2020-02-17
Legal Articles

Top Tips for Avoiding Contract Disputes

Home / Knowledge base / Top Tips for Avoiding Contract Disputes

Posted by Matthew Goodwin on 26 May 2015

Matthew Goodwin - Tax Disputes Lawyer
Matthew Goodwin Associate-Solicitor-Advocate

A lot of contract disputes can be prevented by proper planning at the outset of an agreement.  By following these simple top tips, whether you are an individual or a business, you can seek to avoid subsequent contract disputes.

Write it down

Even if you have a strong relationship with the party you are contracting with, write down what you are agreeing in a written contract, and ensure that both parties sign it.  Make sure that the contract sets out, as clearly as possible, what both parties envisage as the outcome of the contract.

There are lots of pitfalls in contract law, and if you are in any doubt or would like someone to take a second look at the contract, you should seek legal advice.

Be clear on the obligations of both parties

Both parties should know what is expected of them.  Whether these obligations be monetary in return for services rendered, or specifications of the services to be provided, if the obligations are not set out, then you may struggle to enforce against them at a later date.

If there are time constraints to be applied to the services, again monetary or otherwise, these should be set out clearly.

If the services are complicated, or you have concerns that you are not fully protected, consider asking a third party to review the contract, or again, seek legal advice.

Quality control

If you are receiving goods or services, make sure that the agreement sets out clearly what your expectations are. Whether these be specifications of goods or a breakdown of the services to be provided, it is important that you set down exactly what quality you expect.

It may also be appropriate to include an inspection stage, prior to payment, allowing you to inspect the goods or services provided prior to paying any outstanding balance of fees.

Early termination

There are times when a party can’t continue, or doesn’t want to continue, with a contract.  When preparing the agreement, you may wish to consider some form of notice period, allowing a party to terminate the agreement in certain circumstances.

Keep records

Any written correspondence between you and the other party should be kept.  If there is a subsequent dispute, then the correspondence will be used to support what the intentions of the parties were.  It may also be useful to keep a note of any telephone calls.

Speak to a solicitor

Litigation can be avoided if a contract is properly prepared at the outset of an agreement. If you want to talk through your needs or want someone to review or prepare a contract for you, or if you are already involved in a contract dispute and need support on guidance on the next best steps, you can contact Matthew Goodwin on 01926 883037.

About the author

Matthew Goodwin

Associate-Solicitor-Advocate

As an associate within the tax and financial services litigation team, Matthew regularly acts for corporates and individuals, dealing with a variety of disputes.

Matthew Goodwin

As an associate within the tax and financial services litigation team, Matthew regularly acts for corporates and individuals, dealing with a variety of disputes.

Recent articles

30 July 2020 Rethinking the landlord / tenant relationship

We have been following the travails of the high street for over 12 months where changing shopping habits, business rates and rent increases have been contributing to a growing strain on many landlord / tenant relationships. The Covid-19 pandemic has not only turned a bad situation critical for many retailers and hospitality venues but has also turned the spotlight on the wider commercial sector too. Almost all businesses operating across the country have suffered financially to a greater or lesser extent as result of the economic downturn precipitated by the imposition of lockdown in March.

Read article
30 July 2020 Bankrupts fail in claim to have interests in land revested in them

The claim by Mr and Mrs Brake (Brake v Swift), heard in the High Court in May, to have a cottage and adjacent land revested in them under Section 283A of the Insolvency Act 1986, was set against a background of convoluted litigation extending over a number of years, described by Matthews HHJ as ‘complex’. The claimants had been made bankrupt in 2015 and the matter before the Court concentrated on whether or not the property concerned was, indeed, the claimants’ principal residence at the time of the bankruptcy.

Read article
29 July 2020 Remote witnessing of wills – a sign of the times

The law governing how a will is witnessed dates back to 1837 and for good reason. The requirement for two people (neither of whom can inherit from the will they are witnessing) to be physically present at the signing of a will is designed to, among other things, prevent fraud and the exercise of undue influence. That is, until the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

Read article
Contact
How can we help?
01926 732512
CALL BACK