People make all kinds of promises and statements in their daily lives, sometimes without knowing how others can interpret them. Indeed, even an oral statement that sounds like an offer can be legally interpreted as a statement that will impose contractual obligations on you that you may never have investigated. But if John Doris says he`s going to pay her $3,000 to take care of her children for the summer, and Doris drops her health insurance coverage because she thinks John will cover her, her acceptance isn`t based on a promise from John. As a result, Doris cannot receive damages from John for her increased medical cost. A promise cannot be based on considerations that were said, made or made before the promise was kept. What is said after does not count in return. For example, if X promises to reward Y for an action that Y has already performed, the performance of that action is certainly a good consideration, because the promise to be rewarded is a past reflection and is therefore not a good consideration. A contract in which the parties exchange a promise for a promise is referred to as a bilateral treaty, while a treaty in which one party makes a promise and the other party performs an act is referred to as a unilateral treaty. However, the severity of this rule was severely limited to Williams v. Roffey Bros & Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd. [29] The Roffey Brothers entered into a contract for the renovation of a fixed-price building of £20,000. They gave carpenters to Williams. It became clear that Williams was threatened with financial difficulties and that she had not been able to complete her work on time.

That would have been contrary to a time limit in the main contract and would entail a penalty. Roffey Brothers offered Williams an additional £575 for each completed apartment. Williams continued to work on this basis, but it soon turned out that Roffey Brothers would not pay the extra money. He finished the job and sued Roffey Brothers over the extra money for the eight apartments he had completed after the promise of an additional payment. The Court of Appeal held that Roffey Brothers had to pay williams the extra money because they had gained practical benefits from the promise they had made to Williams. Among the benefits they got from it were: completing the job on time, not having to spend money or time to find another carpenter, and not having to pay the fine. In the circumstances, these benefits were sufficient to accommodate Williams` promise of additional payment. It now appears that the fulfilment of an existing obligation may constitute a counterpart to a new promise if no coercion or fraud is found and if the practical usefulness for the promiser is there. The performance of an existing contractual obligation vis-à-vis the promiser is not a good counterpart for a new promise of the promiser. However, the performance of an existing contractual obligation vis-à-vis a third party may constitute a good consideration, see below. The consideration can be anything of value (for example.B.

Goods, money, services or promises of any of these) that each party gives in return to support its side of the bargain. Reciprocal promises are mutual consideration. [1] If only one party offers consideration, the agreement is a “mere promise” and is not enforceable. The tenderer must provide consideration, the consideration not having to be paid to the tenderer. . . .