Economic duress is a legal concept that arises in the context of contract law. It refers to a situation where one party to a contract is forced to enter into or modify the terms of a contract due to economic pressure or coercion exerted by the other party. The party claiming economic duress typically has no reasonable alternative but to agree to the terms imposed on them.
In order to prove economic duress, the victim must establish that the other person acted improperly or illegally. Because duress rests on pressure rather than an absence of consent, the nature of the pressure is crucial in determining whether duress has occurred. As some sorts of pressure are legitimate, you must show that the pressure was unlawful.
The victim should also establish that improper or illegal conduct caused them to be afraid of economic hardship and the fear of hardship prevented him or her from engaging in a commercial agreement with free will.
ELEMENTS OF ECONOMIC DURESS
To win a case, you must generally establish the following elements:
Unlawful or wrongful conduct: The party alleging economic duress must show that the other party engaged in some form of wrongful behaviour or acted unlawfully. This can include threats, blackmail, fraud, or other coercive tactics. See S.P.D.C.N. Ltd. v. Nwawka (2003) 6 NWLR (Pt. 815) 184, C.C.C. ThriftCredit Society v. Ekpo (2001) 17 NWLR (Pt. 743) 649.
Lack of reasonable alternatives: The party under duress must demonstrate that they had no meaningful choice but to agree to the contract or modify its terms. They must show that they were facing financial hardship or other circumstances that left them with no viable alternatives.
Causation: There must be a direct link between the wrongful conduct of the other party and the coerced agreement. The party alleging economic duress must show that the wrongful behaviour directly led to their acceptance of the contract or modification.
If economic duress is successfully proven, the affected party may seek remedies such as rescission (cancelling the contract), damages, or the enforcement of the contract under revised terms. However, it’s important to note that the specific legal standards and remedies for economic duress can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the particular facts of the case. It is advisable to consult with a legal professional for guidance tailored to your specific situation.
Investing in co-working spaces can be a lucrative opportunity given the growing demand for flexible office solutions. Co-working spaces present an exciting opportunity, but it’s important to approach it with the same level of diligence and caution as any other investment. Here are some considerations to keep in mind before making a decision:
Differences between Great and Terrible Co-Working Spaces
Great Co-Working Spaces:
Productive Environment: Great co-working spaces provide a productive atmosphere that promotes focus and concentration. They have designated work areas, comfortable seating, and a quiet ambience, enabling members to work efficiently.
Amenities and Facilities: These spaces offer various amenities and facilities to enhance the working experience. They may include high-speed internet, conference rooms, private offices, printing and scanning services, on-site cafes or refreshment areas, and even fitness facilities.
Community and Networking Opportunities: Great spaces foster a sense of community among their members. They organize networking events, workshops, and social activities, providing opportunities for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and professional growth.
Flexibility and Customization: They offer flexible membership options, allowing individuals or teams to choose the duration and type of space they need. Great co-working spaces may have open desks, dedicated desks, private offices, or meeting rooms, accommodating various work preferences.
Supportive Staff: The staff in great co-working spaces are friendly, professional, and readily available to assist members with any queries or concerns. They maintain the space, ensure a smooth operational flow, and often organize community events to encourage interaction.
Terrible Co-Working Spaces:
Poor Infrastructure: Terrible co-working spaces may have outdated or unreliable infrastructure, such as slow internet connections, malfunctioning equipment, or uncomfortable furniture. These factors can hamper productivity and create frustration among members.
Lack of Privacy and Distractions: Inadequate space planning and layout can result in a lack of privacy and excessive noise, making it difficult for individuals to concentrate. This can be a major drawback for those who require a quiet and focused work environment.
Limited Amenities and Services: Terrible co-working spaces may lack essential amenities or charge extra fees for basic services. This could include limited access to meeting rooms, inadequate kitchen facilities, or unreliable support staff.
Lack of Community Engagement: In contrast to great co-working spaces, terrible ones may lack a sense of community and fail to foster networking opportunities. The absence of organized events, workshops, or collaborative initiatives can make the space feel isolated and less engaging.
Inflexible Contracts: Terrible co-working spaces often have rigid and inflexible membership contracts, leaving individuals or teams locked into long-term commitments even if their needs change. This lack of flexibility can be inconvenient and restrict a member’s ability to adapt their workspace as required.
Overall, great co-working spaces prioritize a conducive work environment, a sense of community, and flexibility, while terrible co-working spaces may fall short in these areas, leading to a less satisfying and productive experience for their members.
Before you invest
Research the Market: Start by researching the co-working industry and understanding the current trends, market demand, and competition. Look into market reports, industry publications, and news articles to gather insights.
Define your Investment Strategy: Determine your investment goals, whether you want to invest directly in a co-working space or through a real estate investment trust (REIT). Consider factors such as location, target market, amenities, and pricing models.
Evaluate Potential Locations: Identify potential locations for your co-working investment. Look for areas with high demand, proximity to transportation hubs, business districts, or areas with a thriving startup and freelance community. Consider factors like population density, accessibility, and local business climate.
Conduct Due Diligence: Perform thorough due diligence on the co-working space you are considering investing in. Assess factors like the financial health of the company, occupancy rates, lease terms, management team, and growth projections. Engage professional advisors, such as lawyers and accountants, to assist with the evaluation.
Understand the Business Model: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the co-working space’s business model. Evaluate the pricing structure, membership plans, and value-added services offered. Assess how the company differentiates itself from competitors and how it plans to sustain profitability.
Analyze Financials: Review the financial statements, including revenue, expenses, and profitability of the co-working space. Assess the stability of the revenue streams, the ability to cover operating costs and the potential for future growth. Evaluate the pricing strategy and whether it is aligned with the market demand.
Assess Risk Management: Consider the risks associated with investing in co-working spaces, such as economic downturns, changing work trends, competition, and lease obligations. Evaluate the risk mitigation strategies employed by the co-working space, such as diversification, tenant retention programs, and contingency plans.
Seek Professional Advice: Consult with professionals who specialize in real estate investment or commercial property management. They can provide insights into the local market, and legal requirements, and help you navigate the investment process.
After you Launch your space
Network and Partnerships: Build relationships with industry professionals, co-working space operators, and potential partners. Attend industry events, join networking groups, and engage with stakeholders to gain valuable insights and potential investment opportunities.
Monitor and Adapt: Once you invest in a co-working space, actively monitor its performance and adapt as needed. Stay updated with market trends, adjust pricing strategies, and explore opportunities for expansion or diversification to maximize returns.
Remember, investing in co-working spaces carries risks, so it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and due diligence before making any investment decisions. Our Real Estate team is always available to provide support in this regard.