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Simple contract

In contract law, a simple contract is a contract made orally or in writing, rather

than a contract made under seal.

Jack Beatson, ANSON’S LAW OF CONTRACT 73 (2002) ("English law does not regard a
bare promise or agreement as legally enforceable but recognises only two kinds
of contract, the contract made by deed, and the simple contract.").

Simple contracts require consideration to be valid, but simple contracts may be

implied from the conduct of parties bound by the contract.

David M. Walker, THE OXFORD COMPANION TO LAW 1144 (1980) (describing a

"simple contract" as a "contract made not under seal, but orally or in writing").

William Blackstone observed in his Commentaries on the Laws of England that in

the seventeenth century, debtors used simple contracts as one of three accepted
forms of unsecured debt instruments. In 1828, the Parliament of the United
Kingdom amended the statute of frauds so that oral acknowledgments or
promises could not be used as evidence to prove the existence of a simple

Today, some American jurisdictions have established that a security interest is

perfected "when a creditor on a simple contract cannot acquire a judicial lien
that is superior to the interest" of the secured party.