If you see me this week, you’ll notice something different about me. My good completion owes more to a day in the sun than good make up.
I have recently discovered that I like cricket. Or rather, I like a day at Lords, with good company and a good hamper full of good food and wine, where I can sit in the sun and top up my tan.
However my relationship with cricket did not get off to a great start. In fact, my first visit to a cricket ground to watch a match was an unmitigated disaster. My partner, keen to ease me into the game slowly, decided to take me to a 20/20 match at the Oval. I was promised a short cricket match, drinks, and dinner. How bad could it be, I reasoned. Even if I hated the cricket, I’d enjoy the rest so it had to be worth an investment of my time.
Of course what I didn’t know was that if it rains, they do their best to carry on playing as otherwise they have to give you a refund. So what I actually got was to sit in drizzle for several hours watching cricket nursing a cup of coffee (in that weather you need hot drinks). Then, because the match ran late to try and get as many overs in as possible, all that was open on the way home was McDonalds. I hate junk food.
When I remind my partner about that day, he reminds me that he delivered exactly what he promised. Cricket, drinks, dinner. If I’m feeling particularly argumentative (which surprisingly doesn’t happen as often as you might think) I’ll argue that there were implied terms that drinks meant alcohol, and as we have an existing relationship meaning that he knows I don’t eat McDonalds, there was a course of dealing which excluded fast food.
Nevertheless, he makes a valid point. If these things are sufficiently important to me, I should have specified them at the outset. Whilst my lines of argument may give me some protection, if I had clearly defined my parameters at the outset, I wouldn’t have needed any protection – there is no argument to be had.
You will all be sitting there, reading this, saying that you don’t go on a date with a pre agreed set of terms and conditions. Obviously! However, what is equally obvious to me is that you shouldn’t go into business with someone without a pre agreed set of terms and conditions. Even if it’s something as basic as an exchange of emails where one of you says what you want, and the other says what that will cost, and you agree to start work. Nevertheless, plenty of people do, and then when it goes wrong (which happens more often than you might realise) you come to someone like me for litigation advice. Whilst litigation is a much more profitable area of our practice, it is often less satisfactory because smaller claims are not cost effective, and larger claims are lengthy and time consuming.
So the best advice I can give you is take your own food to cricket matches, and make sure you have clearly agreed terms with those you do business with. If you need my help on either, drop me a line at Stephanie@kleymansolicitors.com and we’ll find time to meet on your terms.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Knocking em for six.