Latin expression: Caveat Subscriptor
Here’s a modern translation:
“If you sign it, you’re stuck with it.”
When a lengthy document is presented to you for signature, there are a couple of facts you need to know:
- Caveat subscriptor – if you sign without reading, it’s
- Even if you read it, it may easily have a legal effect that you do not notice, because it’s not just a matter of what the clauses say, it’s how they interact with each other – that’s where the risk is.
- Gave half of their business to a “friend” on the basis of a few lines in an email and then when it didn’t work out, had to pay the “friend” $150,000 to get that half back!
- Went into a multi-million dollar deal that went bad and cost over $800,000 in litigation legal costs all because they signed documents that were so poorly written, no one could really say who was entitled to what.
- Signed a contract to buy a business where the rent for the business premises was so high that they were certain to go broke;
And there are a lot of clauses that lawyers put in documents to protect their clients at the expense of the people their clients deal with.
The other possibility is that a document someone asks you to sign might not have been written by a lawyer at all. You might be told “let’s just keep lawyers out of this”, as if that’s going to make everything better. Next time someone says that to you, make sure that what you hear is: “I don’t want you getting advice ….”, because that’s what it usually means.
Don’t end up on the receiving end! Before you sign is the only time you can get help. After that, it’s just too late.
If you are going to enter into any form of legal relationship and
someone wants you to sign a document:
Call Us at Your LegalHQ on 08 9445 9200.
We will protect you from the mistake of signing a document without advice. Why would you risk
having to tell your spouse that an agreement you made will cost you this years’ holiday, the kids’
private school education, or the house?
Most legal documents should be reviewed before you sign…
There are FOUR very common documents that you ABSOLUTELY MUST
have us review before you sign
- The principal can change your deadline for completion of a task in their discretion without reference to you (and you still pay liquidated damages if you’re late finishing – regardless);
- The principal can unilaterally delay payment of your invoices (but you still have to pay all your employees);
- You have to pay liquidated damages if you finish late. And there are no allowances made if another contractor actually put you behind schedule – you wear all the damages;
- You are liable for any injury to any of your employees – however caused. Not so good if you are working alongside a contractor with poor safety standards;
- You are obliged by the contract to start work on any requested variations before the price for them is set. When you’re finished and the principal undervalues your work, your leverage is non-existent because the work’s done.
We have seen good companies financially crippled or in liquidation because of their contracts. The directors
of those companies just didn’t know their contracts contained clauses like the ones above.
Don’t take the risk of signing without advice. The big contracts can make your business.
They can break it just as easily.
Sometimes clients say:
“Hey – it’s BHP – they’re not going to change their contract for us!”
And maybe they won’t. But does that actually mean you would want to sign that contract without a full understanding of it?
Your LegalHQ will still advise about all of your exposures and risks. So if you feel you have to sign without seeking amendments, you will at least know where the danger areas are. Our advice will allow you to work around them and reduce risk as well as you can.
Without a review, you’re working blind and
are at the mercy of circumstance
Don’t let the opportunity of a good contract destroy all your hard work.
Call Your LegalHQ today on 08 9445 9200 to find out where you stand.
You’ll get peace of mind, clarity and understanding. With the right advice, you’ll
plan accordingly and run a smooth, profitable job.
What They Say About Us
Brian Pringle, Claremont
Emma Driscoll, Director, Coaching Combinations
Graham Tighe, Owner Tighe Jewellery Studio
interpret several complex agreements and trusts as well as strategize and advise on options available to best protect my financial interests. Henry has an exceptional
ability to understand situations quickly, assess risk and advise what options are available. He has impressed me with his ability to identify personality types and
motivation, giving an acute insight into how the direction of situations will progress.
Thanks Henry and Team at Your Legal HQ. I really appreciate the advice and guidance you have given me and for your patience in my relentless thirst for knowledge and
understanding of the various complex circumstances.
John Ward, Director, Quick Impressions