If the parties disagree on the importance or effectiveness of their status quo agreement and the defendant`s case is correct, the applicant may argue that the defendant is deterred from availing himself of his contractual rights. This can occur if there is a common acceptance of the importance of the agreement (called Estoppel by convention) or if the defendant exploited the plaintiff`s overt error in an unfair operation. The parties to Russell confused the issue by referring to variations on the lengthening of the limitation period. They also added a clause that the parties would not establish or serve any proceedings for the duration of the agreement. This conflicted with the structure of the model. Problems for which the parties refuse to agree on the impasse. This was patently absurd – the court does not intend to expose a contract as a party that violates its terms for the agreement to work. Coulson J. considered that the agreement was suspended, which gave the applicant time to initiate proceedings after the expiry of the suspensive period. A status quo agreement is a contract and is subject to the same rules as other contracts. While recent cases involve disputes over the terms of the respective status quo agreements, problems may also arise when the contract is concluded. The agreement may be oral, but as a general rule, the parties agree not to be bound until the agreement is written, often with the phrase “contract-compliant.” If the applicant requests an agreement shortly before the statute of limitations expires, the delay may be problematic.
Even if the conditions are definitively established, all the formal conditions agreed by the parties, such as the signing, dating and restitution of the contract, cannot be met until the critical date. The status quo agreement buys time for both parties. What is less useful is that the parties (usually their lawyers) have to negotiate and enter into a contract at a time when they are gathering evidence and considering the substance of the dispute. If there is more than one defendant, the plaintiff will want to agree with all the identical status quo agreements. Even if all the accused are willing to play ball, which they may not be, the complainants often end up with several subsequent chords and variations as time passes. If the defendant is aware of an error, the court may deny him the benefit of his ruthless behaviour. This will be the case if the defendant`s lawyer or insurer deliberately encourages the plaintiff to mistakenly believe that he has reached an impasse with the correct defendant (see The Stolt Loyalty). He spoke in a recent case where the very effect of three status quo agreements was controversial.
“On the face of it, the applicants must rely on the agreements that have the effect they invoke, otherwise the means underlying the three claims will appear in the contract and in unlawful facts,” the judge said.