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    Contract law

    Area of expertise

    Our lawyers have wide-ranging experience of contract law with in-depth knowledge of several sectors of the economy.

    We are known for providing effective assistance and support that place the interests of the client to the forefront.

    The fundamental premise in Norwegian law is freedom of contract, which primarily means that parties are free to sign a contract with whomsoever they wish about whatever they agree on. This principle secondly means that the contract is legally binding, which means that the requirements set by the contract concerning the actions of a party can be enforced with the assistance of the legal system.

    A contract regulates the rights and duties of the parties. It further regulates the allocation of responsibilities and risks among the parties with the aim of creating a reliable and predictable state of affairs between them. A good contract does not just act as a conflict deterrent by reducing the risk of disagreement and dispute: it also promotes added value by providing incentives for the parties to fulfil its conditions appropriately.

    Expertise within contract law depends on an ability to survey the greater legal framework, as contracts need to be drawn up within the scope of relevant legislation. This is particularly the case where the background law is mandatory, for example in consumer legislation and protective legislation such as labour law, and tenancy law where the tenants are private individuals. Contract law also requires knowledge of the branch of industry or commerce in question; adequately sound counselling is possible only if it is based on practical knowledge of the sector involved.

    Dalan’s contract law expertise

    Dalan’s lawyers have wide-ranging experience of contract law with in-depth knowledge of several sectors of the economy. While specialising in real property and labour law, we also possess solid proficiency in company law, marketing law, intellectual property rights as well as consumer law and consumer rights. You can find out more about consumer contracts here. We have a detailed knowledge of standard contracts and standard terms and conditions, including contracts drafted in accordance with the Norwegian Standard system.

    We support clients across the board from commercial actors to public bodies, from organisations to private individuals.

    We are known for providing effective assistance and support that place the interests of the client to the forefront. We achieve this because of our solid professional and specialist approach where we employ digital solutions as templates and utilise our optimised, experiential search archive.

    The essence of contract law is the legally binding contractual relationship that the parties have entered into. This branch of law comprises the formal procedure leading up to the signing of a binding contract, as well as the legal position of the parties once that a binding agreement is in force. The latter also includes the rights and duties of the parties following a breach of contract, or when a contract does not evolve as anticipated.

    The choice of contract model will largely depend on the economic sector concerned and the situation at the time. This means that the contract model chosen and pre-contract procedure must be carefully tailored to the circumstances.

    Certain sectors are characterised by the prevalence of well-established standards. In such cases contract preparation tends to take the form of identifying variations and exceptions, for example when adding an appendix to standard contracts. There will be no such exact equivalent within other sectors of the economy, such that contracts are very much dependent on the particular situation and the company involved.

    Concerning consumer rights and other protective legislation

    Certain areas are governed by mandatory protective legislation, where contravention of compulsory regulations can lead to invalidity and liability for damages.

    This is the case in consumer law, for example, where a breach of mandatory legislation designed to protect consumers can lead to the partial rescission of a contract, or to a claim for damages. If a sale takes place outside an established sales location, then the statutory right to cancellation may be applied.

    This is also the case in protective legislation, such as labour and tenancy law, where compulsory rules protect the party that is presumed to be the weaker.

    Concerning the contractual relationship between commercial actors

    In other sectors the legislation is mandatory. The statutory norms represent the basis and main rule for all negotiation here, though it is possible for parties to negotiate other solutions.

    This forms the basis for contracts between commercial actors, though exceptions do occur, for example pursuant to the Insurance Contracts Act.

    A significant part of counselling concerns the interpretation of a contract in order to identify the parties’ rights and duties in the event of disagreement.

    It may also consist of supporting one contract party and putting forward views regarding contract interpretation vis-à-vis a counterpart who is in disagreement.

    If a party fails to discharge his contractual obligations, the other party is able to invoke powers of sanction, such as the following

    1. rectification/fulfilment by specific performance
    2. price reduction
    3. rescission (immediate termination of a contractual relationship)
    4. Compensation for financial loss suffered.

    The termination of a contractual relationship is also possible. Contracts may also be deemed void, either wholly or partially if, for example their stipulations clash with statutory legislation.

    Sanctions for breaches of a contract, such as interest on overdue payments and contractual penalties, may also be specified in the contract itself.

    Much of the assistance we provide to clients is concerned with dispute resolution. We handle disputes in all district courts, the courts of appeal and the Supreme Court of Norway, as well as arbitration tribunals, in cases where this has been agreed.

    Part of the advice we provide consists of assisting consumers in securing their rights, as well as in disputes related to the purchase of goods and services.

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