How to terminate an agreement
How to terminate an agreement

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How to terminate an agreement
  • Introduction
  • Read the contract
  • Notice
  • Termination for breach—repudiation
  • Termination for breach—time of the essence
  • Termination for material breach
  • Termination for insolvency
  • Reinterpretation
  • Effect of walking away
  • More...


As commercial lawyers, we are used to being instructed to advise in connection with the formation of a commercial relationship. Even if, like family lawyers drafting pre-nuptial agreements, we anticipate the consequences of the end of the relationship, it is only in more recent economic times that we are being asked more frequently how to break the relationship in the first place.

Read the contract

It seems a simple point, but many contractual disputes start with one or both parties failing to read and understand their own contracts. In the context of wishing to get out of an agreement this Practice Note sets out some of the factors that parties should consider.


What are the notice provisions for termination in the contract (whether no-fault or for cause)? These may have been drafted to be quite specific (whether intentionally or accidentally is another question), so that any failure to serve notice exactly in accordance with the contractual terms renders the purported notice void.

Notices may be important for exercising termination rights or rights associated with the expiry or renewal of the term of the agreement.

Where an invalid notice to terminate is served, the receiving party may be able to take the improper notice as an anticipatory, repudiatory breach as it expresses an intent not to continue with the performance of primary obligations under the agreement (see Practice Note: Repudiation).


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