Please contact customerservices lexology. The UK legal system is one that is based on precedence and case law. Over the course of hundreds of years, the courts have made decisions that impact how the law works today and how it will evolve in the future. There are countless landmark decisions that have impacted the legal landscape in the UK and we have outlined just a few below:. Does a contract have to be a bilateral agreement to be legally binding?
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Please contact customerservices lexology. The UK legal system is one that is based on precedence and case law. Over the course of hundreds of years, the courts have made decisions that impact how the law works today and how it will evolve in the future. There are countless landmark decisions that have impacted the legal landscape in the UK and we have outlined just a few below:.
Does a contract have to be a bilateral agreement to be legally binding? According to an decision from the Court of Appeal, apparently not. In Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co , a decision often cited as a leading case in the common law of contract, the Court of Appeal held that an advertisement containing particular terms to get a reward is considered a binding unilateral offer that is accepted by anyone who completes its terms.
Mrs Louisa Elizabeth Carlill bought the product, used it for months, but still caught the flu. When the company refused the pay out, Mrs Carlill sued. The Court of Appeal found that the advertisement constituted a binding agreement as the essential elements of a contract — including offer and acceptance, consideration and an intention to create legal relations — were all present.
The Carlill case played a large role in developing the law of unilateral offers, and laid the foundation for the modern practice of outlawing misleading advertising. The Factortame case had wide reaching implications and resulted in quite a few important judgments. One such judgement impacted heavily on the development of third party litigation funding. In this case, Factortame Limited, a Spanish fishing company claimed that the UK had broken European Union law with the requirement that ships must have a majority of British owners in order to be registered in the UK.
Factortame won, successfully demonstrating that they had been illegally excluded from UK fishing waters and that they were also entitled to damages. One issue that arose was whether or not that contract was champertous, meaning it would be unenforceable. In addition to deciding in favour of Factortame, the judge in the case held that fee arrangement between the company and the accounting firm was not champertous. The judge found that funding litigation furthered the public policy objective of increasing access to justice, opening the door to the modern age of funded disputes.
The word negligence is a very common legal term nowadays. However, the modern concept of negligence can largely be traced back to when a House of Lords decision set out the principle whereby one person would owe a duty of care to another.
When she fell ill, she sued the manufacturer, Mr Stevenson. The case proceeded all the way from the Court of Session to the House of Lords, where the house held that the manufacturer was liable as he owed a duty of care to the customer. This duty of care was breached, because it was reasonable to foresee that a failure to ensure product safety could harm the consumer. And thus, the neighbour principle — the idea one must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions that could reasonably be foreseen as likely to injure one's neighbour — was born.
We all know the old adage, "Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done. What McCarthy and his solicitor did not know was that the clerk for the justices was in fact a member of the firm of solicitors that was acting in a civil claim against McCarthy, linked to the traffic accident for which he was being prosecuted.
McCarthy was convicted, but when he learned of this relationship he applied to have the decision overturned. The appeal was heard by Lord Chief Justice Hewart, who found in favour of McCarthy because whether or not the justices were swayed by the clerk, there was an appearance of bias.
The case established the principle that even the appearance of bias is adequate evidence to overturn a legal decision. If you would like to learn how Lexology can drive your content marketing strategy forward, please email enquiries lexology.
I like the fact that the email contains a short indication of the subject matter of the articles, which allows me to skim the newsfeed very quickly and decide which articles to read in more detail. Back Forward. Share Facebook Twitter Linked In. Follow Please login to follow content. Register now for your free, tailored, daily legal newsfeed service. United Kingdom September 15 There are countless landmark decisions that have impacted the legal landscape in the UK and we have outlined just a few below: The flu, smokeballs and contracts - Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co Does a contract have to be a bilateral agreement to be legally binding?
Spanish fisherman and litigation funding - R Factortame Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions No 2 The Factortame case had wide reaching implications and resulted in quite a few important judgments. The Paisley Snail and duty of care - Donoghue v Stevenson The word negligence is a very common legal term nowadays. Bias in the justice system — R v Sussex Justices, ex p McCarthy We all know the old adage, "Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.
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Four landmark cases that changed the legal landscape in the UK
Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company  EWCA Civ 1 is an English contract law decision by the Court of Appeal , which held an advertisement containing certain terms to get a reward constituted a binding unilateral offer that could be accepted by anyone who performed its terms. It is notable for its curious subject matter and how the influential judges particularly Lindley LJ and Bowen LJ developed the law in inventive ways. Carlill is frequently discussed as an introductory contract case, and may often be the first legal case a law student studies in the law of contract. The case concerned a flu remedy called the "carbolic smoke ball". The company was found to have been bound by its advertisement, which was construed as an offer which the buyer, by using the smoke ball, accepted, creating a contract. The Court of Appeal held the essential elements of a contract were all present, including offer and acceptance , consideration and an intention to create legal relations.
Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.