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Legal Studio offers practical advice, great value for money and a personal service for businesses like yours.
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Legal Studio tailors advice to your personal legal issue.
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We specialise in many legal areas, including:
  • Professional Negligence;
  • Cohabitation claims;
  • Criminal investigations;
  • White collar crime.


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If your business needs legal representation, support or advice, we can help.

The areas in which we specialise include, but are not limited to:
  • Dispute resolution;
  • Contracts and commercial;
  • Regulatory;
  • Commercial property.


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OUR LATEST NEWS

Our employment law specialist Nathan Combes has produced a FREE temporary homeworking policy which has been put together with current events very much in mind.

Standard homeworking policies do not really cover off issues such as working from home and childcare (given the closure of schools) and self-isolation/social and social distancing etc.

If you would like to receive a copy then please contact Nathan by email at
nathan.combes@legalstudio.co.uk
2020 10 26
Nathan Combes
With many people self isolating there are practical problems cropping up, not least how to collect monies and pay for day to day items.
 
If someone has a lasting power of attorney registered in respect of their property and financial affairs, then this can be used by the person who made the power (referred to as "the donor") and they can instruct their attorney to go to the bank etc for them.
 
If however you do not have a lasting power or attorney in place, then all is not lost. There is a "general power of attorney" that you can put in place immediately to enable someone to assist you. This is a very limited document in that it will allow your appointed attorneys to carry out that specific task set out within the power (such as obtaining your monies and purchasing day to day items). General powers of attorney can be time limited or revoked in writing. Therefore, this may be suitable if you would like assistance throughout the isolation period only.
 
For further information please contact Helen Forster by email at Helen.Forster@legalstudio.co.uk
 
2020 52 26
Helen Forster
Frustration
 
There’s been a lot of discussion recently, about contracts and what happens, or could happen, with them in the current climate. One of the phases that keeps coming up is ‘ooh, that contract might be frustrated’. This doesn’t mean that it’s fed up, but that the parties are legally excused from their performance obligations under it.
 
So, what is frustration and when does it occur?
 
Well, the case law on frustration started in 1863 and involved a Music Hall, “fireworks and full illuminations, Grecian statues, tight rope performances and air gun shooting” or rather the lack thereof as the Music hall burned down. But don’t worry, we’re not going into detail on that.
 
We’re going to look at pens.
 
A practical example: Geoff, the Journal and the Pens.
 
Imagine you’ve entered into a contract regarding pens. The terms of the contract govern the supply and maintenance of pens to be used by Geoff for writing in his one of a kind irreplaceable bespoke personal journal. For which Geoff pays a hansom fee. Now, several things could go wrong during the course of this contract. Lets’ consider some examples:
 
  • A pen runs out of ink. This is to be expected at some point as, frankly, pens do run out of ink. The contract ought to cover this and deal with who is responsible for finding new ink, who pays for it and how long Geoff can be left waiting for the new ink to arrive as well as, if no new ink turns up, who can terminate the contract and what happens if they do. Running out of ink whilst annoying, isn’t a frustrating event for the contract; or
 
  • The price of pens increases. It’s therefore commercially unattractive to stay in the contract. Well, again that’s annoying and should have been dealt with in the contract. But it isn’t frustration; or
 
  • The supplier of the pens buys them in from a third party, doesn’t get them delivered to them on time and they are late supplying them to Geoff. That’s the supplier’s problem and it’s problem alone. It’s not a frustration of the contract; or
 
  • The pens don’t write as well as they usually do in Geoff’s one of a kind irreplaceable journal. This isn’t frustration. The supplier knew about the specific requirements of Geoff at the time they entered the contract, so they can’t rely on this as an event of frustration.
 
However, if:
 
  • After 6 months of supply the government bans the use of pens and makes possession or supply of them illegal that is a frustrating event and the parties can be released from their obligations under the contract ;or
 
  • Geoff dies (sorry Geoff) that’s a frustrating event and Geoff’s Estate doesn’t have to pay to buy pens nor does the supplier have to supply them to Geoff’s estate; or
 
  • Geoff’s one of a kind irreplaceable journal is completely destroyed (through no fault of Geoff or the supplier) then that would be a frustrating event.
 
Essential elements of Frustration
 
These are all rather silly and very simplistic examples, but generally speaking, a frustrating event is an event which:
 
  • Happens after the contract has been formed;
 
  • Attacks the fundamental purpose of the contract;
 
  • Is completely beyond what was expected by the parties when they entered into the contract;
 
  • Is neither of the contracting party’s faults; and
 
  • Makes performing the contract from that point on impossible, illegal or radically different from what was expected by the parties when they entered into the contract.
 
What is the effect of frustration?
 
If a contract is frustrated, then the parties are excused from their future performance of it (in this case the supply and maintenance of pens or payment for them). In certain circumstances you can get back sums you’ve already paid over before the frustrating event happens or be entitled to charge a ‘just sum’ if you couldn’t perform the whole of your obligations but did do something.
 
Other options
 
Even if your contract is not frustrated, there may still be terms in it that you can turn to your advantage. These may include:
 
  • The right to vary the price you have to pay, or the volume/ timing of supplies you have to make;
 
  • The right to request changes to the services that you have to provide;
 
  • The ability to temporarily take over services that you have outsourced;
 
  • The right to give notice of termination on the contract.
 
So, if recent events have left you thinking about what to do about your obligations under your contracts of if your customers have started to question whether they can cancel do get in touch with the team at Legal Studio as a review of your contract will help you to understand your legal options and the strength of your negotiating position with your customers and suppliers.
 
P.s sorry again Geoff.
 
2020 36 26
Ian Mccann