A parlour agreement is a term used in legal circles to describe an informal or unwritten agreement between two parties. It may also be referred to as a Gentlemen’s Agreement or an Honour’s Agreement. In general, this type of agreement is not legally enforceable, but it can still be used to set expectations and clarify responsibilities.
The term parlour agreement is thought to have originated in the 19th century, when business deals were often sealed with a handshake in a gentleman’s parlour. These agreements were based on trust and mutual respect, and while they were not legally binding, they were seen as a matter of honour.
Today, parlour agreements are still used in many industries, particularly in the creative fields such as publishing, music, and film. For example, a writer may have an agreement with a publisher that they will receive a certain percentage of royalties for their book, even though this is not included in a formal contract.
While parlour agreements are not legally binding, they can still be used to set expectations and establish a code of conduct. They are often used in situations where a formal agreement may be impractical or where there is a need for flexibility. For example, a group of friends may have an unwritten agreement that they will split the cost of a holiday rental evenly, even though there is no legal obligation to do so.
However, it is important to note that parlour agreements are not a substitute for a legally binding contract. If there is a dispute or a breach of the agreement, there may be little recourse for the parties involved. In situations where there is a lot at stake, or where the potential for conflict is high, it is always advisable to have a formal agreement in place.
In conclusion, parlour agreements are an informal way of setting expectations and clarifying responsibilities between two parties. While they are not legally binding, they can still be used to establish a code of conduct and build trust. However, they should not be relied upon in situations where there is a lot at stake or where the potential for conflict is high. In these situations, a formal agreement should always be sought.