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Commercial Contracts Solicitor Services

Commercial Contracts Solicitor Services

Pragmatic, practical advice

Clear, insightful and legally binding business contracts are essential not only for the security of your business, but also for paving the way to future commercial success.

At Walker Foster, our commercial contracts solicitors understand the power of well-crafted commercial agreements. We are committed to working closely with you to learn the unique aspects of your business and the specific challenges you encounter, and formalising your needs in your contracts.

Our business contract solicitors bring a wealth of experience in advising and supporting a diverse range of businesses by offering pragmatic, practical advice with your company's commercial objectives in mind. The Walker Foster team is focused on delivering the right solutions that enable you to concentrate on what you do best: running your business and guiding it towards growth and development.

We have expertise in all aspects of commercial contract law, which allows us to offer a comprehensive and integrated legal service. Whether you are involved in procurement processes, joint ventures or establishing new agency agreements, our business contract lawyers will provide commercially focused advice to protect your interests and facilitate your business's progression.

To speak to a commercial contracts solicitor who can help you manage risk, navigate legal issues, and build solid contractual foundations for your business, get in contact with Walker Foster today.

Our business contract services

At Walker Foster, our team of experienced commercial contract lawyers provides a comprehensive suite of services designed to support your business's legal needs and commercial objectives. Here is an overview of our key offerings:

Walker Foster’s commercial contracts lawyers are not just experts in their field, but also deeply committed to understanding and advancing your business interests, including their relationship to commercial property, corporate matters and employment law. Whether you are a start-up, a growing enterprise, or a larger established company, you can speak to a commercial contracts solicitor who can help you navigate the legal landscape confidently and successfully.

What kind of business contracts can Walker Foster help with?

At Walker Foster, our commercial contracts solicitors are equipped to handle a wide range of agreements essential to the operation and growth of your business:

  • Agency agreements: we help draft and negotiate agreements between your business and your agents, with clear terms regarding roles, responsibilities and commissions.
  • Confidentiality agreements: also known as non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), these contracts protect your business's sensitive information. We ensure that your confidentiality agreements are comprehensive and enforceable.
  • Consultancy agreements: these agreements outline the terms between your business and consultants. We assist in creating contracts that clearly define the scope of work, deliverables and payment terms.
  • Director service agreements: our commercial contract solicitors draft detailed agreements for company directors, outlining their roles, responsibilities, and remuneration. These agreements are crucial for delineating the expectations and obligations of your company’s leaders, and ensuring compliance with corporate governance standards.
  • Distribution agreements: our team supports the drafting and reviewing of agreements between suppliers and distributors, to help your products reach the market effectively while protecting your interests.
  • Employment contracts: we help you draft and review employment agreements to ensure they comply with UK laws while protecting both your business and your employees' rights. Our advice covers everything from contracts for new hires to complex director service agreements, and always ensure your workforce is engaged under clear, fair and legally compliant terms.
  • Franchise agreements: we provide expertise in franchising law to help you establish clear and beneficial franchise relationships, covering everything from branding to operational guidelines.
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP) agreements: we assist in structuring LLP agreements that outline the rights and responsibilities of each partner, maintain legal compliance and protect individual and collective interests.
  • Manufacturing agreements: our solicitors help draft commercial agreements that specify the terms under which products are manufactured, covering aspects such as quality standards, timelines, and pricing.
  • Outsourcing agreements: outsourcing can be a strategic move for many businesses. We provide advice on drafting outsourcing agreements that clearly define the scope, standards and expectations for all parties involved, to ensure your outsourcing strategies are effective and legally sound.
  • Partnership agreements: we design agreements that set the foundations for business partnerships and joint venture agreements, covering contributions, profit distribution and decision-making processes.
  • Service level agreements (SLAs): this includes the development of SLAs that detail the expected service standards, response times and remedies for service failures, delivering clear expectations between providers and clients.
  • Supply agreements: we assist with agreements between your business and its suppliers, ensuring the timely, efficient and cost-effective supply of goods or services.
  • Terms and conditions of business: our team crafts clear terms and conditions to govern the sale of goods and services, to help you manage customer relationships and reduce legal risks.

By providing legal support for these contracts and more, Walker Foster's commercial team aims to protect your business's assets, reputation and relationships.

What are the basics of a commercial contract?

Understanding the fundamentals of a commercial contract is essential for ensuring that it is effective and legally binding. Here are the key components that make up the basics of a commercial contract:

  • Parties involved: clearly identifies all parties involved in the agreement, typically including names, addresses and legal status (e.g., individual, partnership, corporation).
  • Scope and terms of agreement: outlines the specific goods, services or responsibilities that are subject to the contract. This section should be detailed and clear to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Payment terms: specifies the pricing, payment schedules and conditions under which payments will be made. This could include details on lump sum payments, instalments or other arrangements.
  • Duration: defines the start date and duration of the contract, including any provisions for renewal or extension.
  • Delivery and performance: sets out expectations regarding the timing, location and manner of delivery or performance of services or goods.
  • Warranties and guarantees: describes any promises about the quality or nature of what is being sold or provided.
  • Liability and risk: allocates responsibility between parties regarding risks, including liability for breaches and insurance requirements.
  • Termination: outlines conditions under which the contract can be terminated by either party and the procedures for termination.
  • Dispute resolution: specifies how disputes related to the contract will be resolved, such as through arbitration, mediation or court proceedings.
  • Confidentiality: if applicable, this includes terms for protecting sensitive information shared between the parties.
  • Governing law: indicates which jurisdiction’s law will govern the interpretation and enforcement of the contract.

Understanding these basic elements can help ensure that your commercial contracts are comprehensive and legally enforceable. Speak to a contract solicitor at Walker Foster for focused advice on how to make sure your business agreements meet these fundamentals, while also being tailored to your specific needs and objectives.

What are my options if a commercial contract is breached?

If a commercial contract is breached, several options are available to the aggrieved party. The course of action can depend on the nature of the breach and the terms of the contract itself. Here are the main remedies and steps you can consider:

  • Communication and negotiation: initially, it may be beneficial to discuss the issue with the other party. A solution may be reached through negotiation without needing to resort to formal legal action, which allows contractual relationships to be preserved.
  • Mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR): mediation and other forms of ADR involve a neutral third party helping to facilitate a resolution between the parties. This can often be a quicker and less expensive option than going to court.
  • Damages: the most common legal remedy for a breach of contract is compensation in the form of damages. The aim is to put the injured party in the financial position they would have been in had the contract been fulfilled.
  • Specific performance: in some cases, you may seek a court order for specific performance, compelling the breaching party to fulfil their obligations under the contract. This is more common when the subject matter of the contract is unique, and damages would not be a sufficient remedy.
  • Injunction: an injunction may be sought to prevent the breaching party from taking certain actions that would contravene the contract's terms.
  • Termination: if the breach is significant, you may have the right to terminate the contract and end your obligations under it.
  • Recovery of property: if the breach involves the retention of property that should have been returned or transferred, you can seek its recovery.

When faced with a breach of contract, it is essential to review the agreement's terms and conditions, which may specify the remedies available or the steps required (such as giving notice to the breaching party). At Walker Foster, our commercial contracts lawyers can provide advice and representation in the event of a contract breach. We can help you assess the situation, decide on the best course of action, and pursue the most appropriate remedy to protect your interests and resolve the dispute.

Our approach to commercial contracts

At Walker Foster, our approach to commercial contracts is built on a foundation of understanding of your business and its unique needs. We start by discussing your business, industry and specific circumstances. This enables us to learn your needs and provide advice that is not only legally sound but also aligned with your business strategies and goals.

Our commercial contracts solicitors focus on drafting clear, precise contracts that avoid ambiguity and minimise the risk of disputes. We believe in making complex legal terms understandable, to ensure that you fully comprehend the obligations and rights established in your agreements. We also assess potential risks in commercial arrangements, advise on strategies to mitigate them, and help to protect your business from challenges.

Throughout our process, we adopt a proactive approach by anticipating potential problems and addressing them before they escalate. We will also provide ongoing support and offer guidance on any potential issues or contractual disputes as they arise.

Our pricing is simple and flexible. We give you the choice of either a fixed fee or hourly rate; get in touch with us to learn more.

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Why choose Walker Foster?

Standing out while fitting in

We strive for excellence

We care about our clients

We empower our people to make a difference together

Selecting the right legal partner is crucial for your business. Walker Foster stands out with its rich brand history and strong local presence, making us the ideal choice for your commercial contract needs.

We have a proud heritage dating back to 1919, and a strong connection with the communities we serve. With local offices in Skipton, Barnoldswick, Silsden, Settle, Ilkley, Northallerton and Harrogate, we provide a unique understanding of local business environments and legal landscapes.

Our team of commercial contracts solicitors combines in-depth legal expertise with a practical, commercially focused approach. We go beyond what traditional law firms offer to form long-term relationships with clients and provide ongoing support over many years.

FAQs about commercial contracts

Does a commercial contract have to be in writing?

Not all commercial contracts need to be in writing to be considered legally binding. Oral agreements can be enforceable if they include the essential elements of a contract: offer, acceptance, consideration and intention to create legal relations. However, there are significant advantages to having written contracts:

  • Clarity and certainty: written contracts provide a clear record of the terms agreed upon, reducing the potential for misunderstandings and disputes.
  • Evidence: in case of a disagreement, a written contract serves as solid evidence of the parties' intentions and what was agreed.
  • Specific legal requirements: some types of contracts, such as those related to the sale of land, consumer credit and others, are required by law to be in writing.

While a commercial contract does not always have to be in writing to be legally binding, having a comprehensive written agreement is best practice, and will be the most effective way of protecting your business interests and avoiding disputes.

What makes a contract legally binding?

For a contract to be considered legally binding, certain elements must be present. Understanding these can help ensure that your commercial agreements are enforceable and protect your business interests. Here are the key components:

  • Offer and acceptance: one party must make a clear offer, and the other must accept it. Acceptance must be unconditional and correspond exactly to the offer.
  • Consideration: there must be something of value exchanged between the parties. This can be money, services or goods, as long as each party gives and receives something.
  • Intention to create legal relations: both parties must intend for the agreement to be legally binding. In a business context, this is typically presumed.
  • Capacity: the parties involved must have the legal capacity to enter into a contract. This means they must be of legal age (over 18 in the UK) and of sound mind.
  • Consent: the agreement must be made without duress, undue influence or misrepresentation. All parties should agree to the terms freely and with full understanding.
  • Legality: the terms of the contract must be legal. A contract for illegal activities is not enforceable.

While a written document is not always necessary for a contract to be legally binding, it can provide clarity and evidence of the terms agreed upon. At Walker Foster, our commercial contract solicitors can help ensure that your business agreements meet all these criteria, to provide security and clarity for your business operations.

What is the difference between a partnership agreement and an LLP agreement?

Understanding the distinction between a partnership agreement and a limited liability partnership (LLP) is vital when forming a business relationship.

Partnership agreements: in a conventional partnership, partners work together with the intent of generating a profit. A partnership agreement helps to outline how the business will be run, covering both high-level financial and operational strategies as well as certain day-to-day management aspects.

Without such an agreement, your partnership will automatically be governed by the Partnership Act 1890, which might not suit your business's unique needs. Furthermore, without a formal agreement, you risk creating unintended terms through your business's conduct.

LLP agreements: an LLP stands apart from traditional partnerships primarily because it is a separate legal entity. This means that the LLP itself, rather than the individual members, enters into contracts and holds liability to third parties. Members (often still called partners) are generally not personally liable to third parties, which offers a layer of protection not available in traditional partnerships.

However, members can become personally liable in certain situations, such as if they provide personal guarantees or engage in wrongful or fraudulent trading. Governed by the LLPA 2000 and LLP Regulations 2001, LLPs provide a structure that can be more flexible and protective for business owners.

While LLP agreements can be oral or inferred by conduct, having a written agreement is highly recommended to clearly outline the rights and responsibilities of all members. A well-drafted LLP agreement helps to reflect the true intention and objectives of the business partnership.

Whether you are forming a traditional partnership or an LLP, it is essential to have the right legal documents in place. Walker Foster is here to assist with drafting agreements that protect your interests and support the success of your business partnership.

In all the many cases I’ve worked on with Keith over the last 8 years, he never fails to demonstrate complete mastery of both the facts and the law – however esoteric the area. His negotiating style combines a calm authority with a keen sense of fair-dealing which quickly wins the confidence of all those around him. Keith’s years of experience in disputes of all kinds, coupled with the diligence and patience necessary to get the job done, means that he consistently brings something extra to the table. Always ready to think outside the box, Keith is able to conjure real-life practical solutions to the most intractable of disputes, seemingly out of thin air.

Meet the Team

Keith HardingtonDirector, Head of Company and Commercial Law
Claire CollingeSolicitor, Employment Law
Rebecca GeldardTrainee Solicitor, Company and Commercial Law

Our team of experienced commercial contracts solicitors is here to provide the expert advice and support your business deserves. Contact Walker Foster to get started - whether you are drafting new agreements, negotiating complex deals or navigating legal disputes, we are committed to protecting your interests and helping your business thrive

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