Law

Study Notes

Key Case | Harris v Nickerson (1873) | Formation of Contract - Offers at Auctions

Level:
A Level, IB, BTEC Level 3
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR

An auctioneer does not make a contractual offer when advertising lots that appear in his auction catalogue, thus there is no claim when they do not advertise them for sale in the auction, due to whatever change of circumstances may have arisen.

CASE SUMMARY

Claimant: Harris

Defendant: Nickerson

Facts: The defendant, an auctioneer advertised that certain items would be lots in his auctions on certain days, a particular lot of office furniture was never brought for sale in the auction house. The claimant attended the auction house to bid on the furniture and sought a claim for breach of contract upon the basis that the advert was a contractual offer to provide it for bidding in the auction.

Outcome: Not liable – no contract

Legal principle: An auctioneer does not make a contractual offer when advertising lots that appear in his auction catalogue, thus there is no claim when he does not advertise them.

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