Contract Law Case Study

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A. Concern v Good

The incident between Mr. Good and Mr. Concern is being introduced in this case. Mr. Good put up an article on The Best Daily saying that he would share half of the advertising cost for anyone who places an advertisement in Best Daily with the intention of ‘initiating major legal response to raise climate change consciousness of the people of Hong Kong'. Our client, Mr. Concern who responded to Mr. Good’s offer, placed advertisements in 15 newspapers expressing ‘support for social reform for the protection of environment’. This case arises when Mr. Concern could not get the 50% advertisement fees from Mr. Good and is looking for compensation. Therefore, it is clearly that Mr. Concern is the plaintiff, and Mr. Good is the defendant.

Unilateral offer
In this case, we have to decide whether this is an existence of legally binding offer -unilateral offer. Therefore in this case, we will have to explore if Mr. Concern is to be bounded by such offer. A unilateral offer refers to a party making a promise of reward on performance of some act. The offer is only accepted by performance of the requested action. Anyone who knows about this offer may complete the act and claim the reward.

Acceptance nature
Therefore under unilateral offer, Mr. Concern can only claim his rewards- 50% of the advertising fees when he comply fully Mr. Good’s offer. That is ‘to initiate major legal response to raise climate change consciousness of the people of Hong Kong.’ In this case, Mr. Concern posted advertisements to ‘express support for social reform for the projection of environment through discussion and debate in schools and universities in Hong Kong.’ This is in fact not the stipulated act of the Good’s offer. Therefore under such circumstances, the rewards could not be claimed when the stipulated act is not completely and fully performed and executed. And Concern were not entitled to any rewards since he did not comply with the terms of offer at all. Therefore Good do not have any responsibility to provide the 50% advertising fees as Concern requested.

Ignorance
Acceptance in ignorance of an offer could not create a contract. The offeree must know the essence of the terms of the offer and conduct himself in reliance of the offer.
According to the incident, Concern placed advertisements only in respond to Mr. Do-it All repentance of Good’s offer. It implied that Concern did not read about Good’s offer directly and therefore his act of being ignorance about the offer cannot form a legally binding contract relationship. This can be examined in a very similar case, [KOO MING KOWN v NEXT MEDIA LTD & ORS],

Judge Lok said, ‘As the plaintiff learnt about the 2nd defendant’s appeal from an interview of the 3rd defendant reported in a magazine published by the 4th defendant, and such report, says the plaintiff, did not truly reflect the offer made by the 2nd defendant,…’

This illustrated that Concern was not bounded by an unilateral offer with ignorance of the terms of the offer.

Vagueness and Uncertainty
Where the parties have omitted, or have vaguely expressed, key terms, the courts would have no alternative but to hold the agreement void for uncertainty. Good offered to support half of the advertising fees for whoever initiates major legal response to raise climate change consciousness of the people of Hong Kong. In this case, the defendant-Good’s offer was not clear or certain enough to create a legally binding offer. The term ‘climate change consciousness’ and ‘legal response’ is too vague and subjective that each individual would have different understandings towards these terms according to their different backgrounds and beliefs. With these vague and ambiguous terms of offer, it lacks the certainty to make it legally binding. On the other hand, the terms of the offer is exceptionally wide, where if it really came to a concrete offer, Good’s liability would be unlimited in respond of...
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