However, for a valid contract to be valid, the elements must be: a) capacity, b) mutual assent (which includes offer, acceptance, and meeting of minds), c) consideration, d) lawful purpose, e) certainty of terms, and f) form provided by law (Essential 2006). On the other hand, Wikipedia (2007) cited the three key elements of a contract under common law jurisdictions as: a) offer and acceptance, b) consideration, and c) intent to create a legal relation. In sum, while the law considers three essential elements (consent, consideration and object), a valid contract requires other elements (e.g. capacity of parties, lawfulness of object, etc.).
A contract is an agreement of parties (two or more) arrived at after adequately considering to do or refrain from doing an action (Contract Law. n.d.). It is also defined as a promise(s) which provide(s) a remedy for its breach or which the law recognises its performance as a duty (Contract Formation n.d.) (Essential 2006). It covers a wide array of subjects and transactions from sale of real or personal property, or terms of employment (Larson 2003). It defines the rights and obligations of a party, provides the means to enforce the rights, and allocates risks between the parties (Lewis-Elements n.d.). Contracts vary according to its usage. A construction contract is complex because it involves numerous parties (e.g. engineer, quantity surveyor, etc.), long period of execution, and a series of subcontracts (Lewis-Elements n.d.). In the construction sector, all details necessary to reflect the intents, timetable, insurance, or dispute settlements are considered essential elements. To ease this complexity, industry professional and organisations created forms that will cover every detail of their particular needs, such as: building contracts (JCT series), engineering contracts (ICE series), government contracts (GC Works series), etc.