How many contracts in an auction sale

James Brown, Mark Pawlowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Making sense of auction sales, in terms of English contract law, is no easy task. Despite the common perception of hammers hitting blocks, signifying the creation of the basic sale contract,1 a typical auction sale necessarily involves the making of several forms of contract other than the obvious primary sale agreement. The purpose of this article, therefore, is threefold, namely, to (1) examine these various forms of contractual relationship2 which may come into existence as a result of a traditional (face to face) auction sale; (2) consider specifically the selling of land at public auction with a view to advocating a change in the law requiring the formality of writing for sales contracts of land for both private and public auctions, and (3) compare briefly the contractual elements of an online ascending model of auction sale typified by the eBay phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalNottingham Law Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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