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Offer and Acceptance: The Building Blocks of a Contract

Offer and Acceptance: The Building Blocks of a Contract

As a solicitor, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of contract law. One of the fundamental concepts in this area is offer and acceptance. In this article, we will explore the importance of offer and acceptance and how they form the building blocks of a contract.

Understanding Offer

An offer is a proposal made by one party to another, indicating their willingness to enter into a legally binding agreement. For an offer to be valid, it must be clear, definite, and communicated to the other party. It is important to note that an invitation to negotiate or an expression of intention is not considered a legal offer.

When drafting an offer, it is crucial to include all essential terms of the proposed contract. These terms may include the subject matter, price, payment terms, delivery details, and any other conditions or requirements that both parties need to agree upon.

However, it is worth noting that an offer can be terminated in several ways, including revocation (when the offeror withdraws the offer before it is accepted), rejection (when the offeree does not accept the offer), or lapse of time (when the offer is not accepted within a reasonable timeframe).

Acceptance: A Perfect Match

Acceptance is the unconditional agreement by the offeree to the terms of the offer. To be valid, acceptance must be clear, communicated to the offeror, and match the terms of the offer precisely. Any attempt to modify the terms of the offer would be considered a counteroffer, which then requires acceptance by the original offeror.

It is important to highlight that acceptance does not have to be expressed verbally or in writing. It can also be implied through the conduct of the parties involved. For example, if an offeror states that acceptance can be made by performance, the offeree can accept the offer by fulfilling the requested action.

It is worth noting that acceptance must be made within a reasonable time unless a specific timeframe is specified in the offer. If the offeror specifies a deadline, the acceptance must be communicated before the deadline expires. If the acceptance is not timely, it may be considered invalid, and the offer may no longer be available.

The Moment of Agreement

In contract law, the moment of agreement, also known as the “meeting of the minds,” occurs when the offer is validly accepted. At this point, a legally binding contract is formed, and both parties are obligated to fulfill their respective obligations under the contract.

It is important to note that, in some cases, additional steps may be required for a contract to be enforceable. For example, certain contracts may need to be in writing and signed by both parties to be legally valid. These additional requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of contract.


Offer and acceptance are the fundamental building blocks of a contract. As a solicitor, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of these concepts to effectively advise clients and draft contracts. By ensuring that offers are clear and definite and that acceptances match the terms of the offer, you can help your clients avoid legal disputes and establish binding contracts.

If you are studying for the SQE exams and would like to practice your contract law knowledge, we recommend checking out our SQE 1 Practice Exam Questions and SQE 1 Practice Mocks FLK1 FLK2 articles. Additionally, if you are preparing for the SQE exams, be sure to explore our SQE 1 Preparation Courses and SQE 2 Preparation Courses to help you excel in your studies.

For more information on important dates for the SRA SQE exams, please visit our SRA SQE Exam Dates page.