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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10621
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Validity of contract exchanged by lawyers rather than buyer

Resolved Question:

Validity of contract exchanged by lawyers rather than buyer and seller
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1. In law a lawyer/solicitor is agent of the client and is clothed with actual and ostensible authority to act on the client's behalf. So, where lawyers exchange contracts, this will be taken to be on the client's behalf. If a client did not agree to this course of action and to be bound, then he will have a remedy by suing his lawyer, but here client will still be bound to the contract exchanged on his behalf by his lawyer. Essentially, the solicitor/lawyer-client relationship is one of agency. The lawyer/solicitor is taken to be agent of the client, when a client appoints the lawyer to act on his or her behalf in a contractual situation. These issues commonly arise in the context of contracts for the sale of property. If you want to provide further facts, I will be happy to assist further.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. Do I interpret correctly that short of suing the lawyer which they would not want to do (cost, hassle and little tangible to gain) they are stuck with a situation where the seller is under no legal obligation to pay "costs" for not delivering on time originally floated in discussion.

Is the buyer entitled to see the contract allegedly agreed orally by him and signed by his lawyer.

Am I correct in thinking my friend the buyer can not back off from the terms of the contract although he has added expenditure due to the builder's delays.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
2. Damages are payable for delay in completion. However, the purchaser's remedy here is to serve a 21 day Notice to Complete, as damages for a late closing of a sale are always minimal, as the buyer gets the property in the end. Secondly, the buyer is entitled to see the contract agreed by him and signed by his lawyer. The buyer should request a copy of this from his own lawyer or get his own copy on completion. Thirdly, the buyer will be bound by the terms of the contract which he has signed. However, if it is the case that the buyer is out money, for example, to a builder not being able to start a job of contractual work on the property, then the buyer will be able to pass these costs of late completion on to the seller, because the seller is also contractually bound to have strictly observed the terms of the contract each party signed. However, for the costs to be passed on, they must result directly from the delay.
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