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Understanding contract revocations

Hubbard Snitchler & Parzianello

Contracts are a part of our day to day lives. Once a contract has been made, most might assume that it is binding from the moment that the acceptance has been done. However, most tend to forget that, in certain occasions, contracts can be revoked. Understanding the principle behind revocation is very important and knowing how this applies to contracts could further help when dealing with a situation like this.


It can happen in many ways but usually the revocation of a contract can be seen in any of the stages. Typically, whoever receives an offer can revoke it instead of accepting it. A revocation can also occur when the other party makes a counteroffer. When this happens, then it is implied that the other party has revoked the original offer. It is important to note that revocation can only occur before the acceptance of a contract.

Types of revocation:

It all depends on the situation but there are different types of contract revocations, such as:

  • Intentional revocations, which is when a party voluntarily revoked the contract
  • By operation of law, meaning that the law automatically revoked the contract
  • Mutual cancellation, which is when both parties choose to cancel the contract
  • Revoking an offer before it is accepted
  • Revoking an acceptance before the other party makes consideration
  • Revocation of someone’s driver’s license
  • The revocation of an actual document

It is important to know that revocation can be either express or implied. Express is when the revocation is in writing while implied is not. It can be seen through someone’s behavior, like their silence or absence.

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