A claimant in litigation made an offer to settle all claims between the parties. The defendant's solicitor replied by email "The claimant accepts your offer." and attached a draft consent order for consideration and approval. That draft consent order contained, however, a date for payment that differed from the date in the claimant's offer. Was that response an acceptance of the original offer or a counter offer and, in deciding that issue, was the court restricted to looking at just those two documents? In deciding, because of the different payment dates and despite the stated acceptance, that the reply was a counter offer, the court said that it was well established that, in considering whether an agreement has been concluded, the court is entitled to have regard to all the communications between the parties. The House of Lords had previously confirmed that "In order to determine whether a contract has been concluded in the course of correspondence, one must first look to the correspondence as a whole..." The subsequent correspondence between the parties confirmed the court's analysis.

Caroline Gibbs v Lakeside Developments Ltd [2016] EWHC 2203 (Ch) (unreported)