Brinkibon, located in London, telexed their acceptance of a contract offer to purchase steel from Stahag Stahl in Vienna. Brinkibon, alleging breach, wanted to serve the respondent with a writ claiming damages for breach of contract in England, but Stahag Stahl claimed they were not under British jurisdiction. The lower courts found for Stahag Stahl, saying the contract was created in Austria and thus, the claim had to go through Austrian courts
- Where is a contract created when it is between parties in two jurisdictions?
This case follows the similar case of Entores Ltd. v Miles Far East Corp. which found that in cases of instantaneous communication, the contract is only complete when the acceptance is received by the offeror, and the contract is made at the place where the acceptance is received. In this case, the acceptance was delivered to the offeror in Vienna, thus Austria has jurisdiction over the issue. Lord Wilberforce goes on to discuss the implications of the rules of instantaneous communication at length. He states that no universal rule of acceptance can cover all cases of instantaneous communication – they must be resolved with references to the intentions of the parties, and the specific circumstances of the case.
- In cases of instantaneous communication, the contract is only complete when the acceptance is received by the offeror and the contract is made at the place where the acceptance is received .
- There is no universal rule of acceptance in cases on instantaneous communication; they must each be decided based on the intentions of the parties and the circumstances of the particular cases.