Routledge v Grant [1828] is a UK case that dealt with the issue of whether a contract can be formed between parties without the exchange of valuable consideration.

In the case, Mr. Routledge wrote a letter to Mr. Grant offering to purchase a set of books from him. Mr. Grant accepted the offer and sent the books to Mr. Routledge, but Mr. Routledge subsequently refused to pay for them. Mr. Grant sued Mr. Routledge for breach of contract.

The court held that a contract had been formed between Mr. Routledge and Mr. Grant, even though there had been no exchange of valuable consideration. The court reasoned that the offer to purchase the books constituted a promise to pay for them, and that the acceptance of the offer by Mr. Grant constituted a promise to deliver the books. These promises were sufficient to create a legally binding contract.

The case established the principle that a contract can be formed by the exchange of promises, even if there is no exchange of valuable consideration. This principle is known as the doctrine of “consideration not necessary” or “peppercorn rent.” However, it should be noted that this principle has since been modified by subsequent case law, which has held that consideration is generally required for a contract to be legally binding, although the consideration need not be adequate or proportionate to the value of the contract.