Contracts are inherently risky, and a number of things can go wrong that may result in a costly contract dispute. Of course, there may be a change in circumstances that is not even addressed in a contract, and thus contesting any such unwanted change is not even a possibility, or perhaps there is only a remote chance of success in the courtroom. One rather significant change that is quite likely to occur and yet not often addressed in contracts is a change in the structure or ownership of one of the parties to the contract. Companies are bought, sold, and merged all of the time, but contracts are often silent as to the impact that such a change should or will have on the existing contract. This is obviously a mistake as a change in ownership may cause changes, both intentional or inadvertent, to the established arrangement. For example, a newly formed entity may change vendors or subcontract with new parties, situations in which the nature, quality, or timing of contractual obligations is altered.
But, this potential scenario is easily avoided by simply including a provision in a contract that explicitly details how the contract must be treated in the event of a change in control. For example, a company may wish to render the contract void if the other party to the deal undergoes a change in ownership. This may be an extreme choice, but there has to be predetermined options clearly written into the agreement. Here is how to include a change of control clause in business contracts:Read More