Here at Adam Bernard Solicitors, we are experienced in drafting contracts, but we also understand that there are situations in which there isn’t time, the finances, or a real need for an entire bespoke contract to be drafted. This is where our “redraft your contract” service comes in, where our experts can add and amend clauses within an existing contract to suit your business’s current needs or situation.
A contract is a binding agreement between two or more parties that imposes rights and obligations.
So, what forms a contract? Contrary to popular belief not all legally binding contracts are written, as oral contracts are also binding in most situations in Contract Law. In fact, the method of communication in which a contract is made is immaterial, which means even a nod of the head, (providing that all the other elements that form a contract are also established) can form a contract, although for clarity and evidential purposes it is always advised to ensure all important agreements are written. For a contract to be legally binding it only requires four key elements; Offer, Acceptance, Consideration, and Intention to Create Legal Relations.
This comprises of one party making an offer or proposal to the other. Alone, it does not create a legally binding contract and the person or entity offering it can only fulfil this aspect of the contract if they intent to be bound by the terms that they are offering. Offer’s must always be certain to a degree and cannot be ambiguous in nature; for example, “The Rolex will be around £2,000-£6,000”, could be considered uncertain as a opposed to, “The Rolex is priced at £4,500”. This ensures that both parties are completely clear on what they are respectively offering and accepting.
Acceptance is exactly as it sounds; it entails saying “yes” to the proposed offer. In this situation, this should be a response that’s considered to be informed, informed in that it requires the subsequent party to understand the terms to which they are agreeing including price.
Consideration makes up the price that a party pays in exchange for the promise (good/service) from the other. An interesting aspect of consideration is the peppercorn concept whereby the price paid does not need to reflect the value of the product, instead the mere fact that something is paid in consideration of the offer is enough. For example, someone paying half price for a coat that someone else paid full price for is not indictive of any less of a contract taking place.
The fourth and perhaps most essential element is that both party’s consent to being a part of the legal obligation and to be entering a legally binding agreement. A legally binding agreement is an agreement that is recognised by law. This element can be fulfilled as most contracts are between two businesses or a business and an individual, the law applies the standard of the assumption of a reasonable person, so in these circumstances it is usually clear that there was a definite intention to create a legal relationship.
Adam Bernard Solicitors is experienced in all things business, we are incredibly commercially aware and realise that just because we are legal experts, it does not mean you have to be to understand the value of our work. We can draft schedules of amendments in order to amend an existing agreement to save your business time and money.
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Call us now to get in touch with one of our expert Contract Lawyers on 0207 100 0505.