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The complications of contract law are often overlooked, and many businesses are ill-informed as to how this area of the law can impact upon them. But making sure you have the right contracts and agreements in place is crucial to the success of your business.

With any product distribution process, you need to make sure your supply agreements are robust. There are multiple supply structures to consider, along with issues such as exclusivity, the supply territory and any rights the supplier may have over the use of your intellectual property.

Similar issues apply with manufacturing agreements. Without formal contracts in place, difficulties can arise and disagreements escalate, for instance where goods do not meet your standards but the manufacturer maintains the goods are adequate.

You may also find a distribution agreement is extremely useful for your business in terms of budgeting, cashflow projection and obtaining investment.

How can Thorntons help?

Whether your business is traditional or at the cutting-edge, large or small, our experienced lawyers can advise you on your commercial agreements and processes. We can deal with all types of contract, from export contracts to online trading, and from large procurement matters to personal services contracts.

At Thorntons, we have clients who operate in new industries, such as digital publication, and we have built up considerable experience in advising on the sale of intellectual property or data, and on matters such as trading electronically, including advice on the various consumer protection regulations designed to a large extent for the internet.

Many of our clients operate in traditional industries involving the import or export of goods, and we can advise on international supply agreements and the International Chamber of Commerce Inco terms which can apply to such arrangements.

We can advise you on the best distribution structure for your business, ranging from a simple agreement that captures a verbal understanding to a worldwide selective distribution network.

We can also provide guidance on contracts to distribution agents and principals, helping them make sure the agency contract is clear on compensation and/or commission, as well as the circumstances when the agency can be terminated.

Additionally, if you become involved in a contractual dispute, our team of litigation experts can advise you on the most appropriate course of action to help resolve the situation quickly and effectively.