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Formation and Variation of Contracts

Formation and Variation of Contracts
2nd Edition, 1st Supplement
Practice Area:  Commercial Law, Contract Law
ISBN:  9780414080379
Published by:  Sweet & Maxwell
Publication Date:  23 Sep 2020
Subscription Information:  Non-Subscribable Product
Format:  Paperback
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Formation and Variation of Contracts provides a detailed account of the law relating to the formation and variation of contracts. This includes pre-contractual negotiations, offer & acceptance, formalities, consideration and promissory estoppel.
The First supplement to the second edition updates readers on recent developments throughout the work since the second edition was published, including:
  • Pre-contractual negotiations: case law on duties of good faith, the binding force of “heads of terms” and the incorporation of terms into a preliminary contract
  • Finding the agreement: cases on intention to create legal relations, certainty (including the extent to which terms can be implied to avoid the agreement being too incomplete or too uncertain to be enforceable), finding an agreement through offer and acceptance (and identifying the time and place of the contract)
  • Electronic signature: Cases on electronic signatures (including signature by insertion of the sender’s name in an email) and the Law Commission’s review (Law Com No.386, 2019) of the existing law on electronic signatures and their broader proposals relating to the electronic execution of documents, including deeds
  • Contract formalities: cases applying statutory formality requirements (and considering the consequences of parties’ failure to comply with formality requirements), in particular under the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, s.1 (deeds, including the formal requirements for attestation) and s.2 (contracts for the sale or other disposition of an interest in land) and the Statute of Frauds 1677, s.4 (contracts of guarantee)
  • ‘No oral modification’ clauses: the reception by case law and commentators of the decision of the Supreme Court in MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd v Rock Advertising Ltd (2018)
  • Consideration: cases finding consideration (in a contract of compromise) or not finding consideration (given the uncertainty over whether “practical benefit” to the creditor can be sufficient consideration for his promise to reduce a debt)
  • Brexit: the significance for topics discussed in the book of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, including any known changes that will be made to the retained EU law after the end of the EU withdrawal agreement implementation period.

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1. Introduction; 2. Pre-Contractual Negotiations; 3. Finding the Agreement; 4. The Role of Formality; 5. Specific Formalities: Substantive Conditions of a Binding Contract; 6. Specific Formalities: Written Evidence as a Condition of Enforceability; 7. A General Formality: The Deed; 8. Consideration as a Condition of the Existence of a Contract; 9. Consideration in the Variation and Discharge of a Contract; 10. The Role of Promissory Estoppel in the Modification of a Contract.


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