Study Notes

Key Case | Yates v Pulleyn (1975) | Formation of Contract - Method of Acceptance

A Level, IB, BTEC National
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 26 May 2021

The case established that it is possible to specify the manner in which acceptance must be communicated, however if this is a direction rather than a mandatory requirement, if the direction is not followed it does not prevent the acceptance from being valid.


Claimant: Yates (Building Company)

Defendant: Pulleyn (Owner of building plots)

Facts: The defendant offered their land for sale and stipulated within the offer that acceptance was to be communicated in writing and sent by a recorded postal method, so as to ensure proof of the offer being sent. The claimant sent the offer via the ordinary postal service, and whilst received by the defendant, the defendant refused the acceptance as it has not been sent in the exact way required.

Outcome: Liable – a contract had been formed.

Legal principle: The requirement of recorded post being used was only a direction rather than a legal requirement and thus the acceptance was still valid.

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