Postal acceptance rule not dead yet
The first year law student’s favourite, the postal acceptance rule, might be thought to have been a-dying in the age of email, but it came up for discussion in Carmarthen Developments Ltd v Pennington  CSOH 139, opinion issued 24 September 2008.
The issue was, in simple terms, whether the rule applied to a notice exercising an option to purchase land. Lord Hodge ruled that it did not. Notice of the exercise of an option contained in a pre-existing contract was not an acceptance. Lord Hodge observed that “While an option contract is very similar in effect to a unilateral promise to keep an offer open for acceptance for a specified period, the exercise of an option is not the acceptance of an offer but the exercise of a contractual right conferred by the option agreement” (para 14). A good exam question quotation. Discuss.