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Construction Law/common law contract question



I was hoping you could answer a question.  If an estimate was given and the response was as follows would you consider it to be an acceptance, counter offer, rejection or neither.

"I would still like to go for it even though it's a bit more than expected. I would be able to have at least 50% down by then but will need to confirm about the second half.  I can pay the remainder over 5 months of the balance.  Hopefully I should more than 50% at the time though."

The original offer gives indicates 50% down and 50% on completion.

Many thanks and very much appreciated.

Dear Harry,

Thank you for this question.

I suggest that this is a counter offer. As worded it indicates a desire to go forward but there is no clear acceptance of the proposal, nor is there any instruction to commence work. The note appears to set down that whilst the overall price is acceptable there is a desire to enter into discussions on the payment terms; in particular the phrase "... we still need to confirm about the second half ..." draws me to this conclusion.

I hope that this assists you.

Kind regards,
John Dowse
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John Dowse


Legal; contract interpretation; quantum; delay analysis. Practitioner in arbitration, adjudication and mediation.


Thirty-three (33) years experience in building and construction, at all levels both within contracting and consulting organisations. Practising arbitrator, adjudicator, and mediator. Faculty approved trainer for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Lecturer on construction contract forms and dispute resolution practices.

Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Institute of Directors Society of Construction Arbitrators

Various UK and International construction and legal publications.

LLB (Hons), Pg Dip (Legal Practice), MCInstCES MCIArb MIOD Barrister

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