The general elements of all contracts
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7 June 2009
A contract - like a chef's recipe has many ingredients. These
ingredients will now be explained.
The Invitation to take offers.
This technically is not an element of a contract but this
happens prior to the crystallisation of the contract itself. This element is
referred to as the "invitation to treat", this allows a seller to state in
essence that he or she is open for negotiations of an offer. A practical example
of this is the price that you may have displayed: 50p for a bag of crisps. This
tells the potential customer that the potential seller is open to receive offers
of 50p for the crisps.
The Offer and Intention to be bound.
This can be defined as: an expression by the offeror whether
written, oral and or by conduct, that the offeror intends to be bound by certain
terms and should the offeree accept that offer; both the offeror and offeree
intend to be bound by all the terms. Moving on from the example above the
potential customer walks up to the counter and hands over the crisps. The
customer may say "just these please" and the shop keeper at this stage has now
received the offer. He is now open to reject or accept that offer. From the
point of view of the customer he or she is open to withdraw the offer at any
time provided that, that offer is not accepted by the potential seller.
Trietel defines this as: " a final unequivocal expression of
assent to all the terms of the offer." In application to the example above- the
shop keeper will scan the crisps into his till and say "that's 50p please" and
the customer hands over the 50p. This conduct shows that the offer has been
accepted and the obligation under the contract has been performed on the part of
the customer, after this the shop keeper must hand over the crisps. When the
crisps have been handed over the contract has been concluded.
By Paul Bicknell (Paul.Bicknell@lawdit.co.uk) Paul
is a legal assistant to Izaz Ali (Izaz.Ali@lawdit.co.uk) Izaz is a
commercial lawyer who specialises in information technology law and intellectual
property law with an emphasis on IT, escrow, online and off-line contracts, and
the buying and selling of online businesses.
About the Author
Lawdit Solicitors offer services and
advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal
agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on
Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the
International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court
Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign
association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-07-05 18:07:34 in Legal Articles