Assignment is the right to transfer 'choses in action' defined as 'all personal rights of property which can only be claimed or enforced by action and not by taking physical possession'.
This definition includes benefits arising under a construction contract such as right to payment, but not burdens such as the obligation to pay. The definition also includes claims for breach of contract.
A common error is to assume that the right to assign must be agreed as part of a contract, like a novation. Assignment is a unilateral right created by statute, Section 136 of The Law of Property Act 1925 or by the law of equity (law developed by the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales).
Whilst not a contractual right, the right to assign can be excluded, or restricted, by contract, for example, it is common in collateral warranties to restrict to one assignment without the written permission of the warrantor.
Under Section 136 of The Law of Property Act 1925 the formalities required to create an effective legal assignment are:
- An absolute (i.e. not part of a debt or by way of charge only) assignment in writing signed by the assignor.
- A debt or other legal right of action.
- Express notice in writing to the debtor (no particular form of wording is necessary).
An assignment which fails to comply with the above formalities may, nevertheless, still be effective as an equitable assignment. Indeed an equitable assignment may be verbal. There is no substantial difference between legal and equitable assignments (though, of course it will be easier to prove a legal assignment), there are, however, procedural differences.
The assignee of a legal assignment sues the debtor in the assignee's own name. The assignee of an equitable assignment of a legal chose in action or an equitable chose that is not absolute, must join the assignor (as claimant if the assignor agrees, or defendant if not ) into any legal proceedings.
The effect of a legal or equitable assignment is to put the assignee in the same position as the assignor in respect of the benefits (not burdens) arising from the original transaction with the debtor. Consequently:
'... a debt which accrues due before notice of assignment is received, whether or not it is payable before that date, or a debt which arises out of the same contract as that which gives rise to the assigned debt, or is closely connected with that contract, may be set off against the assignee.'
(Ref. Business Computers Ltd v Anglo African Leasing Ltd.)
A counterclaim for unliquidated damages may also be set off by the debtor, but only to the value of the assigned debt. Further when there have been successive assignments the debtor cannot set off against claims by the ultimate assignee, counterclaims which the debtor has against intermediate assignees.
The Scottish law equivalent is assignation.
Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
 External references
Have you decided that you want to quit a contract but you don’t want the treaty to end? The best thing to do would be to assign the contract to someone else. It is recommended that you assign the contract to someone you are sure is interested in the contract. It is important to understand that one can assign any contract, and, therefore, the deal is not specific at all. A contract assignment form is the best tool for a contract assignment. You may also see Cancellation of Contract Forms.
Assignment of Contract for Purchase of Real Estate
By signing over this contract to another person, you agree that the obligations and the benefits of the contact will all go the assignee. You will assume no responsibilities later in this deal.
Assignment of Contract Agrement
Once you fill, sign, and transfer this form to another person, you cease to become a member of the contract. The assignee will lift the burden of the contract from your shoulder, and they will enjoy all the benefits of the deal.
Copyright Assignment Agreement
Fill this form only if you are sure that you want to assign the copyright of your content to a different party. Once you assign the rights to someone else, you cease being part of the deal, and you no longer have any right over the content.
Assignment of Lease Agreement
This is an agreement signed between a new property owner and the original holder of the contract. This contract gives the new holder all the rights, including but not limited to using the contract in a manner that he pleases.
Assignment of Contract as Collateral
By signing this form, you are giving a lender the right to hold whatever property you have as collateral until you clear repaying the amount borrowed. It is highly unlikely that this contract is permanent.
Form of Limited Assignment of Construction Contract
If your company is no longer interested in a construction contract, you can transfer the deal to a different contractor and introduce the client, whose project is undergoing, to the new contractor.
Independent Contractor Assignment Form
You will be transferring the rights of the contract to another contract by filling this form. It means that you agree that you are no longer taking responsibilities and benefits of the contract and that the assignee is the official person in the deal in the new contract.
What is Contract Assignment?
The assignment of contract is a process that involves two people, the assignor, and the assignee. In this deal, the assignor transfers all the benefits and obligations of the contract to the assignee, and the deal here is that the assignor will assume all these obligations. It is important to understand that the law governing the contract will not change a bit, so the assignee must be willing to work with those terms that govern the contract in question. Useful Construction Contract Forms
What to do Before Assigning a Contract
Be sure you want to assign the contract. Once you have transferred benefits and obligations of the contract to someone else, you cannot claim the contract back, unless, again, the current holder of the contract agrees to let the contract go. So, unless you are sure you won’t need the contract anymore in the future, do not sign any contract assignment template.
Decide whether you will need a witness. You also need to ask yourself whether the assignee will need a witness, which in most cases they will. As such, you need to keep in mind that once you sign the contract in the presence of witnesses, you won’t be able to go back, especially when the benefits of the contract blossom in the future. The primary need for witnesses is to eliminate challenges from occurring in the future. You can also see Construction Proposal Forms
Some contracts are often complicated. As such, it might be potentially risky and unprofessional to use an enclosed form. The best thing to do, therefore, would be to contact your attorney; they will help you draft the best document that will help you to meet your needs. Helpful Construction Change Order Forms
Make sure you print enough copies of the document, one for you and the others for the parties involved in the assignment of contracts.