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Key information

Court of Appeal, England


Offer v Invitation to Deal

AustraliaBlackpool & Flyde Aero Club
v Blackpool Borough Council

Court of Appeal [1990] 3 All ER 25


Blackpool Borough Council (the Council) invited tenders for certain flights, to be submitted in an envelope provided by the Council by a stipulated date.  The Aero Club submitted by the due date, but an error by the Council recorded it as received late and the tender was not considered.  The Aero Club alleged breach of contract, they claimed the Council had promised to consider all tenders submitted by the due date.

Held (Bingham LJ)

Because of the ‘considerable labour and expense’ that may be involved in preparing a tender then, at least where invitations to tender are provided to selected parties with clear procedures (as in this case) then, if the invitee submits a conforming tender ‘he is entitled … to be sure that his tender will … be opened and considered’.  To this extent, the invitation to tender constituted an offer which was accepted when the Aero Club made a timely submission.