By far, the cheapest way to resolve a contract dispute is for both parties to reach a new agreement outside the courts. In the event that you are unable to resolve the dispute yourself, the validity and terms of the contract will be determined by a judge in common sense. Sometimes an oral agreement is reached and the parties intend to record the conditions later in a document, but for whatever reason, this has not been done. However, the oral agreement remains binding. Just like the aunt in our imaginary scenario, you`re probably better off documenting a written agreement. Something as simple as a promised note, detailing the nephew`s promise to repay his aunt, could have avoided any quarrel over their agreement. Finally, it is less difficult to ask family members for a written loan than to bring them to justice. «An oral contract is not worth the paper on which it is written.» – Samuel Goldwyn, film producer One of the best ways to demonstrate the terms of the oral contract is to identify witnesses to all the conversations you have had and obtain a written statement from them. In these cases, the more independent the witness, the better. Oral dispute over contract law is often based on the fact that one or both parties are clearly based on the agreement.
Oral contracts are best as a simple agreement with easy-to-understand terms and evidence of the existence of the agreement. Since this case would be tried in a civil court (not a correctional tribunal), the burden of proof rests on a balance of probabilities rather than a reasonable doubt. If you plan to argue on the basis of an oral contract, contact us today to find out how we can help. If you reach an oral agreement, it is helpful to write down the terms of the agreement reached in an attempt to avoid the problems below. For more advice, please contact farleys` Commercial Litigation Abteilung or our commercial contract team on 0845 287 0939, or fill out an application form Most oral contracts are legally binding.