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Contract and Business Law Advice Online

Fast, confidential, legal advice online; from UK qualified barristers. Get an answer tailored to your exact legal problem for just £25.

Summary of Contract and Business Law

The Law of Contract regulates the liabilities and responsibilities of those parties engaged in formal and informal agreements.

  • Valid Contracts

    A contract may be defined as an agreement between two or more parties that is binding in law. This means that the agreement generates rights and obligations that may be enforced in the courts. The normal method for enforcement is an action for damages for breach of contract, though in some cases the courts may compel performance by the party in default.

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  • Offer and Acceptance

    There are three basic elements to the formation of a valid simple contract. First the parties must have reached agreement. This is known as Offer and Acceptance.

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  • Intention to be Legally Bound

    The second element required for the formation of a valid simple contract is the Intention to be Legally Bound. However, the courts have recognised that some agreements, such as those contained within advertisements, by their very nature are not intended to be legally binding. In others, the parties may expressly declare or indicate they do not intend to form contractual relations.

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  • Consideration

    The third element required for the formation of a valid simple contract is Consideration. The basic premise here is that a form of consideration, usually but not exclusively money, must pass or be promised between the contracting parties for that contract to be enforceable in Law.

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  • Terms of Contract

    Contracts consist of various statements, promises and stipulations grouped together under the word Terms. These terms may be expressly stated in the contract or implied. It is the terms of the contract which determine each parties rights and duties and the remedies available if these terms are broken.

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  • Privity of Contract

    The rule of Privity of Contract means that in general, a person who is not privy to a contract, that is, a third party, can neither sue nor be sued on that contract.

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  • Exclusion Clauses

    A clause may be inserted into the terms of a contract which purports to exclude or financially limit one parties liability for breach of contract, misrepresentation or negligence.

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  • Mistake and Misrepresentation

    As a general rule, a person is bound by his or her signature to a document, whether or not they have read or understood that document. However, where a person has been induced to sign a contractual document by fraud or misrepresentation, the transaction will be voidable. Similarly, if the courts recognise a genuine mistake attributable to a party to an agreement in entering into that contract, the transaction, again , may be voidable.

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  • Duress and Undue Influenc

    A party to a contract, may have entered into that contract, as the result of some improper pressure exerted by one party over another. The problem is dealt with by the common law doctrine of duress and the equitable doctrine of undue influence.

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  • Discharge of Contract

    A contract may be discharged under the doctrine of frustration, for example during the course of the contract and without the fault of either party, an event occurs which renders further performance an impossibility, by breach, for example where one party fails to fulfill, or intimates that they do not intend to fulfill their obligations, by agreement, here however, consideration is generally required and finally by the contract being performed.

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  • Remedies

    Where a party to contract suffers loss as a result of a breach they will be entitled to an award of damages. Alternatively, they may bring a claim for the benefit of work partially completed under the contract. Further, in appropriate cases, the courts may exercise equitable jurisdiction, that being the courts power to impose a fair and just solution, to grant an order of specific performance or injunction.

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  • Other

    If your question is not covered by the above sections or if you are unsure which area of Contract Law your enquiry falls under, please select this option.

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Our Rapid Response service is organised into 7 broad legal categories (shown left).

Within each category are a number of specific areas of law, that cover the majority of legal scenarios.

Browse to the area that relates most to your legal problem and click 'Select this Category'.

You can then see example questions pertaining to your chosen area.

This advice service is intended for reference only and should not be used in lieu of full legal counsel.
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