The contractual relationship in English law is one of significant work in the field of contracts sharing provisions similar to various other nations of the globe. An in-depth analysis of the fundamentals of the English legal system in the context of contract and business law will be provided in the paper along with the landmark cases. The paper will explore all the aspects of contract law in the English legal system. The process of providing legal advice to Hillary for his contracts and its validity with different parties. The paper will also scrutinize all the remedies which are available for a party of a contract as per the English legal system.
The Contract law under the English legal system is basically a collection of laws developed with various cases and their respective judgments. This law is concerned with the formation of legally enforceable agreements called contracts and the liabilities and rights associated with this contractual relationship (Chen-Wishart 2015). The blueprints of a contract in the English legal system include agreement, contractual intention and consideration (University of London n.d). The agreement is basically the offer which is accepted by another party shaping it ultimately into an agreement (Andrews 2015). The offer of an agreement is basically the winning in s to get into a contract with each other on provided terms with an intention to have the contractual liability once the offer is accepted by another party (Stover v Manchester City Council). The existence of an intention on the part of offeror wind by the offered if the other party except is based on objectivity and any conduct or words which induces a reasonable thought of getting found in the agreement (Moran v University College Salford). The famous distinguished from the invitation to treat which is basically an invitation for another party to make an offer e.g. advertisement. The Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company is a relevant example of the distinction between an offer and an invitation to offer. The other significant blueprint of the contract is the acceptance of the offered by another party. Acceptance is a final expression of assent to the various terms of the offer made by the offeror. The offer can even be accepted by the conduct of the party but the communication of the acceptance must be taken effect to the offered to bind the offer to the terms of the agreement. Similarly, the revocation of acceptance can be done any time before it has been communicated to the offering. once the agreement is considered it must be supported by a consideration which is basically something of value provided by the promisee to the promisor for enforcing the contract. the adequacy of consideration is not relevant but it must be sufficient and has some value to make it legally enforceable. Another significant feature of consideration is that it must move from the promise but need not to move to the promissory only and can lead to the benefit of the contract to a third party. the existence of an intention to create legal relations between the parties is another significant blueprint of the contract which has been reassured in the case of Balfour v Balfour.
The court system of England provides for Magistrate’s Court for criminal as well as civil cases of a juvenile. The transferred cases are processed in the Crown Court. The family court has national jurisdiction. The Country court looks into different matters concerning the claim of a certain amount and usually, the cases are considered according to the residence of defendants (Judicial Office International Team 2016). The serious and complex cases are considered in the High Court which is divided into three divisions named Queen's Bench, Family and Chancery. The Chancery Division is responsible concerning all the company law, partnership related cases, land law, taxation cases, etc (Gov.UK n.d). The Court of Appeal is next in the hierarchy which is a senior court for civil and criminal cases (Dargue 2019). Ultimately there is a Supreme Court, looking into all appeals of public importance in civil and criminal cases. The parties of this case if wish to file a case against the other party in the Chancery Division which will entertain all the cases related to contracts and company-related issues. Even the Country Court can be a suitable court for redressal of the contractual relationship-related concerns of the parties of the provided facts of the case.
In furtherance of understanding the contractual relations developed with different parties, the various offers and consequent acceptance or revocation will be discussed. There is no contractual relationship between Hilary and Eleanor under the English legal as there were a series of offers and counteroffers but none of them was accepted as per the terms of the promisor. The formation of a counteroffer is equivalent to the rejection of the actual offer and it cannot be e accepted unless the parties agree in that regard (Hyde v Wrency). As provided in the case of Harvey v Facey, sending a telegraph in response to the query for the lowest price that would be acceptable for an item if it would have been sold by the other party does not imply an assurance that it would be sold at that particular price. On the other hand, in the case of Amy, Hilary made an invitation to offer which was accepted by Amy and an offer letter is sent by her but later she changed her mind and ask to ignore the offer letter with fax. With the act of writing and offering Amy to buy an office computer, it was a statement of intention as provided in the case of Harris v Nickerson. For the formation of a contractual relationship, the communication of acceptance must reach the offeror and here Hillary didn't get to accept the same and communicate to Amy regarding it eventually leading to no creation of the contract between these parties. The common rule regarding the acceptance of an offer to create a contractual relationship is that it came into effect the moment it is posted (Henthorn v Fraser) no matter is the letter may further get lost delayed or destroyed (Adams v Lindsell) before reaching the other party. With the display of painting, Hilary in this particular situation has made an invitation to treat and it is different from an offer to accept. As provided in the case of Pharmaceutical Society v Boots, the reason behind considering the display of an item as an invitation to treat is to distinguish it from an offer and thus no contractual obligations arise on any of the party, Hilary or Olivia, even when Olivia has waited 2 days for the same.
There are various remedies available to a party of contract for the non-performance or any other concern over the contractual relationship between the parties. If the facts of the present case are considered and an analysis of the contractual relationship of the parties is utilized, various remedies are available under the contracts law of English legal system to ensure the serving of justice in this regard. One such remedy which is variable under the contracts law is the specific performance of the contract where the party who is not performing the contractual liability can be asked to perform in orders to ensure the restoration of the financial condition of the party before the contract and breach of the same (Stewart, Swain & Fairweather 2019). Olivia, in this particular case, can sue Hilary for misrepresentation leading to her change of circumstances and waiting for 2 days to get the painting in the amount provided by Hilary in the invitation. She can file for damage against Hilary for fraudulent act leading her to believe to get to contract and thus can seek the damage under s2(1) of Misrepresentation Act 1967. The other remedies of the contract include injunction and specific performance. Hilary can seek specific performance in the matter of the contractual relationship between her and Amy if she conveyed the communication of acceptance before coming across the fax stating to ignore the earlier letter of Amy. As provided in the case of Stickney v Keeble, the court can consider having the specific performance of the contract if there is strong faith over the act to be just and equitable to do so. On the other hand, in the case of Eleanor, the counteroffer and then rejection of the offer with a new offer can be considered as a concern of contractual relationship and thus Hilary can seek for injunction demanding to prohibit Eleanor from doing so. The injunction is basically of interlocutory or permanent nature asking the other party to refrain from the contract resulting into the breach of contract or prohibiting them from doing any such act which will be against the terms of contract (Poole, 2016).
The Contract law under the English system has been based and evolved with different cases but is providing a strong foundation for contractual relationship for other countries as well. Hilary can seek for damages and similarly, other parties are also allowed to do so under the English legal system which has been framed with all the compulsory elements and blueprints to ensure the legality of contracts in England. The English Legal system has remarkably provided for blueprints and the various remedies for the contract and the parties to a contract can certainly utilise the same if the agreement has been framed on legal terms.
Adams v Lindsell  1 B & Ald 681
Balfour v Balfour  2 KB 571
Harris v Nickerson  37 JP 536
Harvey v Facey (1893)
Henthorn v Fraser  2 Ch 27.
Hyde v Wrency  3 Beav 334.
Moran v University College Salford (No 2), The Times, November 23, 1993
Pharmaceutical Society v Boots  1 QB 401
Stover v Manchester City Council  1 WLR 1403.
Stickney v Keeble  AC 386.
Andrews, N. 2015. Interpretation of Written Contracts in England. Russian Law Journal. Vol. 2.
Chen-Wishart, M. 2015. Contract law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dargue, P. 2019. The Safety of Convictions in the Court of Appeal: Fresh Evidence in the Criminal Division Through an Empirical Lens, Vol. 83, no.6, pp. 433-449. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022018319877982
Gov.UK. n.d. Chancery Division of the High Court. [Online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/chancery-division-of-the-high-court [Accessed on: September 12, 2020].
Judicial Office International Team. 2016. The Judicial System of England and Wales: A Visitor’s Guide. [Online] Available at: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/international-visitors-guide-10a.pdf [Accessed on: September 12, 2020].
Poole, J. 2016. Casebook on Contract Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Stewart, A., Swain, W. & Fairweather, K. 2019. Contract Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
University of London. n.d. Introduction and general principles. [Online]. Available at: https://london.ac.uk/sites/default/files/study-guides/contract-law-study-guide.pdf [Accessed on: September 12, 2020].
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