Contracting with Third Parties


15 May, 2015

Businesses of all shapes and sizes enter into contracts with third parties on a regular basis. Whilst schools, academies and education authorities alike may not consider this to be of great importance, there are numerous issues and pitfalls that should be borne in mind when entering into contracts with third parties.

What many aren't aware of is that contracts may be formed and entered into without anything having to be in writing, meaning that terms of the contract are often left ambiguous or unfavourable depending on the circumstances with the law implying numerous terms into contracts. Where dealing with a third party, it is therefore advisable to implement a form of contract in writing to ensure that what forms the basis of the agreement of the parties benefits you the most (or at the very least does not leave you in an uncompromising position).

Making sure that your terms are the terms that apply to the contract is also important and it is quite often that parties unwittingly enter into a contract using the third party's own terms of business. Making sure that you communicate your terms to the third party before the contract is performed is also important in making sure that they can be relied upon so don't leave it too late!

Many businesses are put off having contracts in place, considering them to be overly lengthy and expensive; however, making sure that there is something in place which is tailored to your requirements is likely to be worthwhile and cost effective in order to:

  • Set out the obligations of the parties;
  • Cope with flexible requirements and objectives;
  • Provide the parties with certain rights (e.g. relating to payment, termination and liability); and
  • Protect your interests (e.g. relating to service levels, data protection and intellectual property).

Many of the above are detailed topics in their own right but it is important that contracts cover issues including those above for both clarity and certainty.

If you have any questions in relation to contracts which you have or intend to enter into then please contact John Pickervance by email or on 01254 222365.


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