paul, Minn.: West Group.

Student no. 0910239: Contract Law