It is important to be aware that when agreeing to a written contract, it does not need to be signed by both parties to be legally binding.
In many cases there is no need for a written document to be prepared and/or signed in order for there to be a “contract”.
A recent example of this is the case between Reveille Independent LLC and Anotech International (UK) Ltd. This case highlights that even if a contract says it has to be signed to be binding, if it is unsigned it may still have a legally binding effect.
The key issue in this case amounted from one party not signing the contract. This party argued that by not signing, they had not accepted the terms of the contract. However, the Judge in the Commercial Court ruled that regardless of signatures, the contract was still binding.
Whilst it makes sense to ensure a contract is signed by both parties before work is carried out, in reality this may not be possible. For example, if the goods or services under the contract is urgent.
This case helps clarify some of the issues arising if a contract is unsigned. However, certain contracts such as those relating to the transfer of land can only be effective if in writing and signed by both parties.
For more information or help regarding contracts and business agreements, please feel free to contact us.