The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Note: this Practice Note is concerned only with the creation of binding legal relations by way of contract (whether in writing or orally) and is not concerned with those arrangements which require to be made by way of deed in order to be valid, on which see Practice Note: Deeds.
Although many will be familiar with the key requirements for a finding of a contractually binding agreement, such as offer, acceptance, consideration, certainty etc (see: Forming enforceable contracts—overview), it is helpful to understand the court's general approach in this respect and how it ties in those key requirements.
The essential ingredients for establishing the existence of an enforceable contract are:
offer and acceptance
consideration (unless the contract is one executed by deed)
an intention to create legal relations (ie an intention to be legally bound)
There is much more to the statement of these broad principles, as can be seen in our detailed Practice Notes on these concepts:
Forming enforceable contracts—offer
Forming enforceable contracts—acceptance
Forming enforceable contracts—consideration
Forming enforceable contracts—intention
Forming enforceable contracts—certainty
There are also additional considerations, eg, involving capacity and authority; and contracts can take many forms: oral only, written only, mixed oral-written; contracts on standard forms etc.
Even where the above ingredients appear present there may yet be issues as to matters of interpretation, what exactly did each party
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