Connor Worpel is a Human Resources consultant with specific expertise in anti-discrimination policy and practice in the workplace. His consultancy is doing well, but he is always keen to engage new clients and create opportunities.
One Saturday, at his brother Blake’s engagement celebration, Connor is approached by Harry Nash, a business owner, who Connor has met previously at his brother’s 21st Birthday celebration. Harry explains to Connor that he could use Connor’s expertise as he is looking to revamp his employee procedures and bring them up to date. Connor expresses his interest in the work and Harry tells Connor that he is pleased and will email him on Monday with a proposal.
On Monday morning, Harry sends Connor the following email:
After thinking further about your potential involvement in the employee procedures revamp for my business, I want to bring you on board as Human Resources consultant as I am mindful that new anti-discrimination legislation has been enacted and want to make sure that my business is compliant. The terms of the engagement are that you will provide exclusive services for two weeks, starting on 1st August 2018, working onsite with me and the assistant manager. You will be paid a one off fee of $28,000 which includes undercover parking for the duration.
Please indicate your acceptance in writing by the end of the day or I will assume that you are not interested.
An hour after the email is sent, Connor reads it and is happy with the terms of the proposal. He drafts an email to Harry detailing his acceptance of the offer, but because of a service interruptions caused by National Broadband Network (NBN) work in his street, Connor’s email is not working and he is unable to send the message to Harry. In desperation, Connor then tries to call Harry on his mobile phone to tell him that he wants the work, but Harry doesn’t answer, and Connor is not given the option to leave a message. As a last resort, Connor drafts a letter to Harry communicating his acceptance of the offer proposed. He then takes the letter to the local post office and posts it at 3.30pm on Monday afternoon. The letter takes a day to be delivered to Harry and he receives it on Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday, Harry realises that he has offered to pay Connor more than he should have (he has spent the morning searching for Human Resource Consultants in his local area and now has a much better understanding of costs and services available) and therefore does not want to engage Connor anymore. He quickly sends an email to Connor (whose email is back on line following the completion of the NBN work in his street) saying that because he didn’t receive Connor’s acceptance by the end of Monday, Connor has missed out on the work according to the original email but thanks anyway. Interestingly, Harry also states in his email that he never meant for the proposal to be taken seriously anyway because he was only trying to help out his good friend Blake by throwing Connor some work. Connor is most upset upon receiving this email from Harry and calls his lawyer for advice on the situation.
Using the four step process, discuss the element of agreement required for the formation of a legally binding contract between Connor and Harry.
Assume that the element of agreement required for the formation of a legally binding contract between Connor and Harry can be satisfied. Using the four-step process, consider whether the elements of consideration and intention required for an enforceable contract are present.
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