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Manchester Diocesan Council for Education v Comm & Gen Investments

[1970] 1 WLR 241

Case summary last updated at 03/01/2020 14:39 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Manchester Diocesan Council for Education v Comm & Gen Investments

M invited tenders (offers), stating that the successful bidder would be informed of acceptance by a letter to their home address. C’s offer (which included a requirement that acceptance be in accordance with the terms that M proposed) was accepted by a letter sent to C’s surveyor rather than home address and therefore he claimed that therefore the contract was void. The court held that the contract was valid because (1) where an offeree stipulates a particular mode of acceptance but does not say that only acceptance by that mode will be accepted, acceptance may be communicated in any other mode not less advantageous to the offeror. However Buckley J also says that if, in his offer, C had stated explicitly that only a letter to his house would be acceptable, then the contract would be invalid. However, in absence of this, a communication in a slightly altered mode, with no disadvantage to C, would be acceptable.
 This is sensible: otherwise immaterial technicalities could allow escape from agreements. 

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