Contract Law (Essential) by Suff, Marnah Suff, Nicholas Bourne

By Suff, Marnah Suff, Nicholas Bourne

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The plaintiff attempted to debit his account in branch B by writing on the cheque as he had been in the habit of doing in the past. The computer failed to recognise the alteration and debited the wrong account. It was held that the statement in the cheque book had not been incorporated into the plaintiff’s contract with the bank as it was not clear that the cheque book was a contractual document. Reasonable notice of the term must be given In Parker v SE Railway (1877) the plaintiff received a ticket which stated on the face ‘see back’.

20 CONSIDERATION AND INTENTION TO BE LEGALLY BOUND In Ward v Byham (1956), the father of an illegitimate child wrote to the mother from whom he was separated, saying that she could have the child and an allowance of £1 per week if she proved that the child was ‘well-looked after and happy’. It was held that the mother was entitled to enforce the promise because in undertaking to see that the child was ‘well-looked after and happy’, she was doing more than her legal obligation. Lord Denning, however, based his decision on the ground that the mother provided consideration by performing her legal duty to maintain the child.

It was applied by Lord Denning, but other judges reached the same conclusion on other grounds in Alan v El Nasr and Brikom Investments Ltd v Carr (1979). Promissory estoppel was applied by the Court of Appeal in Tool Metal Manufacturing Co Ltd v Tungsten Electric Co Ltd. Lord Hailsham, when Lord Chancellor, called for the cases to be reviewed and reduced to a coherent body of doctrine by the House of Lords. Intention to be legally bound Traditionally, English law has required the parties to a contract to have intended to create legal relations.

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