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
    your problem;
  • 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.
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If you’re in business you will have to sign documents all the time. They’re a fact of life. But what are you really signing up for? We see clients all the time who are in dire straits because they signed documents without advice. Here are some examples of clients who:

  • 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;
Here’s an easy tip – if someone presents you a document to sign, then it probably wasn’t written by your lawyer was it? It was written by their lawyer. And of course, their lawyer is protecting them, not you.

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.

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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?

There’s no need. We will meet you at short notice and you’ll know where you stand in a couple of

days. Call Your LegalHQ on 08 9445 9200 to make a time now. If its urgent, tell reception and

we’ll be with you in no time.

Most legal documents should be reviewed before you sign…

BUT

There are FOUR very common documents that you ABSOLUTELY MUST
have us review before you sign

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  • 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.

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They can break it just as easily.

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Protect your business, and the people who rely on you to provide for them, by getting your major contracts reviewed by us before you sign. Call Your LegalHQ on 08 9445 9200 to get an immediate understanding of exactly what obligations you will be taking on if you sign that contract.

Sometimes clients say

“hey – it’s BHP – they’re not going to change their contractfor 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.

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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

Cameron from Your LegalHQ has been a valuable sounding board for legal and commercial issues I have had to face.  I was particularly impressed by the total lack of “legal speak” and the practical commercial mind that he brings to the table.  I’ll be using Your LegalHQ for my next document drafting job and recommend them without hesitation.

Emma Driscoll, Director, Coaching Combinations

2015-04-18T07:38:37+00:00

Emma Driscoll, Director, Coaching Combinations

Cameron from Your LegalHQ has been a valuable sounding board for legal and commercial issues I have had to face.  I was particularly impressed by the total lack of “legal speak” and the practical commercial mind that he brings to the table.  I’ll be using Your LegalHQ for my next document drafting job and recommend them without hesitation.
I met Lindsay Ahern from Your LegalHQ for advice on some difficult tax questions involving both Australian and Irish law.  The way the answers rolled out astonished me and she had no hesitation advising me that in respect of certain impertinent questions from a London solicitor, I was free to tell him to mind his own bloody business.

Brian Pringle, Claremont

2015-04-18T08:39:17+00:00

Brian Pringle, Claremont

I met Lindsay Ahern from Your LegalHQ for advice on some difficult tax questions involving both Australian and Irish law.  The way the answers rolled out astonished me and she had no hesitation advising me that in respect of certain impertinent questions from a London solicitor, I was free to tell him to mind his own bloody business.
I have used Your LegalHQ as first port of call when I get into any dispute and for the preparation of a number of business related documents over the years.  I recommend them to anyone with commercial legal issues who wants a fresh, commercial approach and advice they can actually understand.

John Ward, Director, Quick Impressions

2015-04-22T03:36:26+00:00

John Ward, Director, Quick Impressions

I have used Your LegalHQ as first port of call when I get into any dispute and for the preparation of a number of business related documents over the years.  I recommend them to anyone with commercial legal issues who wants a fresh, commercial approach and advice they can actually understand.

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