Making a Legal Agreement. Not Writing It Down. What Can Possibly Go Wrong?
Here’s a Thought. If you are entering into a Business Relationship that is likely to last for years and upon which your livelihood depends, Why not write something down!
They say that Motor Mechanics never get round to servicing their own cars, because “I can do it anytime”. Painters and Decorators never re-decorate their houses. [I presume that Vets do get around to vaccinating their own pets, surely?]
But here’s two solicitors, who entered into a partnership agreement. The older solicitor Mr B had a sole practice and he invited a younger solicitor Ms H to become his professional partner. Some terms were discussed, when negotiated in 2001.
In 2005 Mr B wanted to retire.
The partnership accounts showed that Mr B had over £100,000.00 invested in the partnership in his name. He asked for the money. She said “No”.
So what would Mr B be expected to do next? Surely, refer to the written Partnership Deed and turn to the section about Partner Retirements, and see what it says.
A problem. The negotiations had taken place in the pub, sharing a bottle of red wine together.
To the extent that either of them could remember what they had agreed, they had different recollections.
About the only thing they agreed about, was that they had reached an agreement!
That’s the thing about a decent bottle of red. And not writing stuff down.
So remember, next time you see your legal advisor, do as he says, not necessarily as he does.
Here is a link to the case. Link Here
I am a Notary Public. That is, the kind of Lawyer who always writes things down!