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Who Is My Contract With?

Sep 04, 2015
This may seem like an obvious answer, but the reality is that this can sometimes be a grey area. Recently we helped a client who was receiving threatening demands from company A, that had purported to have taken over responsibility for the servicing and monitoring of their home alarm system. The client was able to produce documents suggesting the contract was with another company, B. Company B had since gone into liquidation and were no longer trading.  

According to the contract with company B, company B had the right to assign the contract, or sell or pass the rights of that contract to another person. In our client’s situation however, we saw absolutely no proof of that happening despite company A insisting on this having taken place. Upon challenging company A about this, they sent an invoice suggesting that they had brought B’s contracts, including our client’s. There were no qualifying documents to suggest they had been formally assigned. We repeatedly asked for proof of the documents, but this never transpired. The basis of any claim in denying this is due to company A, is that they do not legally have the right to the contract with company B. 

Assignment is the transfer of a right from one person to another. It is important to establish whether this can be done by a legal document, as we did with the client above, or whether it passes by other means of law. Without proof of this happening, you should never feel pressurised into accepting another company’s point of view. In the circumstances, always take the advice of a solicitor who can advise you on your legal position and who the correct person is that you contracted with. It is also important to make sure you get this right if you ever had to bring a claim against an individual or company in the future so it pays to make sure you know who you are dealing with from the outset.  

Nicola Lucas

About the author

Nicola Lucas

Nicola is a member of our Business Law Team handling all the commercial requirements of her clients such as shareholder agreements and negotiating on commercial ...

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