Jake Paul may have lost, but at least he understands the law of variation
As the dust settled on the Paul-Fury “fight” Beyond Corporate Partner, Piers Dryden, analyses the legal acumen of the various protagonists in the lead up to the fight and the “Winner [Maybe] Takes All” deal.
Jake Paul, knowing that he could not vary the fight terms without the written consent of all the parties to the agreement had turned up with precisely that – a written agreement for the winner to take all, presumably carefully drafted to comply with the variation provisions of the original agreement. Luckily for him, it was not ultimately signed.
John Fury, astutely recognising that by saying they’d “get it done”, he could secure the enhanced media coverage of a “Winner Takes All” fight without jeopardising his son’s purse because he had only given an agreement to agree – and obviously knew that that has no legal effect.
All parties being aware that this same principle also meant that what transpired at that pre-fight conference could not mean the creation of a new oral agreement for the winner to transfer his winnings to the loser.
So, in conclusion, and for any YouTubers who decide to get stuck into boxing and want to be able to pull the same stunt, the below may be useful.
How to vary your original purse-sharing agreement with a “winner takes all” deal
Make sure all the people signed up to the original agreement agree to alter or modify the contract – usually mutual consent of all relevant parties is necessary.
Make sure these folks also intend to make the alteration/modification permanently and understand it will affect their rights. Ensuring this understanding or “capacity” is especially important for those who have been punched in the head repeatedly. Explain that without such intention, the change is likely to amount only to a temporary concession or forbearance and have no permanent effect.
Make sure everyone knows and complies with the formal requirements as to the form of the variation – either as specified by legislation or set out in the original contract which is being varied. A shouted message in a press meeting is not commonly specified as the appropriate method.
Be aware that the agreement to vary needs to be supported by consideration. Basically, something of value must be given in exchange for the change to the terms – if there is no such “consideration”, then a deed is required. Again, note that a shouted message in a press meeting does not meet the formalities for a deed.
This article is not provided as advice and should not be relied upon as such. Should you require legal advice from our corporate team, email us at Hello@beyondcorporate.co.uk
By Piers Dryden