Contract Formation in Hong Kong

Lusina HO

in Formation and Third Party Beneficiaries

Published in print January 2018 | ISBN: 9780198808114
Published online February 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191845994 | DOI:
Contract Formation in Hong Kong

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This chapter examines the law on contract formation in Hong Kong which is closely modelled on the English common law but adapts the English solutions to the local context if and when required. The test for ascertaining the parties’ meeting of the minds is objective, the agreement (an offer with a matching acceptance) must be certain, complete, and made with the intention to create legal relations—the latter being presumed to be present in a commercial context and absent in a familial or social context. Offers are freely revocable although the reliance of the offeree is protected in exceptional circumstances. Acceptances become effective as soon as they are dispatched. In the ‘battle of forms’ scenario, the Hong Kong courts follow the traditional ‘last-shot’ rule. There is no general duty to negotiate in good faith, and even agreements to negotiate in good faith are normally unenforceable for lack of certainty. As a general rule, contracts can be validly made without adhering to any formal requirement. Online contracts will normally be valid and enforceable; the formation of such contracts is governed by common law as supplemented by legislation.

Keywords: Hong Kong; contract formation

Chapter.  12944 words. 

Subjects: Private International Law and Conflict of Laws

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