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Comparative law notes


Example of typical phrasing from a contract "This Operating Agreement may be executed [signed] in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original but all of which shall constitute one and the same instrument [document]." Since the counterpart is actually one of two or more originals that are signed by the original parties contemporaneously (e.g., at a closing) and not after-the-fact through a special authentication process, there is a difference with the German concept of Ausfertigung. Still, the purpose and effect of these two concepts are identical, and this legal term could be used in most situations, unless the context involves the formal authentication procedure by a notary or court clerk, in which case we would recommend the descriptive neologism, "official circulation copy".

Definitions of counterpart


a person or item that has the same purpose as another person in a different organisation or place

The Head of Marketing in Germany met her Chinese counterpart.


one of two or more originals of a legal document

The parties entered into the contract by signing two separate counterparts.