What a difference a day makes

Posted: Wednesday, 13 August 2008 @ 16:24

Many legal documents contain provisions that require one party to serve notice on the other. This can sometimes trigger the next stage of a transaction or possibly the termination of the contract. Whatever the reason, serving notices is an absolute minefield with a huge body of caselaw establishing how and when notices must be served. In addition to the weight of caselaw, the agreements themselves often have detailed provisions setting out what constitutes valid service of a notice. This can sometimes lead to seemingly unfair consequences on one party or the other. For example:

If a notice is validly served in accordance with the provisions of a contract (eg sent by first class post) then even if the recipient never actually receives the notice it will still be binding.

A notice that is served just one day late (even though the recipient is not adversely prejudiced) may be invalid.

A notice that expires on the wrong day may be invalid.

A faxed or emailed notice may be invalid (even if the recipient receives it in time) if the contract doesn't allow service of notices by those methods.

If you are a party to an agreement and wish to serve notice in accordance with a contract, the safest thing to do is consult your lawyer in plenty of time to make sure that the notice is served on the right day; by the appropriate method; and expires on the correct day.

If you are about to serve a formal notice and want to ensure that it is done correctly, contact commercial property lawyer, Steve Petty, on 01926 629005.

Steve Petty, Commercial Property Lawyer

This blog is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete and authoritative statement of the law, and what we say might be out of date by the time you read it. You should always seek legal advice to confirm whether or how any information in this article applies to your particular situation. We offer a free telephone consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.

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