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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 31300
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A Shortform Contract has an expiry date of August 2008 - and

Customer Question

A Shortform Contract has an expiry date of August 2008 - and an addendum with a change in payment rate issued in January 2008 has an expiry date of 99/99/9999 and a term of 999 months - is the contract still valid in 2015?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
What is this in relation to please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

My question is in relation to providing web design and development services to a client. The original Shortform Contract was very one sided 10 years ago - and we have assumed that since the expiry of the original Date - and since we have not received a renewed contract since the Amendment - that the contract was no longer valid - and we have continued to provide services.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
So the expiry date is wrong?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

The original expiry date was for "3 years" in the first contract - which was to August 2008.

In the second "amendment" - which was for a rate increase and to clarify assignment of copyright for work - it says "99/99/9999".. and the term was for "Months: 999"

However - we always assumed that this meant the person completing the form on the client side had simply not changed the default "electronic" dummy date - and that therefore the contract would therefore only be relevant for 3 years.

We have been picked up on something that might become "tricky" - but do not want to discuss in detail on this public forum.

As such - it would be good to be able to say that the details of the original contract no longer apply.

Can the fact the specified term in the original contract expired in 2008 be a valid point?

I appreciate you do not know the issue and do not have the contracts - but in principle - is there any "legal" meaning to an end date of 99/99/9999 - or should the contract have been renewed - as the original one expired in 2008.

As the original contract was very one sided - it was not really to our benefit to have a valid contract anyway - so we were better working with no contract - and have done so for the last 7 years or so (as far as we were aware!)

We always thought we were working without a contract and never showed the contract to clients in case they picked up that it had expired and "let sleeping dogs lie". It is only on reviewing it recently that we noticed the 99/99/9999 information.

Right now - it would be good if the contract is no longer valid and we have simply been providing services in the same way we do to all our other clients - on a "you be cool, we be cool" manner.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Does it have a termination clause?

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