Holland and co llp case study

Re: Lola’s Boutique

The following are the findings and answers to the questions you requested tackled in your memo. These findings were made after a scrutiny of the emails, between Lola Styne and Liam Mills:
1. At what point does Lola make an offer to Liam and what importance, if any, is the advertisement placed in the newspaper?
Lola officially made an offer to Liam Mills in her email dated 17 September 2014. Lola’s email meets the definition and requisite elements of an offer. An offer is a definite promise that bounds the offeror to the offeree once the latter accepts it. Its elements are: competent parties, a promise to do or abstain from doing something, and; intention to obtain the acceptance of the other (Get Through Guides 2007). Lola and Liam constituted the two parties where Lola was the offeror and Liam was the offeree. The second element was met when Lola offered to sell the sideboard for £400 and intended acceptance through the indication of her bank account number where the payment could be sent. The advertisement placed by Lola was an invitation to treat. In an invitation to treat the offeror does not intend to be bound. In Partridge v. Crittenden [1968] 1 WLR 1204, the Court held that an advertisement for Bramblefinch cocks was not an offer to sell, thus, dismissing the suit against the advertiser for violating a law that prohibited the sale of live wild birds. An exception to this is the case of Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company [1892] EWCA Civ 1, where the advertisement as found to have contained all the elements of a contract.
2. Looking at the e-mail trails does it appear that a binding agreement has been reached?
No, a binding contract has not been reached because there was no meeting of the minds. When Liam responded to Lola’s September 17 email, he cited a price lower than that offered by Lola. It constituted a counter-offer, the effect of which was to cancel Lola’s earlier offer. A counter-offer is an answer to an offer that varies the term/terms of that offer. It has a two-fold effect: a rejection of the original offer, and is a new offer in itself (Kouladis 2006). The case of Hyde v. Wrench [1840] EWHC Ch J90 had similar circumstances to the present case here seller made an offer to sell his property for £1000, but the buyer offered to buy it at £950. The Court ruled there was no contract because of the counteroffer.
3. Summarise the law surrounding the postal rule for Lola and advise if this would be a preferable method of acceptance for her to use in the future.
The postal rule is favourable to the offeree because of the protection from revocation, unless he/she has knowledge of it. This form of acceptance may not be advantageous to Lola. The postal rule allows acceptance of an offer through the Royal Mail (Andrews 2011). An acceptance through the post takes effect upon the posting of the letter of acceptance. In Household Fire Insurance Co. v Grant [1878–79] LR 4 Ex D 216, the Court held that the mere act of posting the letter of acceptance is enough to make the acceptance operative so long as the mail is properly stamped and addressed. Thus, the loss or the delay of the mail in reaching the offeror does not prevent the acceptance from being operational.


Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company [1892] EWCA Civ 1
Get Through Guides, F4 Corporate & Business Law (UK) – Study Text (2nd edn, Get Through Guides, 2007)
Household Fire Insurance Co. v Grant [1878–79] LR 4 Ex D 216
Hyde v. Wrench [1840] EWHC Ch J90
Neil Andrews, Contract Law (Cambridge University Press, 2011)
Nicholas Kouladis, Principles of Law Relating to International Trade (Springer Science & Business Media, 2006)
Partridge v. Crittenden [1968] 1 WLR 1204