Implied Contracts: Emails

E-mail chain creates an enforceable guarantee

Businesses are often unaware that a legally binding contract can be made by a simple exchange of e-mails. A Court of Appeal decision has confirmed that an enforceable guarantee can be created by a series of e-mails authenticated by the online signature of the guarantor.

In this case, the parties exchanged a series of e-mails in which they agreed a number of amendments to a standard form document. One of the parties asked the other to provide a full and complete signed agreement incorporating all the key terms (the document was never created), but the court held, on the facts, that the parties intended to be bound by the terms in the e-mails.

This checklist highlights the risks that a business and its employees should be aware of when sending work-related e-mails, using the internet and e-mail at work or discussing the workplace on the internet.

For further information, please contact our Business Law Team.

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