Outer House case considering the interpretation of missives for a property in Melrose. Pinecraven sought damages and interest from Mr and Mrs Taddei as a result of their failure to settle the transaction. Mr and Mrs Taddei argued that there was no concluded contract.

The crux of the Taddeis’ argument was that Pinecraven’s offer to sell contained a time limit for acceptance after which the offer would be null and void. Whilst the Taddeis’ qualified acceptance arrived within the time limit, as it contained a qualification, it was not an acceptance of the offer. Consequently, Pinecraven’s subsequent letter concluding the bargain had no effect.

Lord Kinclaven rejected the Taddeis’ arguments finding that, although the acceptance was qualified, it was still an acceptance within the meaning of the clause containing the time limit. Even if that were not the case, the Taddeis’ qualified acceptance was a counter offer which was capable of acceptance within a reasonable time, and indeed, was so accepted by Pinecraven’s letter concluding the bargain. As a result it was found that there was a concluded contract between the parties.

The full text of the decision is available from the Scottish Courts website here.