updated on 25 February 2022
Reading time: five minutes
This LCN Says is part of a series looking at The University of Law’s (ULaw) Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) manuals that have been specifically designed to support law students in their SQE1 exams. This LCN Says will look at what students can expect to learn in the Contract Law manual.
What is contract law?
Consumers and businesses enter into contracts every day For example, when you buy a train ticket, you’re making a contract with TFL. This contract is for TFL to fulfil the contract terms by providing you with the train service you have paid for and taking you to your destination.
Read this LCN Blog to find out about smart contracts: ‘Smart contracts and the English law.’
Therefore, when there are delays or train cancellations, you can claim compensation and get a refund within 28 days of the ticket’s expiry date.
This is reflected in the Consumer Rights Act (2015) which gives you rights when you make a contract with a trader to supply goods, services and digital content. The requirements required to create a legal contract are an:
Contract law helps law students and lawyers to recognise:
Formation of a contract
For a contract to exist, there must be an agreement of an offer being accepted and clear intention to create legal relations and considerations. Consideration is something that has value in the eyes of the law and can be given in return of a promise. For example, exceeding a contractual or public duty is consideration. Consideration can also be:
Read this LCN Blog to find out when a contract can be unlawful: ‘Illegal covid-19 contracts.’
Damages and remedies
What happens if a party fails to uphold their end of the bargain – in what ways can a contract be terminated?
We know that the law imposes damages on defendants to compensate claimants for the loss they have suffered as a result of the breach of contract. So, in order to prove they are entitled to damages, the injured party must show that:
The Consumer Rights Act outlines what statutory rights you have when something goes wrong. Let’s say you order a dress online from ASOS and you notice that the stitching has come apart or there’s a stain, you are entitled to your money back because ASOS has a contract not to supply faulty products to its customers. This is called compensatory damages (also called ‘actual damages’) because ASOS is covering the loss incurred by you due to the breach of contract.
There are other damages in contract law, such as:
Read this LCN Says to find out how you can use Depop as a law student: ‘How running a business on Depop can sharpen your commercial awareness.’
If you're interested in other areas of law then read:
Read the latest information about what is happening with the SQE via our SQE Hub.
Christianah Babajide (she/her) is the content and engagement coordinator at LawCareers.Net.