The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note summarises the law, guidance and practice relating to the execution of simple contracts and deeds. It considers the key differences between deeds and simple contracts, the particular transactions for which a deed is required and the execution formalities for deeds and contracts, including virtual execution and electronic signatures.
A contract is a legally binding agreement that grants rights and creates duties between two or more parties. There is a vast amount of case law on contract law principles which are not covered in depth here. In the simplest possible terms, contract law principles provide that for a contract to exist, four key elements must be present:
an offer must have been made
that offer must have been accepted
valuable consideration must be given for the promises being made, and
the parties must intend to enter into a legal relationship with one another
Contracts can be made:
‘under hand’ (in writing), or
For more information on the formation of contracts, see: Formation and interpretation—overview.
Contracts made orally or in writing are known as 'simple contracts'. A deed requires a number of additional formalities to be complied with in order to be validly formed.
There are certain situations when a written (as opposed to oral) contract is required by law or is necessary to satisfy registration requirements. Written contracts are required for:
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This Practice Note considers the meaning and use of conditions precedent in commercial arrangements. It also considers typical conditions precedent and drafting issues.What are conditions precedent?A condition precedent in a commercial contract details an event which must take place before:•a
On the disposition of a property (whether by way of conveyance, transfer or charge), the party making the disposition will normally provide a title guarantee which implies standard form covenants for title. A landlord may give a title guarantee when granting a lease, but this is rare in practice.
This Practice Note considers claims for damages for breach of statutory duty. For guidance on claims for damages for a negligent breach of duty of care outside a statutory duty, see Practice Notes:•Negligence—when does a duty of care arise?•Negligence—when is the duty of care breached?Breach of
Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU on exit day ie Friday 31 January 2020 has implications for practitioners dealing with provisions in the CPR relevant to cross border matters, including CPR 5.4C (discussed below). For guidance on the impact of Brexit on the CPR, see Cross border
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