In some U.S. states, email exchanges have become binding contracts. In 2016, New York courts ruled that the principles of real estate contracts applied to both electronic communications and electronic signatures as long as „their content and subscription met all the requirements of the current statute“ and in accordance with the Electronic Signatures and Records Act (ESRA).   These factors are relevant to all online agreements. They work differently for each agreement, but there are also similarities. It was this harsh approach that eventually led to the introduction of the Unfair Contracts Act in 1978 and other consumer protection laws. Let us be clear: consumer protection legislation is there to protect those who buy goods and services as consumers and not as businesses: that is, contracts between businesses and consumers. Today, the Law on Unfair Contract Terms applies to commercial contracts. The point where two parties reach an agreement can be a bit unclear. For example, many companies submit a standard contract template to an independent contractor and expect it to be signed without discussion. At this stage – and the law is clear – there is only a good quality contract if one party makes an offer and the other accepts all the conditions of that offer. In this example, the contractor is therefore always free to refute each of the points of the contract and to make a counter-offer until an agreement is reached.
Contracts can be oral (spoken), written or a combination of both. Some types of contracts, such as. B the purchase or sale of real estate or financing contracts must be in writing. For a contract to be considered binding, it must contain the fundamental elements of a contract, including offer and acceptance, consideration, reciprocity or intent, legality and capacity. If a contract contains all these elements, it is most likely a binding contract. In the absence of one or more basic elements, it is probably a non-binding contract. The law does not recognize a contract – or agreement – to enter into a contract in the future. It is not binding, because the offer and acceptance do not exist. To put it another way, what are the conditions of the offer? Contract law is based on the principle expressed in the Latin phrase pacta sunt servanda („Agreements must be respected“).  The Common Law of Contract arose from the meantime defuct writ of assumpsit, which was originally an unlawful act based on trust.  Contract law is covered by the ordinary law of obligations, together with the unlawful act, abusive enrichment and reimbursement. Whether they remain legally binding is another question. . . .