Despite the fact that the e-mail exchange contract was concluded, it was established that it was sufficiently clear to justify a liability of GBP 1.3 million for the defendants. This highlights the risks to which undertakings are exposed when they discuss contractual terms in any form in writing and when a legally binding contract contains a number of elements which the Court will judge objectively in determining validity. This case also serves as a reminder for employers to make employees understand their responsibilities in the action on behalf of their employer and the risks of not doing so. The only time you shouldn`t use emails as proof is when they`re « unprejudiced. » « Without prejudice » means that they are « off the record ». A limited liability company has entered the administration. The directors considered that the company had a possible right against third parties. There was an exchange of emails between the director and two shareholders of the company (through their lawyers) to discuss a possible assignment of the rights to sue the debt to both shareholders. Shareholders claimed that the emails created a legally binding contract, that the director would proceed with the sale at the price indicated in the emails. The administrator disagreed and proposed that these rights be auctioned. The partners asked the court to prevent the auction.

If you have any questions about this article, do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail: mail@eldwicklaw.com, or phone: +44 (0)203 972 8469. Since e-mail is today the main means of personal and commercial communication in the world, it is important for the parties to be aware of the possible legal consequences of this communication. While parties may treat emails in the same way as oral conversations, a fundamental question is whether the legal system views these communications as mere informal or legally binding discussions. Most people think of contracts as formal agreements recorded and signed in writing by the parties involved, often with lawyers present, but the fact is that a contract is just an agreement between several parties on the exchange of valuables and the physical form of the contract is not so important. A simple way to achieve this is to use, in each email sent, a simple exclusion of liability for a potential or perceived transaction. A kind of disclaimer placed at the top of each email, such as for example: emails often have a disclaimer in the footer that states that an email exchange cannot constitute a legally binding contract. In other cases, it is stated that any offer submitted is subject to the general conditions of the sender. But wait, it`s going to get worse. Exchanging emails can also modify existing contracts accidentally…