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Key information

Court
Rolls Court

Judge
Lord Langdale
(Master of the Rolls)

Issues
Agreement
Counter-offer

Full text
BAILII

Misc
YouTube simulation
By Benjamin Ang

AustraliaHyde v Wrench

(1840) Beav 334


Facts

D offered to sell land to P for $1,200. That offer was rejected. D then offered to sell the land to P for $1,000. P responded by offering to buy the land for $950. D refused to sell at that price whereupon P said he would pay $1,000 for the land. D refused to sell. Was there a contract?

Held

No - P's offer to buy for $950 constituted a counter offer; effectively a rejection of the original offer and a new offer. Once rejected, an offer cannot be revived by subsequent acceptance.

Lord Langdale: Under the circumstances in this bill, I think there exists no valid binding contract between the parties for the purchase of the property. The Defendant offered to sell it for £1000, and if that had been at once unconditionally accepted, there would undoubtedly have been a perfect binding contract; instead of that, the Plaintiff made an offer of his own, to purchase the property for £950, and he thereby rejected the offer previously made by the Defendant. I think that it was not afterwards competent for him to revive the proposal of the Defendant, by tendering an acceptance of it; and that, therefore, there exists no obligation of any sort between the parties; the demurrer must be allowed.

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