Key Case | Northern Foods v Focal Foods (2001) | Formation of Contract - Acceptance of Conduct
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Last updated 26 May 2021
The offer that was made by Northern Foods was accepted by Focal Foods by its conduct. The case showed that it is possible to accept an offer via conduct, this can be evidenced where the offeree begins acting in accordance with and in reliance upon the terms of the offer.
Claimant: Northern Foods
Defendant: Focal Foods
Facts: Northern Foods made a claim against Focal Foods for breach of a contract to supply onions, whilst Focal Foods contested that such a contract existed. Focal Foods had supplied Northern Foods with onions for a number of years and following a number of discussions, Focal Foods continued to supply onions and other vegetables but later sought to increase the price charged. Northern Foods sought to argue this was a breach of contract, Focal Foods sought to argue that in fact no contract had been agreed as they did not formally accept the offer in writing.
Legal principle: The offer that was made by Northern Foods was accepted by Focal Foods by its conduct in thereafter trading upon the basis of the terms that Northern Foods had offered.