Felthouse v Bindley, Facts, Decison, Crticizam, Key Points

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This case is concerned with acceptance by silence in offer and acceptance chapter of contract law

Facts of felthouse v bindley

The claimant and his nephew went into negotiations for a horse which was owned by the nephew. The claiamant said to the nephew that if I don’t hear anything from you then I would consider that the horse is mine for 30 pounds.

The nephew did not repond to this offer but he decided in his mind to accept it. So he told the defendant auctioneer that to not to sell the horse as it was already sold.

But the auctioneer forgot that the horse is sold and in mistake he sold the Horse. On this the claimant sued the auctioneer . As the auctionner said that the claimant can’t sue him as he was not the owner of the horse. Because his nephew had not accepted his offer


Can the claimant sue the auctioneer? Was the contract made between the nephew and the claimant?


The court favoured the auctioneer and said that the claimant can’t sue the auctioneer and the contract was not formed between nephew and the claimant because the nephew was silent and silence cannot be interpreted as acceptance

Criticism on Felthouse v Bindley:

The criticism that laid down on this case was that the nephew had accepted the offer of his uncle by saying the auctioneer that the horse was already sold.

Key point to remember:

Silence cannot amount to acceptance

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