I’ve been called many things over the years.  Some names I’m very proud of, like being a mum – although there are some days when I threaten to change my name if I hear “Muuuuuuum” once more.  Other names I’m not so proud of – “the ex” isn’t one of my favourites.
Some names are just downright funny, and usually by accident.  If you read my blogs often, you’ll know I was called a traffic warden recently.  Today I got to add another funny one to my list, which is that apparently I’m a good lower.  A good lower what – lower sixth?  Lower meaning cheaper.  Eventually it dawned in me.  She meant good lawyer.  Don’t you just love spell check.
No doubt we’ve all got in to difficulties when spell check goes wrong.  Lawyer becomes lower.  Coming out of the clinic can becoming coming out of the closet.  Gum in my hair became….. well, you get the idea.
It’s all fine when it’s in communications between friends and family, but what happens if you say something in error to a business contact.  If you meant to type £500 but actually typed £50 and they accept your ridiculously low price.  Are you bound by it.  Well the simple answer is possibly, but it will depend on the facts.  For an agreement to be binding, there must be an intention to be legally bound, and if it’s obvious that you’ve made a mistake, it should be possible to void the contract.  On the other hand, what happens if you accepted an offer that you thought was on the low side, but just though was a bargain (or the seller just didn’t appreciate the true value of what they had) and now they are saying they made a mistake, do you have to take their word for it and release them from the deal?  Much may depend on how soon the mistake is noticed.  If the purchaser has started acting on the wrong figure, the seller may be committed, or at least have to pay some form of compensation.  The implications and ramifications of a simple error can be endless.
Of course it doesn’t make commercial sense to have a solicitor check every e-mail that you send, but there are still things that you can do to protect yourself.  For example, there is wording you could put in your email footers to say contracts only come into existence if signed manually.  You can advise staff that they are not authorised to bind the company.  You can have ts and cs on your website and you can have a companywide policy for contracts, which everyone must follow. 
If you’d like a complimentary review of your company’s ts and cs, or perhaps those of someone you do business with, let’s grab some breakfast and chat through your options. 
Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.   Full of snap, crackle and pop!