Jones v Vernons’ Pools Ltd, (1938) 2 All ER 626

Intention to create legal relations in the formation of contracts.


Mr. Jones filled in two winning entries on coupons for a sales promotion and sent it to Vernon Pools. The coupons contained the words of “binding in honour only” and that the entry of the coupon “shall not give rise to any legal relations.” The company claimed to only have received one of the coupons and not the other. However, Mr. Jones claimed that the coupon entry was a contractually binding arrangement and that he was entitled to the prize money. The primary question arose as to whether the coupons legally-bound the company to pay Mr. Jones the winning prize money. 


The question arose as to whether the coupons created a legally-binding contract between the parties, pursuant to which the football pools company intended to be legally bound to pay the prize money.


The Court held that the existence of the terms “binding in honour only” and that the entry of the coupons “shall not give rise to any legal relations” on the coupons themselves demonstrated that the parties did not have the intention to be legally bound. The express provision was held to have the effect of expressly precluding and preventing the existence of a legally binding arrangement. This rebutted the presumption that the coupons would be binding at law. On this basis, Court held that the agreement was an agreement in “honour” and not a contract creating legal relations between the parties. Thus, Mr. Jones’ claim for the prize money was not an enforceable legal contract, and his claim was dismissed.

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