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Handshake Agreements and Breach of Contracts

two people shaking hands

The old-fashioned handshake began as a means for two people to assure one another that neither was carrying a weapon. Over the years the handshake has evolved into a contractual gesture for different types of agreements. With pages and pages of contracts and barely visible fine print, do handshakes still carry any weight in the agreement process?

Yes, handshake and oral agreements still hold weight, even in 2021. Like any other contract, oral agreements are enforceable if they have all the requisite terms: an offer, an unconditional acceptance of that offer, and an exchange of consideration. 

Handshake Agreements and Contracts

Breach of contract is a legal action that can be pursued if an agreement is not honored by one or more parties that were involved in the contract. A breach of contract or a contract dispute likely means a loss of valuable time and money for any business. A dispute can also hurt relationships and reputations in the marketplace.

Our firm has recent experience with breach of contract cases. For example, we recently obtained a $210,000 settlement on behalf of Brocklyn Hauling LLC, against a construction company who broke a handshake agreement with them. 

Brocklyn LLC was invited to bid on a construction project at the Virginia border. They ended up making a handshake agreement at a meeting in exchange for the rock hauling portion of the construction contract. 

However, halfway through the job the company they agreed with, decided to sell the rocks themselves. There was nothing in writing that said they had exclusive rights to the rocks, just a handshake agreement between our client and the construction company. 

Breach of Contract Attorneys

Maginnis Howard’s attorneys have decades of combined experience with handling a wide variety of contract disputes. In certain contract dispute cases, we are able to utilize our diverse experience, knowledge, and skills to recover contractual damages for our clients. 

If you think you may have a contract dispute claim, contact the Maginnis Howard today. We’ll review the facts of your case and provide you with a free case evaluation. You can contact our firm by phone (919) 526-0450 or by email ( You can also reach us through our contact page.