Contract law concerns voluntary relationships between two or more people and a contract is a legally binding agreement.
Simply put, a contract is a promise that the law can enforce and to be legally valid, there must be:
- an offer and agreement process involving all parties
- an intention to create a legally binding contract
- an agreement to create a legally binding contract
- something of value for all parties – e.g. one party supplying a product or service, in exchange for money from the second party
- enough competency and the legal power for all parties to enter the contractual agreement
- obligations, liabilities and possibility of performance – e.g. what each party has to do to fulfil their terms of the contract
- sufficient certainty of terms – i.e. that all the legal requirements and stipulations are known to all parties before the contract is signed.
A contract can either be verbal or written, although a verbal breach of contract will generally be harder to prove. Any type of deviation from the terms of the contract that results in a different outcome from the intended goals can be considered a breach of contract, although there are some exceptions. If any side of the party believes that a breach of contract has occurred, it is best to confer with a solicitor if the two parties cannot settle the problem on their own.
Where a contract is breached, the basic remedy is one of damages – i.e. a payment of a sum of money to compensate for any losses incurred.
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