SingBank, a government-linked company, intends to establish a digital trading platform (called a “digital exchange”) for the trading of digital assets such as cryptocurrencies, and it is seeking a financial technology (“fintech”) service provider as a technology partner to help with the building and operation of the digital exchange. The operation of the digital exchange will require approval from the relevant regulatory authorities, and SingBank has already obtained such approvals.
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In order to find the most appropriate fintech service provider for the project, SingBank launched a Request For Proposal (“RFP”) setting out its objectives and requirements for the project and sent out the RFP to various fintech service providers via email.
Antimony Tech (“AT”), a private enterprise, was one of the fintech service providers that received the RFP from SingBank. AT was excited about the prospect of partnering with SingBank to build and operate the new digital exchange. In response, AT prepared a comprehensive proposal, and submitted it to SingBank. AT’s proposal was priced at $10 million (i.e., they would do the necessary work for a total price of $10 million).
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A week after receiving AT’s proposal, SingBank arranged an interview with AT to discuss its proposal and to seek AT’s clarifications on a few aspects in the proposal. The interview was conducted via videoconferencing. During the interview, SingBank informed AT that the pricing set out in its proposal was quite high compared to the other proposals received by SingBank. The following verbal exchange took place between the two parties:
SingBank: “Would you be able to revise your pricing downward?”
AT: “What is the pricing range you are seeing in the other proposals?”
SingBank: “We received a proposal priced at $8 million.”
AT: “Let us review our proposal following this chat, and work to close the
SingBank: “If you can match that, with the same scope of work, you’ll be in a
The following day, AT sent to SingBank (via email) a revised proposal for the same work scope but which is now priced at $8 million.
SingBank received the proposal, and was satisfied with it. Thereafter, SingBank issued to AT (via email) a document titled “Letter of Intent”, which set out the agreed terms drawn from the proposal
After receiving the Letter of Intent, AT arranged to meet with SingBank’s representatives for a celebratory event. At this event, senior members of management from both sides shook hands, and there were also mutual exchanges of congratulations on the closing of the deal. A week later, AT began allocating resources to ready itself for the commencement of the project. AT also turned down another prospective client it had been talking to, so as to conserve its manpower resources for the project with SingBank.
However, two weeks later, SingBank announced via a press release that it has selected another fintech service provider, called “Zenith”, as its technology partner for the digital exchange project. Apparently, SingBank had changed its mind about partnering with AT, as Zenith had offered a much better deal to SingBank.
AT is now considering whether to take legal action against SingBank.
(a) Explain whether there is a valid contract between SingBank and AT regarding the project for the building and operation of the digital exchange. In your answer, you should identify and discuss the four (4) elements of a contract. (This means that you should also state and define the four elements of a contract, discuss the relevant legal rules associated with them, and apply the legal rules with reference to the facts and circumstances described in the scenario.)
(b) Discuss the three (3) functions of business law (namely, as facilitator, regulator and adjudicator), and use specific examples from the abovementioned scenario to explain how business law is relevant for a business entity such as AT in relation to each of these functions
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