The reasoning found in the judgments of the Lord’s Justices of Appeal is fairly consistent. All three agree that the advertisement is ‘an express promise to pay 100/ in certain events’ (Lindley L at 261). This conclusion is reached by interpreting the language of the advertisement ‘in its plain meaning, as the public would understand it’ (Bowen LJ at 266).
The security of 1,000/ deposited with a bank is materials to their Lordships’ conclusion that the advertisement was an offer ‘intended to be acted upon and when accepted and the conditions performed constituted a binding promise’ (AL Smith LJ at 273).
On the question of whether the promise was binding and not an offer made to the whole world or no one in particular, Lindley (at 262) and AL Smith (at 274) LJJ rely upon Williams v Cawardine 4 B & Ad 621 as authority that advertisements offering rewards are open to any person who performs the conditions of the advertisement. Bowen LJ (at 269) reaches the same conclusion relying on the judgment of Willes Jin Spencer v Harding Law Rep 5 CP 561.