General contract law

A lawyer in general contract law assists you in a sub-area of ​​civil law. A commitment is the result of a unilateral or bilateral legal act or of actual action between persons. These persons can be both natural and legal persons.

This can be a commitment from the law, a contractual agreement or a natural commitment. A commitment from the law, for example, is the unlawful act. A natural commitment is a legally unenforceable obligation. A natural obligation becomes legally enforceable through an agreement between the creditor and the debtor. By far the most common commitment is that of agreement. Examples of frequently occurring agreements are: the purchase agreement, the lease or the employment contract.

Where can a lawyer help contract law?

Below you will find a selection of the subjects you are confronted with when you are about to conclude an agreement or have already entered into it. Our lawyers, specialized in contract law, are at your disposal to answer complex questions you are faced with and to assist you in entering into the agreement or resolving disputes that have arisen as a result of this.

Establishment of the agreement

An agreement is concluded through offer and acceptance. An offer is a proposal to conclude an agreement addressed to one or more persons that is sufficiently determined. This should show the will of the provider to be bound in case of acceptance. The acceptance is a declaration of intent to the provider. Supply and acceptance can in principle take place in any form.

Pre-contractual phase

Before a contract is concluded, this is usually preceded by a few things. This can vary from a short consultation to a difficult negotiation for months. As a result, the costs for the preparatory work can fluctuate. In this context, for example, consider making travel, conducting discussions, designing projects and drafting concept contracts. The fact that the contract ultimately does not take place and therefore the costs incurred are not reimbursed is of course highly undesirable, especially if a contracting party could legitimately expect that the contract would be concluded.

The pre-contractual phase is therefore important with regard to the problem of the broken off negotiations. Questions that arise are: when were the negotiations advanced in such a way that a pre-contractual relationship can be spoken? And what rights can be derived from this? A pre-agreement can also be concluded. This is an agreement in which the parties express the intention to continue the negotiations leading to the main agreement.

Important clauses in agreements

Terms and conditions

Nearly all agreements now have general terms and conditions, the & lsquo; fine print & rsquo; which are usually not in the contract itself, but in a separate document that must nevertheless be regarded as part of the contract and to which a contracting party commits itself by signing the agreement. However, some general conditions can be unreasonably onerous and therefore in violation of the law.

Exception clause

An exoneration clause or exoneration clause is an indemnity whereby the statutory obligation to pay damages is excluded or limited. Consider, for example, the signs near the cloakroom in restaurants where it is stated that the management is not liable for damage in the event of theft or loss of your property or a so-called & lsquo; disclaimer & rsquo; in an agreement or on a website. However, the suspension of such a sign or the inclusion of such a stipulation does not always prevent that one is still liable for damage suffered. On a case-by-case basis, it should be considered to what extent the parties were sufficiently familiar with the stipulation in advance and agreed to this. A recognized exoneration clause may also be in conflict with good morals or public order and therefore not legally valid.

Warranty clause

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a guarantee? In the absence of the guaranteed property, quality or quality, the titleholder can, in the case of guarantee, appeal to the other party for a promised form of compensation. However, it is usually not that simple, as the guarantee clause often prescribes that the other party determines whether or not a good does not meet the guarantee conditions. In warranty conditions, the rules that often protect the titleholder against malpractice and hidden defects are often deviated to the contrary. In other words, the liability of the guarantor is then limited.

Problems with the realization of the agreement

If an agreement has been concluded when there was a lack of will, the agreement is voidable. A lack of will means that the will to conclude the agreement is formed poorly. This is the case, for example, in case of error: an agreement has been entered into in case of an incorrect representation of things. If the correct facts and circumstances had been known, this would have led to the agreement not being concluded. Other wills are threats, deception (misrepresentation is deliberately caused by an act or omission) and abuse of circumstances.

Problems with the implementation of the agreement

Agreements are easily made between the parties. Often the disputes first arise in the implementation of those agreements. A dispute often lies in the divergent views about what has actually been agreed. It is important to note that when assessing the rights and obligations arising from an agreement, not only the literal text of an agreement should be looked at, but rather the intention that the parties had when they entered into the agreement.

When obligations from an agreement are not complied with in accordance with the agreements, three situations can be distinguished. We do not make timely arrangements (too late), we fail to comply properly (poor performance) or we fail to comply with them (impossibility / refusal).

In this case, the debtor has various options. He can demand fulfillment of the service, compensation or dissolution of the agreement. The compensation can also be claimed in combination with compliance / dissolution.

Before the creditor can proceed to this, the debtor must be put in default by means of a letter of formal notice in which he is given a reasonable period of time to comply. The notice of default can be omitted in a number of situations described by law.

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