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 daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com


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Cancer Research UK Free Will Service

Maples Solicitors are pleased and proud to announce that it is working in partnership with Cancer Research UK to offer their Free Will Service for the over 55’s.

The vast majority of people have been affected in some way by cancer and we wish to support Cancer Research UK in its life saving work by offering their Free Will Service.

Over a third of Cancer Research UK’s research is funded by gifts in Wills and we believe we can play a vital role in helping in the fight against cancer. Writing your will for free using the scheme could help beat cancer sooner.

Please contact a member of our Wills and Probate Department:-
Jamie Dobbs- jamie.dobbs@maplessolicitors.com
Jane Mawer- jane.mawer@maplessolicitors.com
Faye Blair- faye.blair@maplessolcitors.com

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

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Faye Blair LLB

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Jamie Dobbs ACILEx

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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Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

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Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.