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when is a contract not a contract?

16 February 2011

When the parties are confused as to who had the authority to enter into the contract and the method of concluding the same.

Everton FC brought a claim arising out of an alleged contract for the club to appear in a tournament in South Africa. The High Court held that the parties all understood an agreement would only be concluded when a contract signed by the authorised signatories had been exchanged. The club could not rely on email exchanges or a telephone call between the parties as showing that the understanding of how the contract would be concluded had changed. Therefore Everton’s claim was dismissed.

We’re back to the basics of contract formation and making sure that the formalities are complied with. Compare this case with Richard Nicholas’ post and you can see that if the basics are not dealt with properly, then you may find yourself tied to terms you didn’t intend to agree to or in Everton’s case, finding that there is no contract at all.

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