Oral or Written Contracts?

Most written contracts will contain the essential terms which the parties agree to perform but many contracts are poorly drafted or simply fail to cover all aspects of the agreed arrangements. Sometimes, these terms can also be a mixture of written and oral agreements. This does not however mean that there was no actual contract, only that there is no written evidence of some aspects of it. The dispute will therefore rely upon the credibility of oral evidence, which might make it very difficult to establish what was actually agreed.

Oral contracts can be enforced but are more likely to give rise to disputes without some additional evidence to prove what was expressly agreed (eg: a reliable independent witness or an email trail of communications).

Written contracts (even if unsigned), will usually be good evidence of what was agreed providing that both parties had sight of the contract prior to acting upon an instruction or order to carry out services or to deliver goods etc.

 

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