Practical Contract Law
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Practical Contract Law

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Contract law in practice. Steps and processes.

Contract law in practice. Steps and processes.

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Practical Contract Law Practical Contract Law Presentation Transcript

  • Practical Contract Law
  • Consequences of a contract dispute?
  • Management Time
  • Management Time
  • Stress
  • Loss of a customer
  • Loss of a customerFor ever!
  • Reputational harm
  • Reputational harm
  • And Lawyers are expensive
  • And Lawyers are expensiveVery expensive!
  • • You have a meeting with Alpha Services, a potentialsupplier• You think it is a preliminary meeting
  • • You have a meeting with Alpha Services, a potentialsupplier• You think it is a preliminary meeting• You discuss theservices to besupplied and theprice• You shake hands andleave
  • • You have a meeting with Alpha Services, a potentialsupplier• You think it is a preliminary meeting• You discuss theservices to besupplied and theprice• You shake hands andleave• Alpha Services then e-mails you saying:“It is great to have entered a contract with you”
  • There cannot possibly be a contract as it was onlya preliminary meetingThere cannot be a contract as we have not agreedall the termsThe may well be a contract
  • OfferIntentionAcceptanceConsideration
  • Back to the meeting At the meetingYou may have both made statementsA court might find that you have agreed certain terms
  • Back to the meeting At the meetingYou may have both made statementsA court might find that you have agreed certain terms A court might identify an offer and an acceptance
  • Back to the meeting At the meetingYou may have both made statementsA court might find that you have agreed certain terms A court might identify an offer and an acceptance ‘Consideration’ is a legal term for an exchange of promisesThe exchange of promises might amount toconsideration
  • Back to the meeting At the meetingYou may have both made statementsA court might find that you have agreed certain terms A court might identify an offer and an acceptance ‘Consideration’ is a legal term for an exchange of promisesThe exchange of promises might amount toconsideration But did you intend to be legally-bound?
  • Intention? In a commercial settingThere is a presumption that you intended to be legally-boundYou will have to rebut the intention
  • Intention? In a commercial settingThere is a presumption that you intended to be legally-boundYou will have to rebut the intention But surely you did not agree all the terms?A court may find that you have agreed sufficient termsfor a contract to come into existenceThe court may fill in the gaps
  • Intention? In a commercial settingThere is a presumption that you intended to be legally-boundYou will have to rebut the intention Buy you did not agree all the terms?A court may find that you have agreed sufficient termsfor a contract to come into existenceThe court may fill in the gapsSo there may be acontractThere may becontract
  • What should you have done?MAKE IT CLEAR THAT YOUDO NOT INTEND TO ENTERLEGAL RELATIONS
  • These discussions are subject to contractWe do not intend to enter a contract until wehave signed a final written agreement
  • These discussions are subject to contractWe do not intend to enter a contract until wehave signed a final written agreement
  • These discussions are subject to contractWe do not intend to enter a contract until wehave signed a final written agreement
  • These discussions are subject to contractWe do not intend to enter a contract until wehave signed a final written agreementDRAFTCONTRACTS‘Subject to Contract’
  • These discussions are subject to contractWe do not intend to enter a contract until wehave signed a final written agreement
  • Another example• Alf tells a potential buyer that“someone else is interested” in amachine that he is trying to sell– This is not true– The buyer purchases themachine– Alf has made a fraudulentmisrepresentation– This could prove very costly
  • • Alf tells a potential buyer that“someone else is interested” in amachine that he is trying to sell– This is not true– The buyer purchases themachine– Alf has made a fraudulentmisrepresentation– This could prove very costlyAnother example• In one recent case• Contract value was £48m• Liability cap was £30m• Fraudulentmisrepresentation!• Claim for over £700m• Settled for £319m
  • Simple steps can preventproblems arisingTrain salespeople in thebasicsPutsimpleprocessesin place
  • Simple steps can preventproblems arisingTrain salespeople in thebasicsPutsimpleprocessesin place
  • About usWe have been traininglawyers and businessesfor 20 yearsTRAINING
  • About usWe have been traininglawyers and businessesfor 20 yearsWe train lawyers andbusinesses in English lawTRAINING
  • About usWe have been traininglawyers and businessesfor 20 yearsWe are now designingeffective e-learning onpractical contract law tocomplement our face-to-face trainingWe train lawyers andbusinesses in English lawTRAINING
  • For more informationwww.legalandcommercial.cominfo@legalandcommercial.com