Is it ever OK to use a letter of intent?

It’s not necessarily good or bad to use a letter of intent.

Depending on who you believe, letters of intent may be considered ‘necessary evil’, a sign that the project has gone wrong, evidence of a defective contract strategy or a means to the right end.

Despite the many clear recommendations against them, the English courts have confirmed that it is NEITHER negligent NOR bad practice to start a project under a letter of intent.

But you do need to take these warnings into account:

  1. You could be negligent in letting a project continue under a letter of intent (see Ampleforth)
  2. You should not use a letter of intent until the key project details have been agreed (listed in this blog, see Cunningham)
  3. You should never see them as an alternative to the full contract (DBWiki)
  4. Your letter of intent will never give you the benefits of the full contract (and are ‘the road to hell‘)
  5. Your letter of intent can be a recipe for disaster.

The key is to use letters of intent sparingly and wisely.

What should you do?

To check if your letter of intent is ‘good to go’ or a ‘disaster waiting to happen’ download a free Checklist.

To write a better letter download your free template.

To learn how to use letters of intent sparingly and wisely, and avoid their key pitfalls, check out my video series.

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