Contract Law in Cyprus
Contracts float around every part of our lives and often go unnoticed. In fact, modern societies are built on the foundation of contracts we have with one another. Every single purchase we make, the votes we cast, the forms we fill, the spaces we share, and even our marriages are contracts in one form or the other.
Most contracts in our life are either verbal or implied however in specific cases like big investments or business dealings it is preferred to have the terms and the agreement in writing. The essentials for a contract to be valid are that, there must exist an offer to the contract, which must be communicated and subsequently accepted by the other party, and there must be some consideration involved in the contract, and the minds of all parties to the contract must meet on the terms of the contract, after which they must be capable to give consent and which they provide out of their free will. The contract should not be for an illegal objective or goal. Any special formalities depending on the subject matter of the contract must also be fulfilled. Each one of the aforementioned conditions must be satisfied to prove the existence of an enforceable contract. Thus, writing down the terms and signing them is the most convenient way to prove the existence of a contract.
Law in Cyprus
Cyprus was an English colony and based its legal system after independence on the British Common Law. The laws relating to contracts are heavily inspired by British laws and are almost identical to another commonwealth nation, India.
Since Cyprus is a thriving center for business and trade contract laws are some of the most important pieces of legislation. Cap 149 lays down all the aspects of contract law in Cyprus and is the primary authority on the subject. The District Courts hold jurisdiction when it comes to any disputes arising out of contracts and the appeals lie to the higher courts and finally to the Supreme court.
Characteristics and Nature of a Contract
One often finds an agreement under the surface after scratching away at the surface of the contract. Agreements are of two types – bilateral, where both parties promise to undertake mutual duties and bind themselves to the terms, and unilateral, where only one party binds themselves and the other can choose (or not), to fulfill the requirements in order to get the promised consideration from the first party.
Generally, when an agreement is properly communicated as an offer by one party to the other party, and upon clarity on the terms and meeting of minds, plus when the offer is accepted by the second party there is said to be a contract. One of the most important factors considered in court proceedings when differentiating between usual agreements and enforceable contracts is to see whether there was a mutual willingness to create a legally binding relationship.
In order for the contract to be valid, the contracting parties must have entered it wilfully and without any undue influence or coercion. Also, all parties must have the capacity to contract which means that they should be of legal age and must be of sound mind.
Contracts are discharged by either an agreement to end them, or if they are impossible – by frustration, or if there is a completion of performance, or in case there is a breach of the terms. Breach of contracts once proven in court is either remedied by an injunction, order to perform the obligation or by payment of damages. In cases involving disputes other than breach of contract under contract law, the court can also order to either revoke the contract or to modify it.
Setting Aside Contracts
Contracts are set aside when they are void, or voidable. Contracts are said to be void when they are unenforceable by any of the parties due to their strict disqualification from being considered a contract due to not satisfying one or more of the essential conditions of a valid contract. Thus, void contracts occur when there has been a mistake as to the particulars of the contract, or when there is no meeting of minds on the terms, or no capacity to contract, or the objective is criminal in nature.
Contracts become voidable due to failure to meet the essential conditions on part of one of the parties; this means they become unenforceable depending upon the will of the other party. Voidable contracts occur when there is a misrepresentation, undue influence, fraud or any such unacceptable acts from one of the parties.
We Provide for All Your Contractual Needs
Contracts are the basis of many other transactions which come under many more laws like the employment laws, the sale of goods, consumer credit agreements etc. Simon Zenios & Co has years of experience, having assisted scores of clients with their contractual needs.
Our firm has the required depth of knowledge and honed personnel with sharp skillsets to successfully maneuver the contracts to protect all your rights and interests. We pay close attention to your exact needs and our services are custom-tailored according to the needs of each client. This helps in saving much of your valuable time and resources.
We can provide advice and assistance with anything regarding contract law, including
• Advisory for all aspects of contract law
• Drafting of contracts (English and Greek)
• Representation in contractual negotiations
• Joint venture agreements
• Loan agreements
• Shareholder agreements
• Agency agreements
• Variation agreements
• Purchase-Sale agreements
• Contracts of employment
• Supply agreements
• Franchise agreements
• Service Legal agreements
• Confidentiality agreements
• Non-Disclosure agreements (NDA)
You may be in a situation in which an existing contract was breached, which specifically constitutes cases in which one or more parties did not fulfill the obligations stipulated in the legally binding contract which they entered.
Regardless of the specificities of your situation, our team of lawyers at Simon Zenios & Co LLC is ready to handle any case related to contract law in Cyprus. For any queries regarding employment laws or any other legal matter under the sun, we are always available to help. Contact us here.