• Contract Law: Precisely Defining Rights and Obligations in a Contract
  • October 16, 2014 | Author: Michael Rainer
  • Law Firm: GRP Rainer LLP - Stuttgart Office
  • Breaches of the terms of a contract may entail legal consequences, such as e.g. damages claims. It is therefore all the more important to regulate rights and obligations in the contract in detail.

    GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London - www.grprainer.com/en conclude: Provided that there are no separate arrangements, the provisions of general contract law apply to all types of contract in civil law. Contract law can thus be applied, inter alia, to purchase agreements, rental agreements, service agreements, contracts to produce a work, as well as licensing agreements, leasing contracts or franchise agreements.

    The defining feature of contract law is contractual freedom, private autonomy. This means that, subject to statutory regulations, the parties to the contract can agreed to whatever they like in the contract. The parties’ declarations of intent are laid out in the contract. These are adopted upon conclusion of the contract and are considered binding. If the contractually agreed rights and obligations are infringed, for instance due to non-performance or inadequate performance, this can give rise to legal consequences. Depending on the individual circumstances, the contract may thus be rendered null and void and/or the creditor can continue to demand performance, a price reduction or damages.

    This demonstrates how important it is to negotiate a contract as precisely and in as much detail as possible so that nasty surprises do not emerge at a later stage. Potential problems that could arise should already have been identified before the contract is concluded and accounted for in the contract accordingly. The rights and obligations in the contract ought therefore to be described in very concrete terms and, of course, the rules and regulations from associated legal fields considered. Thus, it should be very clear what the actual will of the contractual partner is before a declaration of intent is made and this should also be precisely formulated. Behind merely submitting a declaration of intent, there lie a great deal of rules, regulations and conditions which need to be borne in mind. For this reason, competent lawyers should be consulted when drafting a contract and also before its conclusion. They can formulate and review the terms of the contract to make sure they are watertight.

    In cases involving contracts under civil law, it should also be noted that they are subject to prescription. Should, for instance, claims for damages exist, they can no longer be asserted after the limitation period has expired. In order to enforce claims, legal advice ought to be obtained at an early stage.