How To Win Battle Of The Forms

25th January 2013
How To Win Battle Of The Forms image

How to Win a “Battle of the Forms”

A “battle of the forms” arises when two businesses are negotiating the terms of a contract and each party wants to contract upon the basis of its own terms.

A typical scenario is the buyer sends the seller a purchase order with the buyer’s terms and conditions on the back, and then the seller sends back an invoice with its own terms and conditions on the back (and of course there is much conflict between the two respective sets of terms and conditions!).  The terms of the contract are then not mentioned again, and the goods and or services delivered.  So whose terms and conditions apply in the event of a dispute between the parties relating to the contract?

The answer is hard to predict, because each case may turn up on its particular facts and there are no “hard and fast” rules which the Court will follow.

A good starting point is who fired the “last shot”, that is the last party to put forward terms and conditions that were not expressly rejected by the recipient.  However this is not always the case as the last set of terms and conditions may have been sent and received after the contract had been formed (e.g. after the goods are delivered and accepted by the buyer).

Sometimes the Court will consider the parties previous dealings for evidence that one party has accepted the other’s terms and conditions.

Therefore to try and avoid the uncertainty of a “battle of forms” a business can take certain steps to protect its position.

Make sure you send to the other party a copy of your terms and conditions as early as possible in the transaction, and include the terms and conditions with your offer or acceptance.  For example the seller should send the terms and conditions with the initial acceptance of the buyer’s purchase order, rather than including it on an invoice delivered after shipping the goods or performing the services.

Place a signature line on your standard form, above a statement acknowledging consent to your terms and conditions and ask the other party to sign.  Usually a signature of consent will bind the party who signs.

If you need help and guidance on procedures for entering into contracts or any issues relating to a “battle of the forms” then please contact Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or email

The Will Writing Company Limited image

The Will Writing Company Limited

It has been reported that The Will Writing Company Limited, whose registered office is at Ergo House, Mere Way, Ruddington Fields Business Park, Nottingham, have ceased to practise.

If you made Wills using this company then it is probably worthwhile making contact with them in order to retrieve your Wills. Once you have your Wills you may wish to make an appointment with one of the lawyers in our Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney and Probate Team in order to review your Will to ensure it still accords with your wishes. We also offer a Will storage facility which is free of charge.

To review your Will please contact one of our lawyers in the Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate Department:-

Jane Mawer-
Jamie Dobbs-
Faye Blair-

Or telephone the office on 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.

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Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

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