Commercial Contracts - a fundamental need for almost any business
High quality commercial contracts, whether with customers, suppliers, partners or others, are of fundamental importance to any business. Contracts need to be clear and specific; accurately reflect each parties’ intentions; bring clarity and structure to business relationships; and help to avoid unnecessary risks and liabilities.
Good commercial agreements are also a vitally important risk management tool, and act like an additional insurance policy. They help to avoid disputes that often arise from either not having written contracts in place or from having contracts which do not reflect what actually happens in reality.
Long-standing, trusted client relationships
LCF Law’s commercial contracts lawyers work closely with our clients. Most have been our clients for many, many years. We act as trusted advisors: whether that involves giving detailed advice on the negotiation and drafting of key trading relationships; or simply giving an informal steer to a client based on our many years of experience.
Broad commercial contract experience
Our commercial contracts lawyers advise on all kinds of agreements and have many decades’ experience covering a very broad spectrum of commercial contract work. During this time we have developed expertise in multiple different sectors ranging from packaging and filling machinery to Business Process Outsourcing; through to the supply of biocidal products under the EU Biocidal Products Regulations.
In particular, our contract solicitors can help you with:
- Terms and Conditions
All businesses need to make sales; without them, they have nothing. Each sale is a contract to supply at an agreed price, and yet the terms and conditions of sale - which underpin the very existence of a business - often get little attention. Until, that is, a dispute occurs, at which point the terms of sale often take centre stage. Instructing our lawyers to review your terms of business will ensure you are in the best possible position if and when a dispute happens.
- Intellectual Property (IP)
We advise on all aspects of intellectual property law, and regularly work on agreements to help clients exploit IP rights such as: patents, trademarks, design rights, copyright, and trade secrets; whether by way of licence, mortgage, sale or otherwise.
- Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
NDAs are vital to protect valuable business information when such information needs to be shared: for example with a prospective buyer of your business; when discussing the sale or licencing of a product or technology; or when receiving goods or services from a third party who may have access to your confidential information in the course of providing those goods or services. We often also deal with non-compete and non-poaching agreements in this context.
- Framework and Supply Contracts
We advise on all kinds of supply and purchase relationships. These may be structured as one-off or ongoing sales or hire agreements, or framework arrangements. In the services sector we advise on consultancy arrangements - which often require specific advice to minimise any risks relating to employment legislation - and on advertising, sales promotion and sponsorship/endorsement arrangements. We also advise clients on contracts in public procurement circumstances.
- Outsourcing Agreements
The practice of outsourcing aspects of your business operations to a third party outsourcer can have many benefits including: cutting costs, increasing productivity and efficiency, faster delivery and access to specialised services. We can advise you on and draft outsourcing agreements and we have particular expertise in Business Process Outsourcing arrangements.
- Research and Development (R&D) Agreements
R&D agreements exist to define the scope by which two or more enterprises agree to collaborate in a particular area of research; for example, the development and exploitation of new products or processes. It is crucially important to take expert legal advice when entering into these agreements as, above all else, they will help to clearly determine the ownership of any intellectual property rights that may result.
- IT, Technology and Digital Media
LCF Law regularly receives instructions from companies engaged in Information Technology, Digital Media and related fields, including software developers, web developers, business continuity providers and hosting businesses. We have considerable experience in dealing with software licensing, hardware and software procurement, telecoms contracts, Software as a Service (SaaS) agreements, and e-commerce terms and conditions, amongst many others.
- Agency and Distributorship Agreements
A manufacturer may appoint an agent or a distributor for a number of reasons including: to outsource the sales process; to take advantage of the agent’s or distributor’s market position and knowledge; or to enter new markets. It is often the case, however, that insufficient thought is given to the exact nature of the relationship; and indeed whether the relationship is actually one of agency or of distributorship. LCF Law can help you navigate the issues involved and can prepare robust yet commercial agreements with your trading partners.
Franchising - or licensing the right to use a brand name and business model - can enable franchisors to achieve long term growth without the need for bank funding. Franchisees can benefit from taking advantage of a proven business model, initial training and ongoing support. Our franchise lawyers can assist in every aspect of franchising law; from the preparation of the franchise agreement and registration of relevant IP, through to the renewal or termination of franchise arrangements.
- Arts and Heritage Contracts
Art can be created, sold privately through a dealer or at public auction, bought, commissioned, given as a gift, bequeathed in a will, consigned, loaned, exhibited, lost, stolen, argued over, damaged, restored, and used as security. Each event in an artwork’s lifetime will have legal issues. Many of these dealings will need to be underpinned by written contracts to ensure the interests of all parties are appropriately protected. LCF Law can advise on all such agreements, including licence, commission, loan and sale agreements.
- Consumer Contracts
Businesses selling to consumers - that is customers who are not buying from them in the course of or for the purposes of a business - must comply with a wide range of laws designed to protect consumers, including the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Non-compliance will not only expose the trader to being sued by its customers but also to enforcement action by the relevant statutory enforcement authorities. LCF Law provides expert advice in this space based on many years’ experience and in particular we can prepare detailed terms and conditions for you to ensure that you are fully compliant with all the relevant legislation.
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