doctrine that holds that a business contract, along with any other type of
contract, may not confer rights or impose obligations to any person or agent
except for the specific parties that have formed the contract.
Privity of contract is most
commonly an issue which arises during business contracts that have been formed
to allow for the sale of goods or services. Horizontal privity of contract
becomes an issue when the benefits bestowed by a contract are given to a third
party or a party that was not a part of the original contract. Vertical privity
of contract involves an independent contract that develops between one signer
of the original contract and another individual or other legal entity.
There are certain circumstances
under which privity of contract may be set aside which will allow the legal
entity who is not directly a part of the business contract to be allowed to sue
to force a party to the original contract to uphold their obligations. Privity
of contract will only allow a third party to the contract to go against one of
the original parties to the contract beyond the ability to collect the third
party’s entitlement to a benefit under the contract.