Emails in Negotiations

An attorney from an Orange County business litigation law firm can warn clients to be aware of communications that they have in emails and other informal communications. This is especially important while they are negotiating commercial contracts.


In some instances, the terms that multiple commercial parties discuss in emails can be relied on to form a legally binding contract, as was the case in a recent case in the United Kingdom. In that case, the negotiations were not conditioned on being subject to the contract.

An attorney from an Orange County business litigation law firm can explain that the parties were investing in a strategy to fund television programs. The defendants organized the investment and during negotiations between the parties, emails were sent back and forth with various offers. The plaintiffs accepted a final proposal. The defendant’s representative sent a settlement agreement that included additional terms than those originally relied on, including an indemnity agreement. The plaintiffs did not agree to the additional terms and the parties were not able to reach an agreement on a formal settlement.


The court held that an agreement had been reached and was not subject to further agreements. It looked at the entirety of the negotiations process and found that the plaintiffs had demonstrated their intent to be bound by the agreement which was to be established by subsequent documents.


Parties that do not wish to be bound by terms in their emails must clarify that these communications are part of negotiations and are subject to contract.

Legal Assistance

For more information on how email communications can affect contract formation, contact an Orange County business litigation lawyer from Daily Aljian LLP at 949-861-2524.

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