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Offer Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Contract Law Notes

This is an extract of our Offer document, which we sell as part of our GDL Contract Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.

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An offer: "an expression of willingness to contract on specified terms made with the intention that it is to become legally binding as soon as it is accepted by the person to whom it is addresses"
Offer must be

Valid (clear, certain, and addressed to offeree)
o Communicated to the Offeree

Not rejected revoked or lapsed.
NB it can often be confusing who is the offering party, eg the vendor may be the accepting party

Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash
Chemists (Southern) Ltd [1953])
Objective view of intention and agreement

Smith v Hughes (1871) Blackburn J: Offer of oats, D thought they were 'old', they were not.
 Found in D's favour either because oats were described as old or seller knew D wanted old oats.
 One party may be mistaken about the subject matter of the contract, even to the extent that he would not have entered into the contract had he known the truth, but the contract remains valid.
o Rose v Pim (1953) - Plantiffs asked to acquire Moroccan horsebeans described here as feveroles. Sup-ply chain established. Eventual buyer found them not to be ferevoles.
 Dennign J: Their agreement, as outwardly expressed,
both orally and in writing, was for "horsebeans". That is all the defendants ever committed themselves to supply; and all that they should be bound to".
Snapping Up Cases

Hartog v Colin & Shields (1939) - The sellers offered
Argentine hare skins at a given price per pound (mistake,
they meant per unit). Buyer ordered 30k.
 Held the buyer must have been aware of the sellers'
mistake, and therefore must have been aware that the sellers' offer did not represent their true intention.
o Chwee Kin Kong v [2004] - Emphasis on the state of mind of the would-be snappers up: buyers were said to have moved "at the dead of night" and with
"indecent haste"
o Centrovincial Estates v Merchant Investors (1983) -
Negotiations over an existing lease, the landlords' solicitors wrote to the lessees proposing that the "current market rental value" of the property should be contractually agreed to be £65,000.
 Later realised they meant £126,000. Summary judgement found in favour of lesses.

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