The Devil in the Detail:A local route to success in cross-border contract law

Contracts form a critical part of any commercial operation, allowing businesses to enter into agreements with the suppliers, customers and distributors that drive their operation. Commercial contracts can be complex and highly bespoke, covering a range of eventualities and containing a wide range of clauses designed to protect both parties in the event of a breach.

That complexity usually increases when the contract is cross-border and must encompass different legal systems and cultures. Attempting to use standardised contracts from one jurisdiction in another can cause huge problems in the event of a dispute, particularly when it is unrecognised by a court or deemed unenforceable under a legal system.

Given this heightened risk, it is important to engage the services of professionals with expertise in the jurisdiction in question, to help head off any issues before they materialise.

With this in mind, IR Global brought eight members of its Commercial Law Group together to discuss contract law. The aim of the feature is to give members and their clients’ valuable insight into commercial contracts across a range of jurisdictions, including the common errors are seen and best practice approaches to eradicate them. We also assess how judgments are enforced and the procedure for claiming damages in the event of a breach.

The following discussion involves IR Global members from The Netherlands, Panama, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, China, Turkey and Italy.