It’s not uncommon for a client to sign a contract where the content is not understood, the origin of the information unknown or is drafted by an unqualified hand? There are a variety of reasons for this; one of the key reasons is that legal services appear to be an expensive luxury rather than a must-have for your business. Generally, this type of contract is unenforceable and this can cause a problem for both parties when a dispute arises.
The danger of contracting with an unenforceable contract is expressed in an article posted on Lexology, “Am I being unreasonable”? by legal firm Nabarro LLP, the article comments on the importance of a contract containing clauses that are reasonable and in-line with the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (UCTA), “it is always been in a contracting party’s interests to consider the reasonableness of the contract clauses; take advice on whether the court would be likely to uphold the clause should it be subject to challenge”. So knowing what’s enforceable and what’s reasonable defines the credibility of the contract.
Its key to remember that this is not just a legal issue but is a business issue, a think tank aimed at creatives/designers called Creative Latitude believe that the contents of the contract is a key client communication, “If we have to take a deep breath and are physically uncomfortable when we present the contract, that uneasiness is bound to be communicated to our client. The last thing you want to do is cause your client to see the worried look on your face and wonder, what the heck is in this contract”?
David Reilly, director at Create Ts and Cs commented, “Our client acquire bespoke contracts ratified by a solicitor so they know that the contract is enforceable (deemed reasonably). It’s critical that their potential customer knows they have gone to the trouble to invest in a contract that is enforceable and protects both parties”.
Considering the investment of time and money to contact clients, coffees and lunches, sales systems and marketing campaigns, it makes sense to continue the good work and invest in a professionally written, assessable contract relevant to your business ensuring its ‘reasonable’ and ‘enforceable’ throughout.