The law is just about the meaning of words and a few simple rules.
A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.
- The most important rule is that the contract, when in writing, as almost all commercial contracts are, is presumed to be a complete and precise statement of exactly what each side has agreed to do so that any failure to do so is a breach of contract.
- It is a breach of contract to prevent or impede the other side in carrying out the contract.
- Everything must be done when stated in the contract or within a reasonable time.
- The contract will always require work or equipment to be of a reasonable level of quality.
The mechanism used by law to decide whether a contract has been made is that of offer and acceptance. This means, simply, that for a contract to exist, one party has to offer terms which the other party accepts.
This leads to a number of rules:
- Each party can make and accept offers.
- The offer can be made in any way: by telephone, letter, e‐mail, or across the negotiating table. They are all equally valid.
- The offer must be complete. It must include:
- A description of the equipment or work to be supplied and a timescale
- Price or prices and terms of payment
- Contract terms/conditions
- The offer must be firm. If it is incomplete or subject to further discussion or ‘confirmation’, it is not an offer.
- Until an offer has been made there cannot be ...