10 Sep 2016

    Why You Should Never Break A Contract

    Ever signed a contract and now you want to back out? You may need to consider that a Court may hold you responsible for failing to complete the contract.

    In a recent decision, our firm was successful at trial on a contract dispute involving the sale of the assets of a business in excess of over $100,000 and the transfer of the lease of that business.

    The buyer essentially changed his mind about buying the business and utilized many legal arguments to find a way out.

    As part of the agreement to sell the business, the seller agreed to provide the landlord’s permission to transfer the lease to the buyer before the buyer would be held responsible for payment of the business. The buyer, who already owned another business in the building, didn’t want to wait for permission from the landlord. He took the keys and started to renovate the seller’s unit and as a result we successfully argued that he didn’t really rely on that clause.

    He never returned the keys. The landlord gave permission to transfer the lease later on.
    Failing to show that you rely on a section in an agreement is called waiver. If you have entered into an agreement with someone where something has to be done, such as receive permission from the landlord, then wait for it. That may give you an out if you later change your mind.

    Why? When courts review contracts, they examine them based on the contract as a whole, rather than reading parts of a contract separately. The court tries to find the intention of the parties when reading these contracts, and therefore read contracts in a practical, common-sense way. The court also looks at the circumstances when the parties form the contract. Courts also want that people fulfill their responsibilities under a contract in “good faith”, meaning that the parties should try to do what they promised.

    The bottom line is that when you have an agreement, the contract binds you to what you promised. The court looks at your actions and whether they followed that agreement, and if so, the court will hold you to the agreement.

    Click here to read a copy of the decision.

    KJ Chong also contributed to this article.

    Read 3048 times Last modified on Saturday, 10 September 2016 15:23
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    Walker Law Professional Corporation

    Tanya Walker obtained her law degree from Osgoode Hall at York University in 2005 and her Honours Bachelor of Commerce with a minor in Economics from McMaster University in 2002. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006 and created Walker Law a litigation law firm in 2010. Tanya is currently serving a term as Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario; elected by her peers as not only the first Black elected female Bencher from Toronto, in the 220-year history of the Law Society, but also as one of the youngest sitting Benchers.
 Tanya is a frequent speaker on legal issues to the Toronto Community and regularly appears on the CTV Show, Your Morning as a legal expert. She has also been named in the 2017 and 2018 Lexpert Guides as one of the Leading Lawyers to Watch in Corporate/Commercial Litigation and is also the recipient of the 2018 Women’s Business Enterprise of the Year Award.

 Tel: 647-342-2334 ext. 302 
 Email: tanya(at)tcwalkerlawyers.com


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