Legal Case Summary
Henthorn v Fraser  2 Ch 27
Contract – Postal Rule – Contract Formation – Specific Performance – Acceptance – Offer
The complainant and the defendant had been negotiating the purchase price of houses. An original offer to buy the houses for £600 had been rejected. The defendant, Mr Fraser, handed the complainant, Mr Henthorn, a note that detailed an option to sell the property for £750, which would be valid for 14 days. While this offer was being considered, another buyer was interested and the defendant concluded a contract with them instead. The next day, the defendant then withdrew the offer to the complainant by post. This note did not reach Mr Henthorn until 5pm. In this time, Mr Henthorn had already responded to the offer by post with an unconditional acceptance to buy the houses for £750. But, this was not delivered to Mr Fraser until the office was closed and he did not read this acceptance until the morning.
The issue in this case concerned the revocation of the offer. This was completed before the postal acceptance of the offer was received. It was for the court to decide whether the acceptance of the offer was valid or if the contract had been revoked successfully before the acceptance.
The court held that the offer was valid and an order for specific performance made for £750 to purchase the property. The postal rule in Adams v Lindsell would apply, which stated that it would be reasonable for acceptance of an offer to take place by post. However, this rule would not apply to the revocation of an offer. Post was a way of communicating offer acceptance, but the acceptance itself is completed as soon as it is posted. This was reasonable to expect since both parties lived in different towns.
Cite This Work
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:
Related ServicesView all
Related ContentJurisdictions / Tags
Content relating to: "UK Law"
UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.
What Extent Is the British Prime Minister Different From German Chancellor?
A good way to evaluate parliamentary systems is analyzing how easy (or difficult) is for any parliamentary.....
Main Characteristics of Constitutional Convention in Westminster
Many rules are followed by political institutions in countries using the Westminster system of government that are neither codified in legislation...