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The counterparty (from Latin con-trahere “to contract, unite, effect”) or contracting party is a legal entity that concludes a contract ( contract ). This original meaning is now limited to legal terminology and the use of language in finance . However, the term is also used for an opponent in a (intellectual) argument.


The word Kontrahent is derived from the present participle of the Latin verb contrahere , which u. a. to enter into a business relationship means to close . The parties concluding a contract were referred to as such contrahentes in Roman law . The result of such a process between the counterparties was a legally effective contract , which could be a business agreement as well as a private one, e.g. B. a marriage.

The use of the term counterparty for a contract partner has been documented in German since the 16th century. A special meaning of the word is that of an opponent or rival in a duel in the Middle Ages . In the language of the students , arranging a duel was referred to as contracting , although the Latin word contra ( against ) played a role: "opponent in a duel".

Banking and stock exchange

In the language of banking and stock exchange , the counterparty is the contracting party (or contracting partner) in a stock exchange or financial contract . Accordingly, one speaks of the counterparty risk as the risk that lies in the possible insolvency of the counterparty, and the legal entity of the central counterparty has developed this to reduce this risk. In the capital adequacy regulation that has been in force throughout the EU since 2014 , the English word “ counterparty ” was not translated as “counterparty”, but as “ counterparty ”.

Legal usage

In legal parlance, the counterparty is the contractual partner. The counterparty of the counterparty is the counterparty. The term obligatory to contract stands for the statutory obligation of the oblate (offered) to contract with the offeror (offerer) in response to his offer to the extent prescribed by law (e.g. in the compulsory insurance ).

Web links

Wiktionary: opponent  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Compare Digestae 19, 2, 22: "Circumvenire se invicem naturaliter licet contrahentibus" ("Those who conclude a contract may naturally take advantage of one another.")
  2. ^ Karl Ernst Georges , Comprehensive Latin-German Concise Dictionary , Volume I, 1913, column 1631
  3. Jürgen Krumnow, Ludwig Gramlich (ed.): Gabler Banklexikon , 12th edition, 2000, ISBN 3-409-46112-4 , p. 815.