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Is your company disappointed or unsatisfied with the performance of your supplier or client and do you therefore want to terminate the contract? Or do you already have a legal dispute about the delivery, quality or payment of a product or service and wish to terminate the contract? It is important that the termination of your contract is done correctly. If it is not done carefully and correctly, it can cause major consequences for your organisation. There are different rules and procedures for each country therefore, the termination may not be legally valid, or you may be obliged to pay compensation. Always ask advice from a specialised international lawyer if you wish to terminate the cooperation with your international trading partner.

Specialists in the field of international contract law

Bierens International Law has a team of lawyers specialising in international contract law. They can assist you in the following situations:

  • Advice on termination of a contract: your options, notice periods and possible compensation.
  • Legal help with sending a notice of default;
  • Support in conflicts about the termination of an agreement;
  • Negotiate the termination of a business contract;
  • Drafting a settlement agreement;
  • Conducting legal proceedings regarding the termination of a contract;
  • Making the counterparty liable and helping to recover possible damage from the counterparty.
  • Advice on the termination of various business agreements such as an agency agreement, franchise agreement, rental agreement or a distribution agreement.

Legal rules about terminating a contract

When it comes to terminating a contract, you need to ensure you have read and fully understand the requirements for doing so. How a contract can be terminated is different per contract and per country. Some contracts have legal rules on the termination of a contract, such as the notice period and the payment of compensation. For example, specific provisions are included in the law for terminating an agency agreement. You are then obliged to follow these rules. In France, you need to send a written notice by registered post and give the counter party a reasonable time to respond (not less than 8 working days) to act according to the contract in case there is a violation. Then after this stipulated time frame, you are allowed to breach the contract but there are exceptions. For relationships that are well established, there is a need to give sufficient time e.g. rental agreements usually require a minimum of 4 months' notice.
For many countries, if nothing is regulated in the law about the termination of the agreement within the contract, such as for example, with a letter of intent, you are then free to agree on your own rules about termination.

Terminating a contract due to breach of contract

Do you want to terminate the contract because the other party has not fulfilled their agreements outlined within it? This is usually not possible but of course is dependent on the country. If no procedure for breach of contract has been previously outlined in your contract, then you must first give written notice of default to your contracting party. With a notice of default you give the other party a last chance to still fulfil the agreements from the contract within a reasonable period of time. If the other party does not do this, then there is a default. Usually, only when there is a default, the contract can be terminated. Incidentally, there may also be an absenteeism by operation of law.

Legal advice when terminating a contract

Always ask a specialist when you terminate your contract, especially when it comes to international contracts. In this way you prevent the contract from being terminated incorrectly, so that you become liable for damages. Failure to terminate properly may also ensure that the agreement has never been terminated, so you are obliged to comply with the obligations under the contract. It can also lead to the other party successfully challenging the termination.

Contact a specialist lawyer

Do you want to terminate an international business contract, or do you have a legal dispute with your international customer or supplier? Contact us today. Our specialists in the area of international contract law ensure that your contract is terminated correctly and that any damage is recovered from the other party.

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