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  • Writer's pictureGordon Sewell

Contract 101

Updated: Jan 11

“It’s how we’ve always done it”. “Nothing has ever gone wrong” “We just pick up the phone and get it agreed”. “It’s always been a gentleman’s agreement”.

These are just a few of the many statements that are made, after the event, when the relationship between two contracting parties becomes strained and whilst there is no legal requirement for a contract to be written, there should be no sense of unease by insisting that an agreement be committed to writing. In fact, you would be forgiven for being weary of anyone who refused such a request.

On this page, we will help dispel some of the myths in contract law in a way that will assist you in the day to day running of your business.

Contracts are great. Without them, the economy would grind to a halt. Businesses who recognise the importance of expressly defining it’s rights and obligations are more likely to work in harmony with the other contracting party and less likely to find themselves in a dispute. That is not to say that things will not go wrong and it’s extremely difficult to address every single eventuality that may arise. However, a well drafted contract tailored to the needs of the parties can be a very effective safeguard that reminds the parties of exactly where they stand with each other.

Problems arise when there is a dispute and it’s your word against theirs. Who is the Judge to believe? Without corroboration comes litigation risk. Even if you don’t have the inclination or the time to have a contract drawn up, ensure that you can evidence the agreement by confirming the terms in an email or letter. In the absence of an individual contract, email chains can be invaluable in evidencing the terms of an agreement.

Verbal arrangements can and often do get misunderstood so whether its a simple or complex transaction as a one off or over the course of a number of years, it is good practice to err on the said of caution and evidence the agreement in writing.

If you would like to have an informal chat about how Sewell Law may be able to assist you and/or your business, please contact us on 01482 692 298 or

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