Contract Lawyer Melbourne
A Contract lawyer Melbourne expert, like LGM Advisors, will best assess your current circumstance, evaluate your options, and present to you the best action(s) to take when drawing up your contract(s). Below is helpful information to understand what is involved in the contract development process.
LGM Advisors is a leading Melbourne law firm, professionals in contract law. LGM Advisors have the skills, experience and expertise to ensure that you and your contract matter is consulted upon with the utmost professionalism. Contact LGM Advisors and speak to a contract lawyer today on (03) 9832 0608 or by email at email@example.com.
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What is a Contract?
A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more people or companies. A contract is typically needed when promises are made for the exchange of something such as a work agreement, purchase of goods, or payment for services. Upon review and signing of the contract each party is legally obligated to fulfil their part of the agreement. If a party does not fulfil their part of the agreement, then they are considered in breach of contract. If a party is in breach of contract, a court can require that party to either make right the contract, or pay compensation for losses.
In order to ensure that your needs are being addressed and you are protected under a contract it is important to hire an experienced contract lawyer. A contract lawyer can clearly stipulate both party’s needs and agreement. The goal of a well-written contract is to limit disputes, and minimize the impact of disputes if they occur. In an ideal situation a contract will be reviewed once, signed by both parties and not have to be referenced again, as both parties are fully aware of their obligations under the contract. However, due to many circumstances, if the contract is not honoured, the documented agreement is available for review by parties, or in a court of law.
Some common agreements that a contract lawyer can assist you with are:
Process for assembling a contract
In order for your contract to be properly prepared, the lawyer writing the contract must have all knowledge available by both parties. This will ensure the contract can be prepared in a way to manage any circumstances, likely or not, that may cause confusion or breach.
Steps to prepare a contract:
- Exchange of information. The two parties exchange information related to the type of work to be done. This discussion usually will talk about scope of work to be done, timeline, and cost.
- Discussion, and negotiation of agreement. This is an additional discussion, often without lawyers, to review the finer points of the agreement, stipulations, and address concerns and how to resolve them. It may also consider unlikely situations, and how to manage those incidents.
- Preparation: Both parties will discuss with the lawyer(s) on documenting the agreement and the agreements key points. If multiple lawyers are involved, they will work together toward preparing the agreement, that represents both clients’ needs. If concerns arise, both parties will consult with the lawyer(s) to resolve issues prior to finalizing the contract. Once finalized, both parties will sign that they agree with the content within the contract, and they understand their obligations stated within the contract.
Verbal and written contracts
Contracts can be either verbal or written depending on the needs of service. Both are legal agreements in a court of law. However, and this is a strong point, verbal contracts can be difficult to prove breach of contract, while a written contract has all the required components of an agreement, as well as the stipulations of the agreement and it is signed that both parties acknowledge the stipulations within the agreement.
Tips to Validate a Verbal Agreement:
While it may be more difficult to validate a verbal agreement has taken place, it is also important to note that a verbal agreement is also a binding contract and can be used to address breach of contract either in mediation or court of law. As opposed to a written contract, the breach of a verbal contract must need to show significant proof of breaching an agreement, and this is often done by showing egregious misconduct, and discussion points of work conducted.
In order to validate your agreement there are specific things you can do:
- The performance of work completed can in itself be referenced to prove an agreement existed, and payment was made for work. If the work was started and not completed, poor work was performed, or the work performed, if at the fault of the breaching party, caused damage or financial cost, this can be used as breach of contract.
- Supporting documentation such as emails, letters, quotes (if work was started), and text messages.
- Documentation of direct communication. If work was performed, or started, you may use documentation of phone calls; time of call, who you spoke to, and context of discussion, as a means to show there was an agreement of some kind.
Tips to Validate a Written Agreement:
A written agreement is much easier to validate as both parties have signed the contract noting they are comfortable with the agreement. However, there are things you can do to ensure an agreement breach is acted upon by law:
- Review the agreement fully
- Sign the agreement
- Make sure other party signs agreement
- Document any conduct that may lead to a breach of contract.
- Document added stipulations, or changed conditions of agreement and have both parties sign the change.
Breaching a contract
Breach of contract is when one or more parties bound by stipulations within a contract has not upheld their part of the agreement. The contractual promise can be breached in several ways, such as not performing work, not performing work as agreed, not performing work according to industry standards, etc.
Proving a breach of contract
If you suspect a contract has been breached, you will require legal advice from a professional contract lawyer. A breach of contract may lead to legal action if the breach of contract criteria is met. In short, there must be a binding contract, the validity of which can be proven. Proof that one of the parties to this contract is unwilling or unable to fulfil their obligations as per the agreement is required to prove a breach of contract. Evidence of damage or loss to the other party, as a result of the breach, must also be demonstrable.
Breaches of contract can be broken down into four criteria:
- Minor breach: A breach of contract where the non-breaching party can sue for actual damages, but not for specific performance.
- Material breach: Not completing work, which can lead the non-breaching party’s ability recover damages, or compel the breaching party to satisfactorily complete work.
- Fundamental breach: Fundamental breach egregious enough that the non-breaching party may terminate the agreement and recover damages.
- Anticipatory breach: This is when there is no doubt that one party will not be able to provide, or perform as expected. In such a case the non-breaching party can collect losses due to the contract not being fulfilled.
Regardless of the work being performed, contracts are an essential way of ensuring an agreement is satisfied within agreed upon terms. They are a vital and everyday part of our business lives. You should never feel awkward about requesting a contract as they are a professional agreement.
Hiring an expert Melbourne based contract lawyer to help you write a contract is vital to your business, and protecting you and your company. Contact LGM Advisors today for the best contract lawyer in Melbourne on (03) 9832 0608 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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