• In the case of Hyde v Wrench 1840 EWHC Ch j90, the principle of a counteroffer destroys the original offer was laid out.

Facts of the Case

  • D offered in writing on 6th June to sell C his farm at a price of £1000 to which C counter offered on the 27th of June for £950 although D refused this.
  • C then offered £1000 but D refused and as a result, C sued for a breach of contract.

Issues in Hyde v Wrench 1840 EWHC Ch j90

  • Did the counteroffer destroy the original offer?

Held by High Court

  • Claim failed.

Lord Langdale

  • Here, it was held that as there was no original contract for the £1000 offer, it was successfully destroyed upon the counteroffer of £950.
  • The judge found that if the original offer had been unconditionally accepted, there would have been a binding contract however instead of this, C made an offer of his own thereby rejecting D’s offer to sell the farm at £1000.
  • “Under the circumstances stated in this bill, I think there exists no valid binding contract between the parties for the purchase of the property. The Defendant offered to sell it for £1000, and if that had been at once unconditionally accepted, there would undoubtedly have been a perfect binding contract; instead of that, the Plaintiff made an offer of his own, to purchase the property for £950, and he thereby rejected the offer previously made by the Defendant. I think that it was not afterwards competent for him to revive the proposal of the Defendant, by tendering an acceptance of it; and that, therefore, there exists no obligation of any sort between the parties; the demurrer must be allowed.”