Advanced

Lojalitet och effektivitet - en rättsekonomisk analys av prekontraktuellt ansvar vid avbrutna avtalsförhandlingar

Brännström, Elin LU (2017) JURM02 20172
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Många avtal, speciellt sådana som rör komplicerade frågor eller stora ekonomiska värden föregås av omfattande förhandlingsmoment. Om förhand-lingarna strandar kan parterna drabbas av förluster – dels i form av utebliven vinst från det tilltänkta avtalet, och dels i form av nedlagda kostnader som inte längre kan komma till nytta.

Eftersom denna situation inte omfattas av ett bindande avtal blir den part som anser sig förfördelad och vill ha ersättning för sin skada hänvisad till att grunda anspråket på utomobligatoriska skadeståndsregler, närmare bestämt det så kallade culpa in contrahendo-ansvaret. Denna uppsats tar avstamp i det prekontraktuella ansvaret i svensk rätt. Detta jämförs med dess motsvarighet i engelsk rätt, och slutligen... (More)
Många avtal, speciellt sådana som rör komplicerade frågor eller stora ekonomiska värden föregås av omfattande förhandlingsmoment. Om förhand-lingarna strandar kan parterna drabbas av förluster – dels i form av utebliven vinst från det tilltänkta avtalet, och dels i form av nedlagda kostnader som inte längre kan komma till nytta.

Eftersom denna situation inte omfattas av ett bindande avtal blir den part som anser sig förfördelad och vill ha ersättning för sin skada hänvisad till att grunda anspråket på utomobligatoriska skadeståndsregler, närmare bestämt det så kallade culpa in contrahendo-ansvaret. Denna uppsats tar avstamp i det prekontraktuella ansvaret i svensk rätt. Detta jämförs med dess motsvarighet i engelsk rätt, och slutligen görs en rättsekonomisk analys av effektiviteten hos detta ansvar.

En första förutsättning för att sådant ansvar ska komma på fråga är enligt svensk rätt att förhandlingarna framstår som åtminstone relativt seriösa. I svensk rätt bygger culpa in contrahendo-ansvaret på en lojalitetsplikt. Brott mot denna konstituerar den culpa som grundar ansvaret. Mycket talar dock för att lojalitetspliktsbrottet måste vara i någon mån kvalificerat för att ersättningsansvar ska aktualiseras. Lojalitetsplikten innefattar handlings-normer för förhandlande parter. Även om det inte går att fastställa helt vilka dessa normer är kan det sägas finnas ett kärnområde bestående av dels en plikt att informera sin motpart om man inte längre har för avsikt att ingå avtal och dels en plikt att underlåta att vilseleda sin motpart avseende sannolikheten för att få avtal till stånd. Även andra ageranden kan tänkas grunda ansvar, särskilt om de framstår som kvalificerat oetiska. Ersättningen som utgår sägs ofta motsvara det negativa kontraktsintresset, men en rimligare utgångspunkt är att utgå från hur situationen hade sett ut om det inte vore för den skadevållande händelsen.

I engelsk rätt är ansvaret något mer inskränkt. En stor skillnad ligger i att det inte finns någon generell lojalitetsplikt som styr hur de förhandlande parterna har att agera gentemot varandra. Vissa beteenden i förhandlingssituationen kan grunda skadeståndsansvar, men det rör sig då om väl avgränsade utomobligatoriska ansvarsgrunder. Dessa motsvarar i stort sett det kärnområde som kan identifieras i svensk rätt, men med den skillnaden att rena underlåtenheter inte kan grunda skadestånd i engelsk rätt.

Ur ett rättsekonomiskt perspektiv kan man argumentera för att ett prekontraktuellt ansvar är ekonomiskt effektivt, eftersom parterna själva hade avtalat om att åtgärder som kan förebygga skada ska vidtas om kostnaderna för dessa åtgärder är mindre än skadan i sig, om det inte vore för verklighetens transaktionskostnader. Ett ansvar som bygger på en skyldighet att vidta åtgärder som är billigare än den skada de kan förebygga är således ekonomiskt effektivt. Detta ansvar bör kombineras med regler om skadebegränsningsskyldighet. På så sätt tvingas aktörerna att ta hänsyn inte bara till sina egna kostnader utan även till motpartens, vilket leder till att parterna väljer de samhällsekonomiskt effektiva alternativen i sitt besluts-fattande. Det ska dock påpekas att denna analys bygger på antagandet om aktörerna som rationella nyttomaximerare, vilket ger en grovt förenklad bild som inte helt överensstämmer med verkligheten. (Less)
Abstract
Before entering into a contract, the parties thereto are often involved in extensive preliminary negotiations, especially if the contract in question concern complicated issues or a large economic value. If the negotiations fail, costs and expenditures incurred during the negotiations are no longer useful, and the parties stand to lose the expected profit of the prospective contract. Since this situation is not covered by a binding contract, a party who wishes to be compensated will have to base the claim on tort law, under Swedish law the culpa in contrahendo-doctrine. This paper constitutes an examination of the grounds for precontractual liability under Swedish law and a comparison to precontractual liability under English law, as well... (More)
Before entering into a contract, the parties thereto are often involved in extensive preliminary negotiations, especially if the contract in question concern complicated issues or a large economic value. If the negotiations fail, costs and expenditures incurred during the negotiations are no longer useful, and the parties stand to lose the expected profit of the prospective contract. Since this situation is not covered by a binding contract, a party who wishes to be compensated will have to base the claim on tort law, under Swedish law the culpa in contrahendo-doctrine. This paper constitutes an examination of the grounds for precontractual liability under Swedish law and a comparison to precontractual liability under English law, as well as a law and economics outlook into the economic efficiency of precontractual liability.

A first qualification for liability to occur is that the parties’ relationship is to be somewhat serious. Under Swedish law, precontractual liability is based on a duty for the parties to act in good faith. A qualified breach of this duty may constitute ground for liability. The duty of good faith comprises a number of standards of conduct that apply to negotiating parties. Although these standards are not clearly defined, Swedish law can be said to recognize two typical examples. Firstly, a party has a duty to inform its counterparty if it no longer wishes to conclude the contract. Secondly, there is a duty not to mislead one’s counterparty regarding the probability of the contract being concluded. It is possible other types of conduct may constitute grounds for liability, especially if the conduct is considered particularly unethical. The compensation, if liability is incurred, is to be measured by comparing the actual situation with a hypothetical situation where the breach of duty did not occur.

The precontractual liability is more limited under English law than under Swedish law. Under English law there is no general duty to negotiate in good faith. Some actions and behavior may however found liability on tortious grounds. These actions more or less correspond with the two typical duties referred to above, although English law does not recognize liability for omissions (e.g. failure to inform the counterparty).

In a law and economics perspective, it can be concluded that a precontractual liability leads to efficient results. This conclusion is reached by analyzing the hypothetical rational decision making of negotiating parties in a world with no transaction costs. In such a world, the parties would agree that measures preventing damages should be taken, if they are less costly than the potential damages. A rule imposing liability if preventive measures are not taken although less costly than the prospective damages can therefore be said to be efficient. The rule should be complemented by a rule of mitigation of damages. Under such a regime the parties are forced to consider not only their private costs but also the costs potentially incurred by the counterparty before making a decision. This creates incentives that lead to socially efficient decisions. It should be said however that the analysis is based on an assumption of rationality, which is very much a simplification of reality. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Brännström, Elin LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Good Faith and Efficiency - A Law and Economics Analysis of Precontractual Liability for Failed Negotiations
course
JURM02 20172
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
rättsekonomi, avtalsrätt, law and economics, skadeståndsrätt, förmögenhetsrätt, culpa in contrahendo, avtalsförhandlingar, lojalitetsplikt, good faith, negativt kontraktsintresse, prekontraktuellt ansvar, precontractual liability
language
Swedish
id
8930124
date added to LUP
2018-01-29 14:42:17
date last changed
2018-01-29 14:42:17
@misc{8930124,
  abstract     = {Before entering into a contract, the parties thereto are often involved in extensive preliminary negotiations, especially if the contract in question concern complicated issues or a large economic value. If the negotiations fail, costs and expenditures incurred during the negotiations are no longer useful, and the parties stand to lose the expected profit of the prospective contract. Since this situation is not covered by a binding contract, a party who wishes to be compensated will have to base the claim on tort law, under Swedish law the culpa in contrahendo-doctrine. This paper constitutes an examination of the grounds for precontractual liability under Swedish law and a comparison to precontractual liability under English law, as well as a law and economics outlook into the economic efficiency of precontractual liability.

A first qualification for liability to occur is that the parties’ relationship is to be somewhat serious. Under Swedish law, precontractual liability is based on a duty for the parties to act in good faith. A qualified breach of this duty may constitute ground for liability. The duty of good faith comprises a number of standards of conduct that apply to negotiating parties. Although these standards are not clearly defined, Swedish law can be said to recognize two typical examples. Firstly, a party has a duty to inform its counterparty if it no longer wishes to conclude the contract. Secondly, there is a duty not to mislead one’s counterparty regarding the probability of the contract being concluded. It is possible other types of conduct may constitute grounds for liability, especially if the conduct is considered particularly unethical. The compensation, if liability is incurred, is to be measured by comparing the actual situation with a hypothetical situation where the breach of duty did not occur.

The precontractual liability is more limited under English law than under Swedish law. Under English law there is no general duty to negotiate in good faith. Some actions and behavior may however found liability on tortious grounds. These actions more or less correspond with the two typical duties referred to above, although English law does not recognize liability for omissions (e.g. failure to inform the counterparty).

In a law and economics perspective, it can be concluded that a precontractual liability leads to efficient results. This conclusion is reached by analyzing the hypothetical rational decision making of negotiating parties in a world with no transaction costs. In such a world, the parties would agree that measures preventing damages should be taken, if they are less costly than the potential damages. A rule imposing liability if preventive measures are not taken although less costly than the prospective damages can therefore be said to be efficient. The rule should be complemented by a rule of mitigation of damages. Under such a regime the parties are forced to consider not only their private costs but also the costs potentially incurred by the counterparty before making a decision. This creates incentives that lead to socially efficient decisions. It should be said however that the analysis is based on an assumption of rationality, which is very much a simplification of reality.},
  author       = {Brännström, Elin},
  keyword      = {rättsekonomi,avtalsrätt,law and economics,skadeståndsrätt,förmögenhetsrätt,culpa in contrahendo,avtalsförhandlingar,lojalitetsplikt,good faith,negativt kontraktsintresse,prekontraktuellt ansvar,precontractual liability},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Lojalitet och effektivitet - en rättsekonomisk analys av prekontraktuellt ansvar vid avbrutna avtalsförhandlingar},
  year         = {2017},
}