Posted: Tuesday, 30 September 2008 @ 18:48
The latest issue of the Cousins Business Law ezine with a feature article entitled 'Should you rely on a gentleman's agreement' is generating lots of interest. It is amazing how many business owners and managers fall foul of the fact they didn't have the details of a commercial deal in writing.
The example we talked about in the ezine (of a multi-million pound property deal that went ahead based on a verbal agreement) may seem extreme, but you'd be surprised how often this happens. I think the view of the Judge in this recent case are particularly interesting. He reiterated the view commonly held by the Courts that, when business people negotiate commercial transactions, they are assumed to have taken proper advice.
This tends to mean no sympathy from the Courts for a business person who didn't have the foresight to negotiate a formal written agreement and take the advice of a lawyer in doing so.
Whilst it's understandable that sometimes business has to move quickly, there's really no excuse for not at the very least exchanging an email, confirming your understanding of the deal. It will save a lot of problems, not to mention money, if problems hit later on.
Gary Cousins, Business Lawyer
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Blog by Sue Mann
Sue is an experienced commercial solicitor based in Birmingham from where she helps businesses all over the country advising on, drafting, and reviewing business contracts and commercial agreements. View profile
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