Unilateral contract

A contract which involves one party setting out the terms.

Formation of a Contract Blockbusters Quiz

A unilateral contract arises when one party makes a promise to perform an obligation. An offer of a reward is usually a unilateral contract. If a reward is offered for an act and the act is performed the party making the offer is obliged to pay the reward but no one is obliged to perform the act that was requested.

The case of Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company is an example of a 'unilateral contract'.

Each party in a bilateral contract will take on an obligation.

Generally there is a promise from one party to sell and a promise from the other party to buy.  It can be distinguished from a unilateral contract which involves only one party having an obligation.

Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company [1892] EWCA Civ 1 (07 December 1892)

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