Basic Law for Web Designers No 1: Introduction to Contract Law

by Jane Lambert
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I have been consulted by web designers and their customers ever since the earliest days of the wold wide web. I have read and reviewed many of their contracts and drafted a large number of my own. Sometimes I have represented them in party-to-party negotiations or mediation. Occasionally I have had to represent a web designer or a party in dispute with a designer in court or before an arbitrator or other tribunal. I have also helped to resolve such disputes as a mediator.

Whenever I have had to advise or represent a party I have had to start with some basic principles of law. That has given me the idea for a series of articles on basic law for web designers. Each of the articles will cover no more than a page of A4 so that they can be downloaded or printed easily and kept for reference either in digital form or hard copy. Each article will be numbered to facilitate such reference.

The first article in this series will be on basic contract law and I cover the questions that I am most commonly asked:

- What is a contract?

- Do I really need a contract or rather do I need a written contract and, if so, why?

- Need I consult a lawyer or can I copy or canibalize someone else's terms?

- What provisions should a web design contract contain?

- What happens if someone breaches the contract?

My next article will cover website access terms, privacy statements and terms of business. Future articles will cover dispute resolution, intellectual property and non-contractual liability.

This launch of this series is supplemented by my email "Ten Legal Problems for Web Designers .... and Ten Solutions" which I will distribute on 22 August 2011. I am also planning a webinar on web design law for later in the year. Although these articles will discuss the law as it applies in England and Wales they should be relevant to readers in other common law jurisdictions and perhaps elsewhere.

Should anyone wish to discuss any of these articles or any other legal issue relating to web design, he or she should call me on 0800 862 0055 or through https://nipclaw.wufoo.com/forms/nipc-law-contact-jane-lambert/

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Jane Lambert, NIPC | Attorney Advertising

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Jane Lambert
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