Dickinson v Dodds [1876] is a landmark UK case on contract law, which dealt with the issue of whether an offer can be revoked before it is accepted.

In the case, Mr. Dodds offered to sell his house to Mr. Dickinson and gave him six days to consider the offer. However, before the six-day period expired, Mr. Dodds sold the house to someone else. Mr. Dickinson subsequently attempted to accept the offer, but was informed by Mr. Dodds that the property had already been sold.

Mr. Dickinson argued that Mr. Dodds’ offer was still open and that he had accepted it before it was revoked. Mr. Dodds contended that he had the right to revoke his offer at any time before it was accepted.

The court held that Mr. Dodds had effectively revoked his offer by selling the house to someone else, and that Mr. Dickinson’s attempted acceptance was therefore ineffective. The court also noted that the offer had not been supported by valuable consideration, and that Mr. Dickinson had not provided any consideration in exchange for the offer.

The case established an important principle in contract law, namely that an offer can be revoked at any time before it is accepted, unless it is supported by valuable consideration or there is an option agreement in place. It also highlighted the importance of communication in the formation of contracts, as the court noted that Mr. Dickinson should have been informed of the revocation of the offer before he attempted to accept it.