Contracts

Being in business essentially means dealing with contracts. A contract is a legal agreement between two or more people or entities, where one party agrees to do something in return for something else, usually financial payment.

Contracts have specific terms which can vary enormously depending on the circumstances. They can range from a simple verbal contract with a tradesman to have work completed in return for an agreed amount of money, to a complex written contract for the sale of property, or a mortgage agreement. As a rule, written contracts are easier to prove in the event that there is a dispute, such as someone not fulfilling their end of the deal.

In essence, a contract will have an offer and acceptance, and should provide clear information about the obligations of each party. For example, it might include details of a service that is to be provided, the payment due in return, and a date by which work should be completed.

The more complex the agreement, and the more money involved, the greater the need to get professional advice. Some contracts might involve several documents, including a number of letters, offers and counter-offers, before reaching a final agreement that everyone is happy with.

Many terms and conditions may need to be considered when drawing up the contract, such as what happens when one party cannot fulfil their obligations. Consider the recent volcano in Iceland and the effect it had on flights between Europe and Australia. Many contractors would have been affected when goods could not be delivered on time.

Some contracts may benefit from having a ‘force majeure’ clause, where parties map out the course of action if certain events occur that affect one party being able to perform their job.

Our lawyers are experts in contract law. We can provide advice and draw up a contract on your behalf, or help you understand the terms of a contract before you enter into an agreement. We will negotiate on your behalf to amend any terms of a contract, handle disputes, and help you understand your options should the other party breach the contract. This includes representing you in court.