Introduction to Contract Law

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THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF BUILDING

AN INTRODUCTION TO CONTRACT LAW OR (GETTING IN AND OUT OF A CONTRACT)

Thursday 14 June 2012
by Keith Blizzard, Partner, Shakespeares Legal LLP BSc(Hons) DipArb FRICS FCIOB FCIArb FFB MEWI Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Chartered Builder, Chartered Arbitrator, Panel Adjudicator, Accredited and Panel Mediator, Forensic Surveyor and Lecturer

Somerset House Temple Street Birmingham B2 5DJ

t 0121 237 3000 d 0121 631 5221 f 0121 237 3030 e keith.blizzard@shakespeares.co.uk

THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF BUILDING AN INTRODUCTION TO CONTRACT LAW OR (GETTING IN AND OUT OF A CONTRACT) On 19 June 2012 By Keith Blizzard BSc(Hons) DipArb FRICS FCIOB FCIArb FFB MEWI __________________________________________________________________________________________

AN INTRODUCTION TO CONTRACT LAW OR (GETTING IN AND OUT OF A CONTRACT) INTRODUCTION The construction industry is notoriously poor at getting contractual arrangements right Building contractors and sub-contractors are keen to build buildings and to “get on with it” Professionals know their own area of expertise and want to “get on with it” Clients invariably want to “get on with it” However, sometimes, “getting on with it” can be a recipe for disaster A very expensive disaster You need to understand the basics of contract law to know whether or not you have formed a contract; if you are still under a contract and whether or not the contract is complete I will discuss the following: THE LEGAL PRINCIPLES OF SIMPLE CONTRACTS

THE FORMATION OF A CONTRACT DISCHARGE OF A CONTRACT

Page 1 of 12

14 June 2012

Copyright: SHAKESPEARES LEGAL LLP Somerset House Temple Street Birmingham B2 5DJ Tel: 0121 237 3000 Fax: 0121 237 3030 E-mail: keith.blizzard@shakespeares.co.uk

THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF BUILDING AN INTRODUCTION TO CONTRACT LAW OR (GETTING IN AND OUT OF A CONTRACT) On 19 June 2012 By Keith Blizzard BSc(Hons) DipArb FRICS FCIOB FCIArb FFB MEWI __________________________________________________________________________________________

LEGAL PRINCIPLES OF SIMPLE CONTRACTS
The Essential Elements of a Simple Contract A contract can be described to be a legally binding agreement made between two or more parties, by which rights and/or obligations are acquired or granted. There are a number of elements to a simple contract. For a simple contract to be legally enforceable there must be: An offer An unconditional acceptance of that offer Consideration Consensus ad idem The intention by both parties to be legally bound by that agreement Capacity of the Parties to contract Legality of purpose Sufficient certainty of the terms Most aspects of contract law are set down at common law; that is in case law However there are some notable exceptions where provision is made in statute See Sale of Goods Act 1979, Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and the Sale & Supply of Goods Act 1994. See also Companies Acts 1989 and 2006 What is the Common Law It is the historical development of an unwritten common legal system which has been interpreted by the Courts In theory, the Courts do not create law they merely identify what the “common” law already is It is through the doctrine of binding precedent that an inferior Court is bound in its own identification of the law by previous superior Court decisions

Page 2 of 12

14 June 2012

Copyright: SHAKESPEARES LEGAL LLP Somerset House Temple Street Birmingham B2 5DJ Tel: 0121 237 3000 Fax: 0121 237 3030 E-mail: keith.blizzard@shakespeares.co.uk

THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF BUILDING AN INTRODUCTION TO CONTRACT LAW OR (GETTING IN AND OUT OF A CONTRACT) On 19 June 2012 By Keith Blizzard BSc(Hons) DipArb FRICS FCIOB FCIArb FFB MEWI __________________________________________________________________________________________

This system of law with hierarchical and thus fairly certain principles has been established, which is not so rigid that it cannot...
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