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Understanding a valid Contract in construction.


A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties. It is important for a quantity surveyor to understand the key elements that are required to create a valid contract. These elements include: offer, acceptance, intention to create legal relations, and consideration.


Offer refers to a definite promise or series of promises made by one party (the offeror) to another party (the offeree). Acceptance is the manifestation by the offeree of their unconditional agreement to the terms of the offer. Intention to create legal relations refers to the parties' desire to form a legally binding agreement. Consideration is something of value that is given in exchange for a promise or performance.


In addition to these four key elements, a contract may also require certain formalities or formal requirements in order to be considered legally binding. These may include writing, signatures, or the presence of witnesses.

It is important to note that an invitation to treat, such as the display of goods in a store, is not considered a contractual offer. Instead, it is an invitation for the other party to make an offer. Similarly, acceptance of an offer must be communicated to the offeror in a clear and definite manner.


Case studies can be useful in understanding the elements of a valid contract. For example, the case of "Fisher v Bell" involved a flick-knife displayed in a shop and determined that it was an invitation to treat, rather than a contractual offer. The case of "Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co." involved an advertisement for a product that promised a reward to those who used it and contracted influenza, and demonstrated the concept of acceptance by conduct. The case of "Adams v Lindsell" dealt with the issue of postal acceptance and the requirement for clear communication of acceptance


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