If you would like to accept the [offer], I simply ask you to reply to this email with your confirmation with the words „Okay“ or „Confirmed.“ It follows that, when it comes to an offer, it does not necessarily make an offer for acceptance. The Court of Appeal made it clear that a party wishing to agree in advance on key conditions, while retaining the possibility of entering into a contract with the terms and conditions at a later date, must expressly reserve the right to do so using the term „contract-compliant“ or using the corresponding terms. A formal agreement requires a signed document in addition to the oral agreement. In the absence of this written contract, the formal agreement is legally unenforceable. An agreement is reached on any agreement between at least two parties on specific responsibilities and rights. For informal agreements, an oral contract is sufficient. The appeal was filed by Clear plc („Clear“) against the decision to enter into an e-mail exchange agreement between the parties regarding the use of storage facilities with Immingham Storage Co Ltd („Immingham“). Clear questions about the use of storage space in the Immingham terminal. Immingham emailed Clear an offer for a 12-month storage period with its terms and conditions. The offer provided that a formal contract would be followed in due course.
Clear confirmed that it wanted to continue and faxed a signed copy of the offer. Upon receipt, Immingham sent an e-mail stating „Confirmation of Contract“ that he accepted Clear`s offer and that a full contract would be sent to Clear for signature. Immingham sent a contract, but Clear never returned a signed copy. In this case, Clear did not provide fuel for storage; Immingham still claimed his fee. If a contract is breached, which means that one or more parties do not fulfill their obligations, the other party or party may have the contract executed through the courts. This is why formal contracts are recommended for situations where you need legal protection. Even when working with friends, family members or long-standing business partners, you allow contracts: because they are not offers, they cannot be accepted.