Think Like a Lawyer: Verbal Agreements

Think Like a Lawyer: Verbal Agreements

Have you reached an agreement with someone? Perhaps a business partner, a consultant, or someone you have had an argument with.

Well done for coming to an agreement and shaking hands on it.

But what happens if, after you part ways amicably, the other party re-imagines what was agreed? Or denies it completely? Maybe they genuinely interpreted something different to what you understood.

When you reach a verbal agreement with someone, you can avoid the risk of uncertainty by confirming it in writing. Ideally, once you’ve agreed, you want to write down the agreement there and then – just plain English dot points are fine – and then each sign it.

If that’s not convenient or appropriate, send them an email or a text shortly after the meeting saying “just confirming my understanding of what has been agreed is …”

That way, if the other party regrets the agreement and tries to deny or change it later, it will help your cause to have a contemporaneous record of what you understood the deal to be.

Verbal contracts are enforceable at law, the problem is always proving what exactly the terms of that agreement were.