Existence of a valid enforceable contract between Pat and Big Industry
In law, a contract refers to any agreement made between two or more parties with full and sufficient consideration of the expectations therein. The parties to the contract must have the capacity to enter into contract by law and should involve a legal consideration. Absence of one of the critical elements of valid contracts makes the contract void or voidable. A void contract cannot be enforced by law as it is not legal. In general, five main elements are important for a valid contract to exist. First, there is need for an offer to exist. This is the expression of the existing willingness and desire among the parties to remain bound by the terms of the contract. Therefore, the terms of the contract are those established by the offeror and are included in the initial stage of the contract. In the case of Pat and Big Industry, the offer was made by Pat to supply written four computer programs Big Industry by May 1 for which the company would pay Pat $25,000. It is also evident from the offer that the initial terms were that no modifications would be made on the contract would be valid unless there was a written and signed document by both parties.
A valid contract also needs to have an acceptance. Acceptance refers to the party to whom the offer has been made fully understands and unconditionally accepts to be obliged by the terms of the contract (Andrews, 2011). This is also evident in the case of Pat and Big Industry Ltd. When the offer was made, the two parties accepted the terms of the contract and agreed to be bound by the terms therein. Another important element of a valid contract is a consideration. A consideration refers to the bargain element for the parties involved in the contract. This represents the promise or the price in the contract. At the same time, the consideration needs to be legally acceptable. This means that an illegal consideration makes the contract void. In this case, Pat and Big Industry had a legal consideration. On his part, Pat was to be paid $25,000 dollars for his services while Big Industry would receive four computer programs.
It is also a crucial requirement for a legally enforceable contract to have an intention. In this respect, it is imperative that the parties demonstrate a willingness to make a legally binding contract as opposed to a mere domestic or social arrangement (Miller, 2012). It is evident from the contract between Pat and Big Industry Ltd that the two parties had an intention to make a legally binding contract. The parties had an objective of meeting their respective requirements of the contract within a stipulated period of time. Furthermore, it is evident that the terms of the contract were consented to by both parties and signed. Similarly, the contract was validated by the existence of a clause upon which the terms would change. Certainty is another important element of a contract that makes a legally enforceable contract (Andrews, 2011). There is need for sufficient and clear terms to the contract well understood by all the parties involved. The contract between Pat and Big Industry Ltd is certain in that there are clearly stated terms whose understanding by both parties is evident.
In Adams v. Lindsell (1818), it is evident that offer and acceptance of an offer are very important elements of a legally enforceable contract. There was an offer by the defendant to sell to the claimant wool at an agreed price. The response was to be made by post but the letter was misdirected and did not reach the claimant within three days. Nevertheless, the claimant accepted the offer on receiving the letter. The response was not obtained by the defendant until after four days. However, the defendant had already sold the wool to another person the previous day. It was held that there was a legally enforceable contract as the defendant was responsible for the delays and also that the acceptance was made before the wool was sold to another buyer.

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