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A is for Acceptance

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In the context of contract law, which applies to all forms of contracts, the term “acceptance” means agreeing with or mirroring an offer that has been made. Obviously, this means it must follow an offer by another part and to be deemed “valid”, the following must be present:

A. It must be in response to an offer

This means that the person who is in a position to accept the offer (i.e. the “offeree”) must be aware of the offer made, and its acceptance will be in response to it.

B. It must be unqualified

Acceptance must be the mirror image of the offer made. This means there can be no qualifications to the offer whatsoever such as a change to price etcetera. Where a difference between offer and acceptance exists, this will amount to a “counteroffer” which would nullify the original offer.

C. It must be communicated

This means that the offeror must receive confirmation of the acceptance, with specifics about how this may be communicated. As such silence from the other party would not be considered as acceptance.

D. The agreement made must be certain

This means that when objectively viewed by a third party, it must be possible to determine the terms of conditions of the agreement made.

Once a valid acceptance takes place an “agreement” will be deemed to have been formed on the specifics of the contract, but for the contract to be considered legally binding it would still have to incorporate these three elements:

  • Parties involved must exhibit a valid intention to create legal relations (ICLR).
  • An exchange of consideration between the parties.
  • Parties involved must have capacity to enter into a legal contract.

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The first letter in Quigg Golden’s A-Z of construction law contractual Terms.

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