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What Is an Assignment of Contract?

Assignment of Contract Explained

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Assignment of contract allows one person to assign, or transfer, their rights, obligations, or property to another. An assignment of contract clause is often included in contracts to give either party the opportunity to transfer their part of the contract to someone else in the future. Many assignment clauses require that both parties agree to the assignment.

Learn more about assignment of contract and how it works.

What Is Assignment of Contract?

Assignment of contract means the contract and the property, rights, or obligations within it can be assigned to another party. An assignment of contract clause can typically be found in a business contract. This type of clause is common in contracts with suppliers or vendors and in intellectual property (patent, trademark , and copyright) agreements.

How Does Assignment of Contract Work?

An assignment may be made to anyone, but it is typically made to a subsidiary or a successor. A subsidiary is a business owned by another business, while a successor is the business that follows a sale, acquisition, or merger.

Let’s suppose Ken owns a lawn mowing service and he has a contract with a real estate firm to mow at each of their offices every week in the summer. The contract includes an assignment clause, so when Ken goes out of business, he assigns the contract to his sister-in-law Karrie, who also owns a lawn mowing service.

Before you try to assign something in a contract, check the contract to make sure it's allowed, and notify the other party in the contract.

Assignment usually is included in a specific clause in a contract. It typically includes transfer of both accountability and responsibility to another party, but liability usually remains with the assignor (the person doing the assigning) unless there is language to the contrary.

What Does Assignment of Contract Cover?

Generally, just about anything of value in a contract can be assigned, unless there is a specific law or public policy disallowing the assignment.

Rights and obligations of specific people can’t be assigned because special skills and abilities can’t be transferred. This is called specific performance.   For example, Billy Joel wouldn't be able to transfer or assign a contract to perform at Madison Square Garden to someone else—they wouldn't have his special abilities.

Assignments won’t stand up in court if the assignment significantly changes the terms of the contract. For example, if Karrie’s business is tree trimming, not lawn mowing, the contract can’t be assigned to her.

Assigning Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (such as copyrights, patents, and trademarks) has value, and these assets are often assigned. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) says patents are personal property and that patent rights can be assigned. Trademarks, too, can be assigned. The assignment must be registered with the USPTO's Electronic Trademark Assignment System (ETAS) .  

The U.S. Copyright Office doesn't keep a database of copyright assignments, but they will record the document if you follow their procedure.

Alternatives to Assignment of Contract

There are other types of transfers that may be functional alternatives to assignment.

Licensing is an agreement whereby one party leases the rights to use a piece of property (for example, intellectual property) from another. For instance, a business that owns a patent may license another company to make products using that patent.  

Delegation permits someone else to act on your behalf. For example, Ken’s lawn service might delegate Karrie to do mowing for him without assigning the entire contract to her. Ken would still receive the payment and control the work.

Do I Need an Assignment of Contract?

Assignment of contract can be a useful clause to include in a business agreement. The most common cases of assignment of contract in a business situation are:

  • Assignment of a trademark, copyright, or patent
  • Assignments to a successor company in the case of the sale of the business
  • Assignment in a contract with a supplier or customer
  • Assignment in an employment contract or work for hire agreement

Before you sign a contract, look to see if there is an assignment clause, and get the advice of an attorney if you want to assign something in a contract.

Key Takeaways

  • Assignment of contract is the ability to transfer rights, property, or obligations to another.
  • Assignment of contract is a clause often found in business contracts.
  • A party may assign a contract to another party if the contract permits it and no law forbids it.

Legal Information Institute. " Assignment ." Accessed Jan. 2, 2021.

Legal Information Institute. " Specific Performance ." Accessed Jan. 2, 2021.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. " 301 Ownership/Assignability of Patents and Applications [R-10.2019] ." Accessed Jan. 2, 2021.

Licensing International. " What is Licensing ." Accessed Jan. 2, 2021.

assigned contract def

Understanding an assignment and assumption agreement

Need to assign your rights and duties under a contract? Learn more about the basics of an assignment and assumption agreement.

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by   Belle Wong, J.D.

Belle Wong, is a freelance writer specializing in small business, personal finance, banking, and tech/SAAS. She ...

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Updated on: January 22, 2024 · 3min read

The assignment and assumption agreement

The basics of assignment and assumption, filling in the assignment and assumption agreement.

While every business should try its best to meet its contractual obligations, changes in circumstance can happen that could necessitate transferring your rights and duties under a contract to another party who would be better able to meet those obligations.

Person presenting documents to another person who is signing them

If you find yourself in such a situation, and your contract provides for the possibility of assignment, an assignment and assumption agreement can be a good option for preserving your relationship with the party you initially contracted with, while at the same time enabling you to pass on your contractual rights and duties to a third party.

An assignment and assumption agreement is used after a contract is signed, in order to transfer one of the contracting party's rights and obligations to a third party who was not originally a party to the contract. The party making the assignment is called the assignor, while the third party accepting the assignment is known as the assignee.

In order for an assignment and assumption agreement to be valid, the following criteria need to be met:

  • The initial contract must provide for the possibility of assignment by one of the initial contracting parties.
  • The assignor must agree to assign their rights and duties under the contract to the assignee.
  • The assignee must agree to accept, or "assume," those contractual rights and duties.
  • The other party to the initial contract must consent to the transfer of rights and obligations to the assignee.

A standard assignment and assumption contract is often a good starting point if you need to enter into an assignment and assumption agreement. However, for more complex situations, such as an assignment and amendment agreement in which several of the initial contract terms will be modified, or where only some, but not all, rights and duties will be assigned, it's a good idea to retain the services of an attorney who can help you draft an agreement that will meet all your needs.

When you're ready to enter into an assignment and assumption agreement, it's a good idea to have a firm grasp of the basics of assignment:

  • First, carefully read and understand the assignment and assumption provision in the initial contract. Contracts vary widely in their language on this topic, and each contract will have specific criteria that must be met in order for a valid assignment of rights to take place.
  • All parties to the agreement should carefully review the document to make sure they each know what they're agreeing to, and to help ensure that all important terms and conditions have been addressed in the agreement.
  • Until the agreement is signed by all the parties involved, the assignor will still be obligated for all responsibilities stated in the initial contract. If you are the assignor, you need to ensure that you continue with business as usual until the assignment and assumption agreement has been properly executed.

Unless you're dealing with a complex assignment situation, working with a template often is a good way to begin drafting an assignment and assumption agreement that will meet your needs. Generally speaking, your agreement should include the following information:

  • Identification of the existing agreement, including details such as the date it was signed and the parties involved, and the parties' rights to assign under this initial agreement
  • The effective date of the assignment and assumption agreement
  • Identification of the party making the assignment (the assignor), and a statement of their desire to assign their rights under the initial contract
  • Identification of the third party accepting the assignment (the assignee), and a statement of their acceptance of the assignment
  • Identification of the other initial party to the contract, and a statement of their consent to the assignment and assumption agreement
  • A section stating that the initial contract is continued; meaning, that, other than the change to the parties involved, all terms and conditions in the original contract stay the same

In addition to these sections that are specific to an assignment and assumption agreement, your contract should also include standard contract language, such as clauses about indemnification, future amendments, and governing law.

Sometimes circumstances change, and as a business owner you may find yourself needing to assign your rights and duties under a contract to another party. A properly drafted assignment and assumption agreement can help you make the transfer smoothly while, at the same time, preserving the cordiality of your initial business relationship under the original contract.

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6.4: Assignment, Delegation, and Commonly Used Contracts Clauses

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Learning Objectives

  • Learn about assignment and delegation.
  • Examine novation.
  • Explore restrictions on assignment, exculpatory clauses, noncompete clauses, mandatory arbitration clauses, acceleration clauses, and liquidated damages clauses.
  • Explore the parol evidence rule.

What if you formed a contract with a rock ’n’ roll band for its services? Specifically, you wanted the band to play at your nightclub, because you thought that your customers would enjoy the band enough to pay to see it perform. You hired this specific band because you heard that it drew large crowds of paying customers. Imagine your surprise when, as you anticipate the band’s performance, you discover that another band—one you have never heard of—has come to play instead of the original contracting band. On inquiry, you learn that the original band transferred its duties to perform to a lesser-known band. Can it do that?

Contract elements—the terms of the contract—are important. They may, among other things, foreclose your ability to bring a complaint in court, they may render you unable to be hired in your profession (at least within certain boundaries), or they may limit liability to a party that had a role in causing injury to you. If you are not aware of these elements, then you may face an unpleasant surprise if you act in a way contrary to the restrictions imposed by those terms. Likewise, contracts possess certain qualities that prohibit parties from acting in certain ways, unless those qualities are expressly waived. This section identifies common properties of contracts, as well as commonly used elements of contracts. If you are negotiating a contract and you do not like a term, then you should not agree to it. In law, there is a presumption that you have read, understood, and agreed to each and every term of any contract to which you are a party. Arguing that you did not understand or that you did not approve of a particular term in the contract will not be a valid excuse to performance. You should know what you can expect when you enter into a contract. Are you getting the band that you wanted to hire to play in your nightclub, or are you really getting any band that the original band happens to transfer its duties to?

As a preliminary matter, it is important to realize that contracts are, by law, assignable and delegable. This means that the rights conveyed by the contract may be transferred to another party by assignment, unless an express restriction on assignment exists within the contract, or unless an assignment would violate public policy. Likewise, the duties imposed on a party may be transferred to another party by delegation, unless the contract expressly restricts delegation, or there is a substantial interest in personal performance by the original party to the contract, or if delegation would violate public policy. In the case of a band hired to perform at a nightclub, an argument could be made that the original band cannot delegate its duties under the contract because there was a substantial interest in personal performance by the original band. This would render the contract nondelegable. To be on the safe side, your contract with that band should have had a clause expressly prohibiting delegation.

Many students have seen restrictions on assignment in the form of no-sublease clauses in leases with landlords. Do you have a no-sublease clause in your lease? If so, that is a restriction on assignment. This clause is necessary to prevent you from assigning your rights under the lease—your rights to inhabit the premises—to another party. It is necessary for the landlord to include that provision expressly if she wishes to prevent you from subleasing the unit, because there is a presumption in law that assignment is permitted unless it is expressly prohibited by the contract or unless the assignment would violate public policy. Since it is unlikely that letting someone else live in your housing unit in your absence would violate public policy, then the landlord must expressly prohibit the assignment within the original contract if she wishes to prevent tenants from subleasing. A landlord may have a very good reason to wish to prevent subleasing; she may wish to ensure that each tenant is creditworthy prior to allowing the tenant to live in the property.

Note that in delegation and in assignment, the original contracting party is not “off the hook” if it transfers its duties or rights to another party. For instance, if subleasing was not prohibited, and the new tenant assumed the rights and duties imposed by the original contract, the original party to the contract is still liable for the payment of rent. If the subleasing tenant does not pay the rent, the original party to the lease is still liable. The way to excuse oneself from this liability is to form a three-way novation with the original party and the new party, thereby excusing the exiting party from future liability arising under the contract. A novation is essentially a new contract that transfers all rights and duties to the new party to the contract and releases the previous party from any further obligation arising from the original contract.

Restrictions on assignment or delegation are not the only common elements that can be found in contracts. For example, you have probably encountered exculpatory clauses. An exculpatory clause is an express limitation on potential or actual liability arising under the subject matter of the contract. In short, exculpatory clauses are often employed when risk of injury exists. They seek to limit one party’s liability to another. You most certainly have signed exculpatory agreements or contracts containing exculpatory clauses if you have participated in any potentially dangerous activity at a club or with an organized group that could incur liability from injuries suffered by its patrons or members. For example, if you join a kayaking club, you will most likely be asked to sign such an agreement to “hold harmless” the club in the event of any accident or injury. However, despite the existence of an exculpatory clause, liability will not be limited (that is, the liability limitations will be unenforceable) when the party who would benefit from the limitation on liability acted with gross negligence, committed an intentional tort, or possessed greatly unequal bargaining power, or if the limitation on liability violates public policy. Imagine that you signed an agreement to engage in kayaking activities with a kayaking group, but the leader of the group battered you with her oar because she was angry with you for mishandling your kayak. Since battery is an intentional tort, the exculpatory clause will not protect the kayaking organization from liability it incurred through the actions of its employee.

Another common contract element that you may have encountered is a noncompete clause. A noncompete clause attempts to restrict competition for a specified period of time, within a certain geographic region, and for specified activities. Noncomplete clauses are generally valid against the party who signed it if the time, place, and scope are reasonable. These are very common clauses in employment contracts, particularly where the duties involved in employment are likely to involve trade secrets or other proprietary information that the company wishes to protect.

A mandatory arbitration clause is very common in consumer contracts and employment contracts. You have certainly subjected yourself to the restrictions imposed by these clauses if you have signed a contract for a credit card. Mandatory arbitration clauses require parties to a contract that contains such a clause to submit to mandatory arbitration in the event of a dispute arising under the contract. Mandatory arbitration clauses frequently foreclose any possibility of appealing arbitration awards in court.

An acceleration clause commonly exists in contracts where periodic payments are contemplated by the agreement. For example, if you signed a lease for your housing unit, then you most likely pay rent on a month-to-month basis. If you breached your lease, you would still owe rent for each subsequent month contemplated by the lease agreement. This means that your landlord would have new injury every month that you did not pay. An acceleration clause accelerates all payments due under the contract on breach. This allows the injured party—in this case, the landlord—to sue for all damages due for unpaid rent under that contract at once, rather than having to bring a new suit each month to seek monthly unpaid rent.

A liquidated damages clause allows parties to set the amount of damages in the event of breach. Agreeing to a damage amount before any breach occurs can save money and time spent litigating. Providing that the liquidated damages clause does not look like a penalty, the clause will be valid and enforced by a court that hears a dispute arising under the contract. For example, imagine that you entered into a contract for the sale of your car. If the liquidated damages clause provided for two thousand dollars of damages in the event of breach, that will probably be a valid liquidated damages clause, providing that your car is an “average” car. However, if the liquidated damages clause provided for one million dollars of damages payable by the breaching party, then that would not be enforceable by the court because it looks like a penalty. The proposed liquidated damages far exceed the value of the car that is the subject of the agreement.

Of course, there are additional common elements to contracts. This is not an exhaustive study of possible provisions, though it is a list of commonly encountered elements. For example, time of performance is often included as a separate provision. However, time for performance is an essential element in common-law contract formation, and without it, the contract may fail due to lack of definite and certain terms in formation.

A major assumption made about a written contract is that it is integrated, which means that it contains the entire expression of the parties’ agreement. That means that any statements made before the parties signed the contract are not part of the contract, unless those statements are memorialized in the contract itself. In fact, any statements or actions that are not captured within the four corners of the contract are considered parol evidence, and they will not be used to interpret the meaning of the contract.

Key Takeaways

Parties to contracts must not only take care to form the agreement so that it is legally enforceable, but they must also be aware of the properties of contracts in general, as well as specific provisions contained within contracts to which they are a party. Properties of contracts include ability to assign, delegate, and exclude parol evidence. Several types of contracts clauses are commonly used to restrict rights and limit liability.

Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

  • Think of an example of an exculpatory clause that you have signed. For what type of activity would you be unwilling to sign an exculpatory clause? If your refusal to sign the exculpatory clause or agreement prevented you from participating in that activity, would you still refuse to sign it?
  • Do you think that too many limitations and restrictions can be placed on parties in a contract? Should there be more government regulation and standardization of contract terms between private parties? Why or why not?
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What Is an Assignable Contract?

Understanding assignable contracts, assignment of a futures contract, factors in the futures market, unwinding futures contracts, real estate assignment, example of an assignable contract.

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Assignable Contract: Overview, Factors, Example

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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Katrina Ávila Munichiello is an experienced editor, writer, fact-checker, and proofreader with more than fourteen years of experience working with print and online publications.

assigned contract def

An assignable contract is a provision allowing the holder of a contract to transfer or give away the obligations and rights of the contract to another party or person before the contract's expiration date. The assignee would be entitled to take delivery of the underlying asset and receive all of the benefits of that contract before its expiry. However, the assignee must also fulfill any obligations or requirements of the contract.

Assignability may be found in some options and futures contracts. There are also assignable contracts in the real estate market that allow the transfer of property.

Key Takeaways

  • An assignable contract has a provision allowing the holder to give away the obligations and rights of the contract to another party or person before the contract's expiration date.
  • The assignee would be entitled to take delivery of the underlying asset and receive all of the benefits of that contract before its expiry.
  • An assignment agreement can allow a bank or a mortgage company to sell or assign an outstanding mortgage loan.

Assignable contracts provide a way for current contract holders to close out their position, locking in profits or cutting losses, before the expiration date of the contract. Holders may assign their contracts if the current market price for the underlying asset allows them to realize a profit.

As mentioned earlier, not all contracts have an assignment provision, which is contained in the contract's terms. Also, an assignment doesn't always take away the assignor's risk and liability , because the original contract could require a guarantee that—whether assigned or not—the performance of all terms of the contract must be completed as required.

Owners of assignable futures contracts may opt to assign their holdings instead of selling them in the open market via an exchange. A futures contract is an obligation stating a buyer must purchase an asset, or a seller must sell an asset at a preset price and a predetermined date in the future.

Futures are standardized contracts with fixed prices, amounts, and expiration dates. Investors can use futures to speculate on the price of an asset such as crude oil. At expiration, speculators will book an offsetting trade and realize a gain or loss from the difference in the two contract amounts.

If an investor holds a futures contract and the holder finds that the security has appreciated by 1% on or before the closing of the contract, then the contract holder may decide to assign the contract to a third party for the appreciated amount. The initial holder would be paid in cash, realizing the profit from the contract before its expiration date. However, a buyer of an assigned contract can take a loss by paying an above-market price and risk overpaying for the asset.

Most futures contracts do not have an assignment provision. If you are interested in buying or selling a contract, make sure to carefully check its terms and conditions to see if it is assignable or not. Some contracts may prohibit assignment while other contracts may require the other party in the contract to consent to the assignment.

It's important to note that an assignment may be void if the terms of the contract change substantially or violate any laws or public policy.

A futures contract might be assigned if there was an above-market offer from the third party in an illiquid market where bid and ask spreads were wide. The bid-ask spread is the difference between the buy and sell prices. The spreads can be wide meaning there's an additional cost being added to the prices because there's not enough product to satisfy the order at a reasonable price.

Liquidity exists when there are enough buyers and sellers in the market to transact business. If the market is illiquid, a holder might not be able to find a buyer for the contract, or there might be a delay in unwinding the position.

An investor looking to buy the futures contract might offer an amount higher than the current market price in an illiquid environment. As a result, the current contract holder can assign the contract and realize a profit, and both parties benefit. However, unwinding or selling the contract outright is the cleaner solution, and it also guarantees that all liabilities concerning the contract's obligations are discharged.

However, holders of futures contracts don't need to assign the contract to another investor when they can unwind or close the position through a futures exchange. The exchange, or its clearing agent, would handle the clearing and payment functions. In other words, the futures contract can be closed before its expiration. The holder would incur any gains or loss depending on the difference between the purchase and sale prices.

An investor who assigns a futures contract can realize a profit from the contract before its expiry.

An investor might receive an above-market price for assigning a contract in an illiquid market.

Most futures contracts are not assignable.

A buyer of an assigned contract can take a loss by paying an above-market price for the asset.

An assignment agreement can allow a bank or a mortgage company to sell or assign an outstanding mortgage loan. The bank may sell the mortgage loan to a third party. The borrower would receive notice from the new bank or mortgage company servicing the debt with information on payment submission.

The terms of the loan, such as interest rate and duration, will remain the same for the borrower. However, the new bank would receive all of the interest and principal payments. Aside from the name on the check, there should be little difference noticed by the borrower.

Banks will assign loans to remove them as a liability on their balance sheets and allow them to underwrite new or additional loans.

Let's say an investor entered into a futures contract that contains an assignable clause in June to speculate on the price of crude oil, hoping the price will rise by year-end. The investor buys a December crude oil futures contract at $40, and since oil is traded in increments of 1,000 barrels, the investor's position is worth $40,000.

By August, the price of crude oil has risen to $60, and the investor decides to assign the contract to another buyer because the buyer was willing to pay $65 or $5 above market. The contract is assigned to the second buyer for $65, and the original buyer earns a profit of $25,000 (($65-$40) x 1000).

The new holder assumes all responsibilities of the contract and can profit if crude oil is trading above $65 by year-end, but also can lose if the oil trades below $65 by year-end.

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Assignments: The Basic Law

The assignment of a right or obligation is a common contractual event under the law and the right to assign (or prohibition against assignments) is found in the majority of agreements, leases and business structural documents created in the United States.

As with many terms commonly used, people are familiar with the term but often are not aware or fully aware of what the terms entail. The concept of assignment of rights and obligations is one of those simple concepts with wide ranging ramifications in the contractual and business context and the law imposes severe restrictions on the validity and effect of assignment in many instances. Clear contractual provisions concerning assignments and rights should be in every document and structure created and this article will outline why such drafting is essential for the creation of appropriate and effective contracts and structures.

The reader should first read the article on Limited Liability Entities in the United States and Contracts since the information in those articles will be assumed in this article.

Basic Definitions and Concepts:

An assignment is the transfer of rights held by one party called the “assignor” to another party called the “assignee.” The legal nature of the assignment and the contractual terms of the agreement between the parties determines some additional rights and liabilities that accompany the assignment. The assignment of rights under a contract usually completely transfers the rights to the assignee to receive the benefits accruing under the contract. Ordinarily, the term assignment is limited to the transfer of rights that are intangible, like contractual rights and rights connected with property. Merchants Service Co. v. Small Claims Court , 35 Cal. 2d 109, 113-114 (Cal. 1950).

An assignment will generally be permitted under the law unless there is an express prohibition against assignment in the underlying contract or lease. Where assignments are permitted, the assignor need not consult the other party to the contract but may merely assign the rights at that time. However, an assignment cannot have any adverse effect on the duties of the other party to the contract, nor can it diminish the chance of the other party receiving complete performance. The assignor normally remains liable unless there is an agreement to the contrary by the other party to the contract.

The effect of a valid assignment is to remove privity between the assignor and the obligor and create privity between the obligor and the assignee. Privity is usually defined as a direct and immediate contractual relationship. See Merchants case above.

Further, for the assignment to be effective in most jurisdictions, it must occur in the present. One does not normally assign a future right; the assignment vests immediate rights and obligations.

No specific language is required to create an assignment so long as the assignor makes clear his/her intent to assign identified contractual rights to the assignee. Since expensive litigation can erupt from ambiguous or vague language, obtaining the correct verbiage is vital. An agreement must manifest the intent to transfer rights and can either be oral or in writing and the rights assigned must be certain.

Note that an assignment of an interest is the transfer of some identifiable property, claim, or right from the assignor to the assignee. The assignment operates to transfer to the assignee all of the rights, title, or interest of the assignor in the thing assigned. A transfer of all rights, title, and interests conveys everything that the assignor owned in the thing assigned and the assignee stands in the shoes of the assignor. Knott v. McDonald’s Corp ., 985 F. Supp. 1222 (N.D. Cal. 1997)

The parties must intend to effectuate an assignment at the time of the transfer, although no particular language or procedure is necessary. As long ago as the case of National Reserve Co. v. Metropolitan Trust Co ., 17 Cal. 2d 827 (Cal. 1941), the court held that in determining what rights or interests pass under an assignment, the intention of the parties as manifested in the instrument is controlling.

The intent of the parties to an assignment is a question of fact to be derived not only from the instrument executed by the parties but also from the surrounding circumstances. When there is no writing to evidence the intention to transfer some identifiable property, claim, or right, it is necessary to scrutinize the surrounding circumstances and parties’ acts to ascertain their intentions. Strosberg v. Brauvin Realty Servs., 295 Ill. App. 3d 17 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 1998)

The general rule applicable to assignments of choses in action is that an assignment, unless there is a contract to the contrary, carries with it all securities held by the assignor as collateral to the claim and all rights incidental thereto and vests in the assignee the equitable title to such collateral securities and incidental rights. An unqualified assignment of a contract or chose in action, however, with no indication of the intent of the parties, vests in the assignee the assigned contract or chose and all rights and remedies incidental thereto.

More examples: In Strosberg v. Brauvin Realty Servs ., 295 Ill. App. 3d 17 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 1998), the court held that the assignee of a party to a subordination agreement is entitled to the benefits and is subject to the burdens of the agreement. In Florida E. C. R. Co. v. Eno , 99 Fla. 887 (Fla. 1930), the court held that the mere assignment of all sums due in and of itself creates no different or other liability of the owner to the assignee than that which existed from the owner to the assignor.

And note that even though an assignment vests in the assignee all rights, remedies, and contingent benefits which are incidental to the thing assigned, those which are personal to the assignor and for his sole benefit are not assigned. Rasp v. Hidden Valley Lake, Inc ., 519 N.E.2d 153, 158 (Ind. Ct. App. 1988). Thus, if the underlying agreement provides that a service can only be provided to X, X cannot assign that right to Y.

Novation Compared to Assignment:

Although the difference between a novation and an assignment may appear narrow, it is an essential one. “Novation is a act whereby one party transfers all its obligations and benefits under a contract to a third party.” In a novation, a third party successfully substitutes the original party as a party to the contract. “When a contract is novated, the other contracting party must be left in the same position he was in prior to the novation being made.”

A sublease is the transfer when a tenant retains some right of reentry onto the leased premises. However, if the tenant transfers the entire leasehold estate, retaining no right of reentry or other reversionary interest, then the transfer is an assignment. The assignor is normally also removed from liability to the landlord only if the landlord consents or allowed that right in the lease. In a sublease, the original tenant is not released from the obligations of the original lease.

Equitable Assignments:

An equitable assignment is one in which one has a future interest and is not valid at law but valid in a court of equity. In National Bank of Republic v. United Sec. Life Ins. & Trust Co. , 17 App. D.C. 112 (D.C. Cir. 1900), the court held that to constitute an equitable assignment of a chose in action, the following has to occur generally: anything said written or done, in pursuance of an agreement and for valuable consideration, or in consideration of an antecedent debt, to place a chose in action or fund out of the control of the owner, and appropriate it to or in favor of another person, amounts to an equitable assignment. Thus, an agreement, between a debtor and a creditor, that the debt shall be paid out of a specific fund going to the debtor may operate as an equitable assignment.

In Egyptian Navigation Co. v. Baker Invs. Corp. , 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30804 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 14, 2008), the court stated that an equitable assignment occurs under English law when an assignor, with an intent to transfer his/her right to a chose in action, informs the assignee about the right so transferred.

An executory agreement or a declaration of trust are also equitable assignments if unenforceable as assignments by a court of law but enforceable by a court of equity exercising sound discretion according to the circumstances of the case. Since California combines courts of equity and courts of law, the same court would hear arguments as to whether an equitable assignment had occurred. Quite often, such relief is granted to avoid fraud or unjust enrichment.

Note that obtaining an assignment through fraudulent means invalidates the assignment. Fraud destroys the validity of everything into which it enters. It vitiates the most solemn contracts, documents, and even judgments. Walker v. Rich , 79 Cal. App. 139 (Cal. App. 1926). If an assignment is made with the fraudulent intent to delay, hinder, and defraud creditors, then it is void as fraudulent in fact. See our article on Transfers to Defraud Creditors .

But note that the motives that prompted an assignor to make the transfer will be considered as immaterial and will constitute no defense to an action by the assignee, if an assignment is considered as valid in all other respects.

Enforceability of Assignments:

Whether a right under a contract is capable of being transferred is determined by the law of the place where the contract was entered into. The validity and effect of an assignment is determined by the law of the place of assignment. The validity of an assignment of a contractual right is governed by the law of the state with the most significant relationship to the assignment and the parties.

In some jurisdictions, the traditional conflict of laws rules governing assignments has been rejected and the law of the place having the most significant contacts with the assignment applies. In Downs v. American Mut. Liability Ins. Co ., 14 N.Y.2d 266 (N.Y. 1964), a wife and her husband separated and the wife obtained a judgment of separation from the husband in New York. The judgment required the husband to pay a certain yearly sum to the wife. The husband assigned 50 percent of his future salary, wages, and earnings to the wife. The agreement authorized the employer to make such payments to the wife.

After the husband moved from New York, the wife learned that he was employed by an employer in Massachusetts. She sent the proper notice and demanded payment under the agreement. The employer refused and the wife brought an action for enforcement. The court observed that Massachusetts did not prohibit assignment of the husband’s wages. Moreover, Massachusetts law was not controlling because New York had the most significant relationship with the assignment. Therefore, the court ruled in favor of the wife.

Therefore, the validity of an assignment is determined by looking to the law of the forum with the most significant relationship to the assignment itself. To determine the applicable law of assignments, the court must look to the law of the state which is most significantly related to the principal issue before it.

Assignment of Contractual Rights:

Generally, the law allows the assignment of a contractual right unless the substitution of rights would materially change the duty of the obligor, materially increase the burden or risk imposed on the obligor by the contract, materially impair the chance of obtaining return performance, or materially reduce the value of the performance to the obligor. Restat 2d of Contracts, § 317(2)(a). This presumes that the underlying agreement is silent on the right to assign.

If the contract specifically precludes assignment, the contractual right is not assignable. Whether a contract is assignable is a matter of contractual intent and one must look to the language used by the parties to discern that intent.

In the absence of an express provision to the contrary, the rights and duties under a bilateral executory contract that does not involve personal skill, trust, or confidence may be assigned without the consent of the other party. But note that an assignment is invalid if it would materially alter the other party’s duties and responsibilities. Once an assignment is effective, the assignee stands in the shoes of the assignor and assumes all of assignor’s rights. Hence, after a valid assignment, the assignor’s right to performance is extinguished, transferred to assignee, and the assignee possesses the same rights, benefits, and remedies assignor once possessed. Robert Lamb Hart Planners & Architects v. Evergreen, Ltd. , 787 F. Supp. 753 (S.D. Ohio 1992).

On the other hand, an assignee’s right against the obligor is subject to “all of the limitations of the assignor’s right, all defenses thereto, and all set-offs and counterclaims which would have been available against the assignor had there been no assignment, provided that these defenses and set-offs are based on facts existing at the time of the assignment.” See Robert Lamb , case, above.

The power of the contract to restrict assignment is broad. Usually, contractual provisions that restrict assignment of the contract without the consent of the obligor are valid and enforceable, even when there is statutory authorization for the assignment. The restriction of the power to assign is often ineffective unless the restriction is expressly and precisely stated. Anti-assignment clauses are effective only if they contain clear, unambiguous language of prohibition. Anti-assignment clauses protect only the obligor and do not affect the transaction between the assignee and assignor.

Usually, a prohibition against the assignment of a contract does not prevent an assignment of the right to receive payments due, unless circumstances indicate the contrary. Moreover, the contracting parties cannot, by a mere non-assignment provision, prevent the effectual alienation of the right to money which becomes due under the contract.

A contract provision prohibiting or restricting an assignment may be waived, or a party may so act as to be estopped from objecting to the assignment, such as by effectively ratifying the assignment. The power to void an assignment made in violation of an anti-assignment clause may be waived either before or after the assignment. See our article on Contracts.

Noncompete Clauses and Assignments:

Of critical import to most buyers of businesses is the ability to ensure that key employees of the business being purchased cannot start a competing company. Some states strictly limit such clauses, some do allow them. California does restrict noncompete clauses, only allowing them under certain circumstances. A common question in those states that do allow them is whether such rights can be assigned to a new party, such as the buyer of the buyer.

A covenant not to compete, also called a non-competitive clause, is a formal agreement prohibiting one party from performing similar work or business within a designated area for a specified amount of time. This type of clause is generally included in contracts between employer and employee and contracts between buyer and seller of a business.

Many workers sign a covenant not to compete as part of the paperwork required for employment. It may be a separate document similar to a non-disclosure agreement, or buried within a number of other clauses in a contract. A covenant not to compete is generally legal and enforceable, although there are some exceptions and restrictions.

Whenever a company recruits skilled employees, it invests a significant amount of time and training. For example, it often takes years before a research chemist or a design engineer develops a workable knowledge of a company’s product line, including trade secrets and highly sensitive information. Once an employee gains this knowledge and experience, however, all sorts of things can happen. The employee could work for the company until retirement, accept a better offer from a competing company or start up his or her own business.

A covenant not to compete may cover a number of potential issues between employers and former employees. Many companies spend years developing a local base of customers or clients. It is important that this customer base not fall into the hands of local competitors. When an employee signs a covenant not to compete, he or she usually agrees not to use insider knowledge of the company’s customer base to disadvantage the company. The covenant not to compete often defines a broad geographical area considered off-limits to former employees, possibly tens or hundreds of miles.

Another area of concern covered by a covenant not to compete is a potential ‘brain drain’. Some high-level former employees may seek to recruit others from the same company to create new competition. Retention of employees, especially those with unique skills or proprietary knowledge, is vital for most companies, so a covenant not to compete may spell out definite restrictions on the hiring or recruiting of employees.

A covenant not to compete may also define a specific amount of time before a former employee can seek employment in a similar field. Many companies offer a substantial severance package to make sure former employees are financially solvent until the terms of the covenant not to compete have been met.

Because the use of a covenant not to compete can be controversial, a handful of states, including California, have largely banned this type of contractual language. The legal enforcement of these agreements falls on individual states, and many have sided with the employee during arbitration or litigation. A covenant not to compete must be reasonable and specific, with defined time periods and coverage areas. If the agreement gives the company too much power over former employees or is ambiguous, state courts may declare it to be overbroad and therefore unenforceable. In such case, the employee would be free to pursue any employment opportunity, including working for a direct competitor or starting up a new company of his or her own.

It has been held that an employee’s covenant not to compete is assignable where one business is transferred to another, that a merger does not constitute an assignment of a covenant not to compete, and that a covenant not to compete is enforceable by a successor to the employer where the assignment does not create an added burden of employment or other disadvantage to the employee. However, in some states such as Hawaii, it has also been held that a covenant not to compete is not assignable and under various statutes for various reasons that such covenants are not enforceable against an employee by a successor to the employer. Hawaii v. Gannett Pac. Corp. , 99 F. Supp. 2d 1241 (D. Haw. 1999)

It is vital to obtain the relevant law of the applicable state before drafting or attempting to enforce assignment rights in this particular area.

Conclusion:

In the current business world of fast changing structures, agreements, employees and projects, the ability to assign rights and obligations is essential to allow flexibility and adjustment to new situations. Conversely, the ability to hold a contracting party into the deal may be essential for the future of a party. Thus, the law of assignments and the restriction on same is a critical aspect of every agreement and every structure. This basic provision is often glanced at by the contracting parties, or scribbled into the deal at the last minute but can easily become the most vital part of the transaction.

As an example, one client of ours came into the office outraged that his co venturer on a sizable exporting agreement, who had excellent connections in Brazil, had elected to pursue another venture instead and assigned the agreement to a party unknown to our client and without the business contacts our client considered vital. When we examined the handwritten agreement our client had drafted in a restaurant in Sao Paolo, we discovered there was no restriction on assignment whatsoever…our client had not even considered that right when drafting the agreement after a full day of work.

One choses who one does business with carefully…to ensure that one’s choice remains the party on the other side of the contract, one must master the ability to negotiate proper assignment provisions.

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Assignee is a person to whom a right is transferred by the person holding such rights under the transferred contract (the “assignor”).  The act of transferring is referred to as “ assigning ” or “ assignment ” and is a concept found in both  contract  and  property  law. 

Contract Law  

Under contract law, when one party assigns a contract, the assignment represents both: (1) a transfer of rights; and (2) a delegation of  duties .  For example, if A contracts with B to teach B guitar for $50, A can assign this contract to C.  Here, A has both: assigned A’s rights under the contract to receive the $50 to C, and delegated A’s  duty  to teach guitar to C.  In this example, A is the “assignor” because he/she assigns the contract to C. A is also the “primary obligor ,” meaning he/she will still be liable to B if C fails to teach B guitar. C is the “assignee,” since C is the party to whom A transfers the contract. C is also the “secondary obligor,” since he/she must perform the  obligations  to B. B is the ultimate recipient of the duty under the assignment, and is the “ obligee .”

There are a few notable rules regarding assignments under  contract  law.  First, if an individual has not yet secured the contract to perform duties to another, he/she cannot assign his/her future right to an assignee.  That is, if A has not yet contracted with B to teach B guitar, A cannot  assign  his/her rights to C.  Second, rights cannot be assigned when they materially change the obligor’s duty and rights.  Third, the primary  obligor  can sue the  assignee directly if the  assignee  does not perform the assigned duty. In guitar assignment example, if C does not teach B guitar, A can sue C for any liability that A incurs as a result of C’s failure to perform the assigned contract. Fourth, if the promised performance requires a rare genius or skill, then the primary obligor cannot assign the contract.  

Lastly, a related concept is  novation , which is when the secondary obligor substitutes and releases the primary obligor.  If  novation  occurs, then the primary obligor’s duties are extinguished under the contract. However,  novation  requires the obligee’s  consent . In the guitar example, if A, B, and C agree to novation, then A would not be liable if C fails to teach B guitar.

Property Law

Under  property  law, assignment typically arises in landlord-tenant situations.  For example, A might be renting from landlord B but wants C, a new tenant, to take over the lease.  In this scenario, A might be able to choose between  assigning  and  subleasing  the property to C.  If  assigning , A would be giving C the entire balance of the term, with no reversion to anyone. If subleasing , A would be giving C for a limited period of the remaining term.  Significantly, under assignment, C would have  privity  of  estate  with the landlord, while under a sublease, C would not.

[Last updated in December of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team ]

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What is a contract assignment definition.

A contract assignment is a document that assigns rights and obligations under a contract to another party.3 min read A contract assignment can be used for a variety of reasons, but most commonly it is used when one party to a contract wants to transfer its rights or obligations to another party. For example, if Company A enters into a contract with Company B to provide services , but Company A then wants Company C to provide the services instead, Company A would use a contract assignment to assign the contract rights and obligations to Company C. Contract assignments are also common in the real estate industry. For example, if someone buys a house with the intention of flipping it, they will often assign the purchase agreement (and therefore the underlying contract rights and obligations) to the company or person they are selling the house to.

What is a contract assignment?

A contract assignment is a legal agreement between two parties in which one party assigns (gives) its rights under a contract to another party. The term “assignment” is used in the law of contracts to refer to the transfer of rights or duties under a contract from one person or entity to another. An assignment can be made orally or in writing, but it is generally advisable to have any assignment agreement in writing so that there is no dispute about the terms of the agreement later on.

There are several reasons why someone might want to assign their rights under a contract. For example, if you are a small business owner and you have a contract with a big company that you cannot fulfill, you may want to assign your rights under the contract to another company that can fulfill the contract. Or, if you are an employee who has been assigned to work on a project for a specific period of time, you may want to assign your rights under the employment contract to another employee so that they can continue working on the project after you leave.

In order for an assignment to be valid, there must be mutual assent between the parties; that is, both parties must agree to the terms of the assignment. Furthermore, an assignment cannot conflict with the terms of the original contract; if it does, then it will be void and unenforceable.

If you are considering assigning your rights under a contract, it is important to seek legal advice first so that you can understand

What are the benefits of a contract assignment?

There are many benefits to taking on a contract assignment. For one, it can help to diversify your income and give you a steadier stream of work . Additionally, it can help build your portfolio and credibility as a freelancer, which can lead to more opportunities down the road.

Another benefit of contract assignments is that they often come with shorter deadlines than traditional projects , which can be helpful if you’re struggling to find time to fit freelancing into your schedule. Finally, working on a contract basis can help build relationships with clients and allow you to get a foot in the door with companies you may be interested in working with long-term.

What are the risks of a contract assignment?

When taking on a contract assignment, it is important to be aware of the risks involved . These can include:

-The client may not be happy with the work you produce and may try to cancel the contract . -You may not be able to complete the work within the specified time frame . -The scope of the work may change, which could lead to additional costs. -There may be unforeseen circumstances that make it difficult or impossible to complete the work.

How to assign a contract

If you’re thinking of assigning a contract, there are a few things you should know first. Here’s a quick guide on how to assign a contract:

1. Make sure the contract you’re assigning allows for assignment. Not all contracts do, so it’s important to check before moving forward.

2. Determine who will be assuming the contractual obligations . This person is known as the “assignee.”

3. Get the assignee to agree to assume the obligations in writing. This written agreement is called an “assignment agreement.

4. Notify the other party to the original contract (known as the “obligor”) of the assignment in writing. The notice should include: (a) the date of the assignment; (b) the names and addresses of both parties; and (c) a statement that indicates that all rights and obligations under the contract have been transferred to the assignee.

5. Make sure that any conditions precedent in the original contract have been satisfied before completing the assignment process. A condition precedent is something that must happen before an obligation under a contract becomes effective. For example, if a contract requires that certain repairs be made to a property before it can be sold, those repairs must be completed beforethe assignment can take place.

6. Check local laws and regulations regarding assignments, as there may be restrictions in place that you need to be aware of before proceeding.

A contract assignment is a legal agreement between two parties that assigns rights and responsibilities to one party. The assignee agrees to take on the duties of the contract , while the assignor transfers their rights under the contract to the assignee. This type of agreement is often used in business deals or when one party wants to transfer their interest in a property or asset to another party.

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Assignment Agreement Definition: Everything You Need to Know

The assignment agreement definition is a part of the common law that is in charge of transferring the rights of an individual or party to another. 3 min read updated on February 01, 2023

The assignment agreement definition is a portion of the common law that is in charge of transferring the rights of an individual or party to another person or party. The assignment agreement is often seen in real estate but can occur in other contexts as well. An assignment is just the contractual transfer of benefits that will accrue or have accrued. Obligations don't transfer with the benefits of an assignment. The assignor will always keep the obligations.

Security Agreement

A part of contract law that is responsible for financial transactions is a security agreement. These are also called a secured transaction and include a grantor that promises collateral to the grantee. In contract law, the security agreement doesn't cover actual real estate or land. Instead, this agreement covers stock, vehicle, livestock, or another type of personal property. In a security agreement, in the case where a grantee already has the collateral, the grantor can verbally acquire the transaction.

However, it's preferred to have a security agreement that is written down instead of having a verbal agreement, just in case there's a disagreement among the parties. Both a security agreement and an assignment may apply to a variety of property rights.

Example of Using Assignment and Security Agreements in Property Rights

As an example, the agreements may cover the promise to use stocks as collateral or to transfer the rights of stock investments. It may also be possible for the agreements to include properties that are less tangible. The agreements may apply to creative rights, such as film production or written works. If it is a case of creative rights, any benefits often include future revenue that may be earned from the distribution or sale of said works.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

You may want to hire an attorney to help you draft a security agreement and legal assignment. There are other services that you might want to use that don't cost as much but will still help you draft your contracts. The following are ways to save money while drafting a contract:

  • Buy software with a template that creates security agreements and assignments.
  • Buy a generic contract form at the bookstore.
  • Buy a book with advice.

Unless your background includes knowing particular legal knowledge about security agreements and assignments, you'll want to talk to an attorney before you use any contract forms that are self-generated. Both security agreements and assignments are complicated areas of contract law.

Lease Assignment Definitions

An agent is someone who is licensed by the state where a property is established to aid in real-estate transactions such as leases , assignments, and property sales. An agent is usually either an attorney, sales agent, or real estate broker. The tenant from the initial lease is the assignor, and he transfers his whole interest to another person. The assignee obtains the lease interest from the assignor or original tenant and will become the new tenant.

Consideration is what the assignor gets from the assignee for transferring the lease interest to the assignee. The consideration is often a certain amount of money. Interests that other people hold are encumbrances, and they can affect the title and possibly the possession and use of the property by the assignee and the assignor.

If the property in question is a residential unit that's above a commercial property, the lease is considered to be a residential one, even though the property is in a commercial building. The governing law is that of the jurisdiction in which the property is located, no matter what jurisdiction the landlord, assignee, and assignor reside in. The assignee is allowed to receive a copy of the master lease. The assignor can either give the assignee a copy directly or include the copy with the lease assignment.

If the assignor isn't liable for the assignee's conduct, the landlord will need to go after the assignee if he or she causes property damage. However, if the assignor has liability for the conduct of the assignee, the landlord may then ask for compensation from both the assignee and assignor should the assignee cause any damage to the property.

If you need help with an assignment agreement definition, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.

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Contract Assignment Agreement

Jump to section, what is a contract assignment agreement.

A contract assignment agreement is a document that transfers the contractual rights and duties of one party to another. The other party involved in the contract must agree to the terms of the transfer as well as they will now be in a contractual agreement with a different party.

Contract of assignment agreements must not violate any other laws or statutes in order to be enforced. The original contract must also allow assignments, or at least not explicitly prohibit them. Contract of assignment agreements cannot alter what is expected from the original contract.

Contract Assignment Agreement Sample

Reference : Security Exchange Commission - Edgar Database, EX-10.45 61 dex1045.htm ASSIGNMENT OF CONTRACT , Viewed October 27, 2022, View Source on SEC .

Who Helps With Contract Assignment Agreements?

Lawyers with backgrounds working on contract assignment agreements work with clients to help. Do you need help with a contract assignment agreement?

Post a project  in ContractsCounsel's marketplace to get free bids from lawyers to draft, review, or negotiate contract assignment agreements. All lawyers are vetted by our team and peer reviewed by our customers for you to explore before hiring.

Meet some of our Contract Assignment Agreement Lawyers

Jeffrey Z. on ContractsCounsel

After a career in aviation, I went to Albany Law School graduating in 2003. I opened my own practice in 2005 following a 2-year term with a large, Albany-based law firm. I focus my practice on helping individuals and small business with various matters including defense representation, family law/matrimonial matters, estate planning, probate and estate administration, bankruptcy, business formation and general litigation.

Fred V. on ContractsCounsel

Litigation attorney with a broad range of experience (19 years) in civil and commercial litigation.

Andrew T. on ContractsCounsel

I am a lawyer with over 10 years of experience drafting and negotiating complex capital agreements, service agreements, SaaS agreements, waivers and warranties.

John A. on ContractsCounsel

John Arthur-Mensah is a highly skilled attorney with extensive expertise in drafting contracts, information law, international law, insurance defense, and complex civil litigation. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a keen eye for detail and a strong ability to craft well-structured, comprehensive legal agreements. John's track record includes successfully managing the entire contract drafting process, from initial negotiation to final execution. His proficiency in legal research and documentation enables him to ensure that contracts comply with applicable laws and regulations. With a strategic approach and persuasive communication skills, John excels in negotiating contract terms and providing valuable counsel on contractual matters. Admitted to the Maryland Bar and the United States District Court in Maryland, he is well-equipped to handle a diverse range of legal challenges, making him a valuable asset in contract drafting and beyond.

Albert I. on ContractsCounsel

Construction lawyer practicing in Southern California since 1988. Have extensive experience in construction contracts and forms drafting, negotiating. I also serve as counsel for large material suppliers and have extensive experience in commercial transactions, drafting and negotiation of commercial documents including dealerships, NDAs, etc.

Brad B. on ContractsCounsel

Business attorney with over 15 years of experience serving companies big and small with contracting including business, real estate and employment.

Nicole W. on ContractsCounsel

At Whalen Legal Group, PC, we strive to ensure that our clients are provided with the highest quality legal representation. Our team is committed to providing you with personalized and effective legal advice. We specialize in Business Law, Estate Planning and Trust, and Real Estate Law and have years of experience in these fields.Our goal is to provide our clients with the best possible service and to ensure that their legal matters are handled with compassion, integrity, and transparency. We understand that every situation is different and we take the time to listen and understand each and every one of our clients’ needs.

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Legal Dictionary

The Law Dictionary for Everyone

A person or entity that signs over or transfers their rights to any property or asset to another person or entity. A concept commonly used in contract law , an individual or entity has the right of assignment, which entails one party (the “assigner”) transferring the rights or benefits of a contract to another party (the “assignee”). To explore this concept, consider the following assignor definition.

Definition of Assign

  • One who transfers assets or property to another

13th century  Middle English assigner

Assignment of Contract

U.S. law allows most contracts to be assigned, and most duties under a contract may be delegated, unless there is some special character of the duty. In a situation in which a party to a contract does not want the contract to be assignable, specific language must be put into the contract to that effect. An assignment of contract transfers only the rights or benefits of the contract, the obligations remaining with the original party, the “assignor.” Additionally, no assignment of contract can affect the other, non-assigning party to the contract or reduce his benefits from the contract.

Example of Assignment of Contract

Sally enters into a contract with Tom, the owner of Stay-Fresh Diaper Service, to have clean cloth diapers delivered to her house twice a week. Tom assigns the contract (and thus the weekly income) to another diaper service, notifying Sally of the change. Sally continues to receive regular diaper deliveries, and her contract is now with the new service.

Assignment of a contract does not necessarily relieve the assignor of his duties or liability under the contract. For example, if the new diaper service in the example above failed to deliver clean diapers as scheduled, or otherwise fails to uphold the provisions of the contract, Tom may be held liable to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

Consent to Assignment

In the case of a contract permitted to be assigned by law, the assignor is not required to consult or seek the permission of the other party to the contract, so long as the assignment has no material effect on that party. A contract may include a clause prohibiting assignment such as:

This agreement may not be assigned to any other person or entity without the express prior written consent of the other party or its successor in interest.

No party to this agreement may assign any responsibility , right, or interest arising out of this agreement, in whole or in part, without the express prior written consent of the other party or its successor in interest.

These provisions may also include the phrase “consent to assignment of this agreement may not be unreasonably or unduly withheld.” Any party seeking consent to assign their rights under a contract should document the agreement in writing, with all parties to the original contract signing.

Assignment Agreement

While it is necessary to put an assignment agreement in writing, no specific language is required to make it legally binding. There should, however, be certain elements, including a clear statement identifying the contractual rights and benefits being transferred to the assignee, a specific statement of the benefit of the assignment to the assignor, and the effective date. An assignment must occur in the present, as a promise to assign contractual benefits at a later date generally has no legal effect. An exception may be made when a prior economic relationship between the assignor and assignee exists, and the promise of such assignment induced the assignee to enter into another agreement.

For example, Mary would like to borrow $1,000 from Sam. She expects to make an agreement, in 2 months, to sell her antique piano for $1,500 to her neighbor. Mary promises to assign the entire amount from the sale of the piano to Sam if he loans her the money now. Sam is enticed into taking the assignment of a future contract by the prospect of profiting 50 percent on the deal.

In certain situations a unique relationship between the parties to a contract exists making it impossible to assign the contract without changing the responsibilities under, or benefits from, the terms of the contract. For example, Sam and Emma hired a band to play at their engagement party. The band could not take the couple’s money, then assign the gig to another band because Sam and Emma hired that specific band to entertain their guests. This is more accurately called “delegation,” as the band might seek to delegate their responsibilities under the contract.

The counterpart to assignment, delegation involves assignment of a party’s duties, responsibilities, or liabilities under a contract, rather than rights. A clause in the contract barring assignment may also contain language barring delegation. For example, “Neither party may assign or delegate its rights or obligations under this agreement.” To allow assignment or delegation with the approval of the other party, adding the phrase “without the express prior written consent of the other party” enables such a transaction.

Related Legal Terms and Issues

  • Contract – an agreement between two or more parties in which a promise is made to do or provide something in return for a valuable benefit.
  • Consent – to approve, permit, or agree

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  4. FREE 10+ Wholesale Assignment Contract Samples in PDF

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  6. Purchase contract assignment, What Is an Assignment of Contract

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  1. Assignment of Contract: What Is It? How It Works

    An assignment of contract is a legal term that describes the process that occurs when the original party (assignor) transfers their rights and obligations under their contract to a third party (assignee).

  2. What Is an Assignment of Contract?

    An assignment of contract occurs when one party to an existing contract (the "assignor") hands off the contract's obligations and benefits to another party (the "assignee"). Ideally, the assignor wants the assignee to step into his shoes and assume all of his contractual obligations and rights.

  3. What Is an Assignment of Contract?

    Assignment of contract allows one person to assign, or transfer, their rights, obligations, or property to another. An assignment of contract clause is often included in contracts to give either party the opportunity to transfer their part of the contract to someone else in the future.

  4. assignment

    Under contract law, assignment of a contract is both: (1) an assignment of rights; and (2) a delegation of duties, in the absence of evidence otherwise. For example, if A contracts with B to teach B guitar for $50, A can assign this contract to C.

  5. assign

    Assign is the act of transferring rights, property, or other benefits to another party (the assignee) from the party who holds such benefits under contract (the assignor). This concept is used in both contract and property law. Contract Law Under contract law, when one party assigns a contract, the assignment represents both: (1) an assignment of rights; and (2) a delegation of duties.

  6. Assignability Of Contracts: Everything You Need to Know

    The assignability of contracts is when one side of a contract agreement transfers the contract to another entity, so that the new entity fulfills the terms of the contract. Being able to assign contracts depends on a variety of factors, mainly the language contained in the contract. How Contract Assignments Work

  7. Understanding an assignment and assumption agreement

    An assignment and assumption agreement is used after a contract is signed, in order to transfer one of the contracting party's rights and obligations to a third party who was not originally a party to the contract. The party making the assignment is called the assignor, while the third party accepting the assignment is known as the assignee.

  8. Assignment of Contract

    An assignment of contract is defined as the handing off of an existing contract's obligations and/or benefits to another party. Assignment of contract is often used in property and...

  9. Assignment Of Contracts

    Assignment of contracts is the legal transfer of the obligations and benefits of a contract from one party, called the assignor, to another, called the assignee. The assignor must properly notify the assignee so that he or she can take over the contractual rights and obligations.

  10. 6.4: Assignment, Delegation, and Commonly Used Contracts Clauses

    Exercise 6.4.1 6.4. 1. Learning Objectives. Learn about assignment and delegation. Examine novation. Explore restrictions on assignment, exculpatory clauses, noncompete clauses, mandatory arbitration clauses, acceleration clauses, and liquidated damages clauses. Explore the parol evidence rule.

  11. Assignable Contract: Overview, Factors, Example

    An assignable contract is a provision allowing the holder of a contract to transfer or give away the obligations and rights of the contract to another party or person before the contract's...

  12. How Is a Contract Assigned?

    How Is a Contract Assigned? (Page 2 of 2 of What Is an Assignment of Contract?) By Richard Stim, Attorney There are three steps to follow if you want to assign a contract. Step 1: Examine the contract for any limitations or prohibitions. Check for anti-assignment clauses.

  13. Assignment Agreement: What You Need to Know

    An assignment agreement is a contract that authorizes a person to transfer their rights, obligations, or interests in a contract or property to another person. It serves as a means for the assignor to delegate duties and advantages to a third party while the assignee assumes those privileges and obligations.

  14. Assignments: The Basic Law

    An assignment is the transfer of rights held by one party called the "assignor" to another party called the "assignee." The legal nature of the assignment and the contractual terms of the agreement between the parties determines some additional rights and liabilities that accompany the assignment.

  15. assignee

    Assignee is a person to whom a right is transferred by the person holding such rights under the transferred contract (the "assignor"). The act of transferring is referred to as "assigning" or "assignment" and is a concept found in both contract and property law. Contract Law Under contract law, when one party assigns a contract, the assignment represents both: (1) a transfer of ...

  16. Assigned Contract Definition: 181 Samples

    Assigned Contract means any contract or agreement to which the Company is a party or which runs in favor of the Company and which constitutes part of the Collateral. Sample 1 Sample 2 Based on 4 documents Assigned Contract means any Covered Agreement or other contract assigned by way of security in accordance with Clause 14.1; Sample 1

  17. What is a Contract Assignment? Definition

    What is a Contract Assignment? Definition. A contract assignment is a document that assigns rights and obligations under a contract to another party.3 min read A contract assignment can be used for a variety of reasons, but most commonly it is used when one party to a contract wants to transfer its rights or obligations to another party. For example, if Company A enters into a contract with ...

  18. Assignment Agreement Definition: Everything You Need to Know

    The assignment agreement definition is a portion of the common law that is in charge of transferring the rights of an individual or party to another person or party. The assignment agreement is often seen in real estate but can occur in other contexts as well.

  19. Assignment (law)

    Assignment [1] is a legal term used in the context of the laws of contract and of property. In both instances, assignment is the process whereby a person, the assignor, transfers rights or benefits to another, the assignee. [2] An assignment may not transfer a duty, burden or detriment without the express agreement of the assignee.

  20. Contract Assignment Agreement: Definition & Sample

    A contract assignment agreement is a document that transfers the contractual rights and duties of one party to another. The other party involved in the contract must agree to the terms of the transfer as well as they will now be in a contractual agreement with a different party.

  21. Assigned Contracts and Orders Definition

    Examples of Assigned Contracts and Orders in a sentence. In connection with clause (iii) of this Section 2.5(a), if reasonably requested by the Purchaser, Reliant shall seek to enforce for the benefit of the Purchaser all claims or rights of Reliant arising under the applicable Assigned Contracts and Orders.. The Purchaser shall perform and comply with, at the Purchaser's cost, all of ...

  22. Assignment of Contracts Definition: 368 Samples

    Examples of Assignment of Contracts in a sentence. Two (2) Assignment of Contracts executed in counterpart by Purchaser. Transfer or Assignment of Contracts: Every contract which is estimated to exceed £50,000 shall prohibit the contractor from assigning the contract or sub-letting any portion of the contract work without the written consent of the relevant delegated authority.

  23. Assignor

    Definition of Assign Noun. One who transfers assets or property to another; Origin. 13th century Middle English assigner. Assignment of Contract. U.S. law allows most contracts to be assigned, and most duties under a contract may be delegated, unless there is some special character of the duty.

  24. PDF Appendix a Standard Clauses for New York State Contracts

    this contract to the Contractor or to anyone else beyond funds appropriated and available for this contract. 2. NON-ASSIGNMENT CLAUSE. In accordance with Section 138 of the State Finance Law, this contract may not be assigned by the Contractor or its right, title or interest therein assigned, transferred, conveyed, sublet or otherwise disposed of

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