English contract law sets the tone internationally. In this website we offer free information on contract law in the UK explain different elements that make up the law today. An intention to create legal relations is normally required but this is taken for granted for commercial dealings (business to business, B-B). Offer and acceptance are the two other main elements that need be proved in formation of a contract in the UK.
One Landmark case in offer, acceptance and intention to create legal intentions is Carbill v Carbolic Smoke Ball company. This is a case about a smoke ball that could cure the flu, if not the company would pay £100 . It set the tone legally after Carbill sued the company as a universal customer and acceptance of an offer was waived. The offer in this incidence would be the price upon purchase that would be accepted. A reasonableness test was established albeit that an neutral third party would deem that Carbolic wanted to create legal intentions by positing an advert with a promise to pay an unsatisfied customer. This amongst other key cases mould how business is done today.
Statute also guides the rules of both parties, customer and business (or B-B), on how to conduct business and to ensure that fair game and goodwill is adhered to. Acceptance can be shown verbally as a gentleman’s agreement in B-B transactions – but if not B to B; The burden of proof is placed on documentary evidence. As a rule of thumb there is a ‘last shot’ rule (or ‘battle of the forms’). Where this occurs offers are made then counter offers sent via post or otherwise. Terms and conditions are sent along with this. Upon acceptance by either party the last communication before the contract commences will have their terms applied if not objected in writing. This will give them their upper hand if any disputes arise and is seen as fair legal game under the case of Butler Machine Tool Co Ltd v. Ex-Cell-O Corporation (England) Ltd  WLR under the radical and pioneering Judge Lord Denning.
Breach of contract is where one party steps out of line to what they’d say they’d on the contract. There are many different breaches including, performance or non-performance of a consideration they have put into the contract, in return for money for example, albeit a service or product.
Legally Binding Contract Terms – here we offer a list common contract terms that are legally binding, with simple explanations. Contract terms are split between implied and express terms. Implied terms aren’t written or said. They are statute regulations. They can also be standards set in the course of business previously or trade standards and deemed to be known by the parties. Express terms can override the standard law of thumb but there are some terms that cannot even be expressly written too. Again breach of these means the innocent party will receive financial remuneration.
The employment law tab has information on UK employment law and EU regulations in the European Court of Homan Rights act. This includes national minimum wage, direct and indirect discrimination, working hours, notice of resignation and child labour laws in the UK.
There are examples of some contracts also on this page, showing what a contract looks like and the example standard terms and conditions of such a contract.
Then on the contract law cases tab we offer some more important common law cases along with ratio(point of law) and the judge in question and their decision (ratio decidendi in Latin) and how it affects the law today. Also included are a few statutes which play significance in the law of business transactions both commercially and privately in the UK today.
See also Law of Contract