Financial & Legal News

Emails Are Variations in Writing

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It is normal for contracts to contain clauses which specify that variations in the contract must be made in writing. The nature of business is such that contract variations are relatively commonplace and this can cause difficulty if the paperwork fails to keep up with the variations agreed orally.

In a recent case, an insurance company agreed with a claims handler for the latter to deal with motor insurance claims received, and the signed contract had a clause stipulating that any variations had to be agreed in writing and signed by each party.

After the contract had been signed, email correspondence took place between directors of each of the companies which varied the period of the contract and the fees payable under it.

In due course, the validity of those variations came to be disputed. The court ruled that despite the absence of paper documents with formal signatures, the exchanges constituted valid variations to the contract as the directors had authority to vary the terms for their respective businesses.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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