Peace of Mind

I went from nodding in agreement to shaking my head in just two sentences: A contract sets out the expectations of both the client and the contractor. A contract gives you the peace of mind that the contractor will deliver the project within an agreed timeframe, at an agreed cost and to an agreed level […]

Tried and Tested

Do you want a tried and tested contract? Really? Tried before the courts because it wasn’t clear enough? Tested by years of use and abuse [read Ken Adams’ view on tested language in contracts]? One of those contracts which surveys have held stoke mistrust? Or one of the ones which the parties do not read, […]

What No Retention?

Retention has had its day… Unjustified late and non-payment of a retention is unacceptable BEIS Report October 2017 Or perhaps that is wishful thinking? Build UK is implementing the Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter to move to zero retentions by 2025 (although some more enlightened employers like Network Rail have already introduced this). Each year […]

What is legal design?

As with any new discipline, there are many ways of defining legal design. It is: A movement to make law more accessible, usable and engaging (Emma Jelley) A merger of legal and design thinking to improve processes and outcomes (Helena Haapio) Preventing legal problems and empowering the users (Stefania Passera) A user-centred approach to solving […]

Can You Recover Delay Damages After Termination?

Construction contracts and engineering contracts take a flexible approach to completion: time is not of the essence (if they were, then when the contractor was late the client could reject the works, plant or section and pay nothing) the original dates for completion of the work, plant or sections can be extended for circumstances arising […]

Create Certainty

As well as contracts needing certain terms, Tessa Manuello says that legal design is aimed at creating documents which provide certainty for users in three areas: certainty of cost certainty of process certainty of outcome Cost certainty For construction contracts, ‘certainty of cost’ means your contract should provide certainty covering a wide-range of cost topics […]

How BIM Affects Contracts

The guidance to ISO 19650 recognises that the legal and contractual matters of BIM are in a state of flux and development…the standards are not intended to provide prescriptive direction on the composition of BIM contract documents (whether consisting of a Protocol and/or other documents) and are subject to contractual terms agreed between the parties…[5.3] […]

Legal Design – Visuals in Contracts

Legal design in legal documents – such as contracts – is central critical to proactive and preventative law. I am learning more about the process in the Legal Creatives Academy, an on-line legal design school run by Tessa Manuello. Visuals covers a wide spectrum of items: images, icons, photographs, illustrations, diagrams, flowcharts, tables, pictures and […]


Legal Frustration There is a English legal doctrine called frustration. It acts to bring a contract prospectively to an end because of the effect of a supervening event ie it ends the contract early. It requires the law to recognise that: without default of either party a contractual duty is now impossible to perform because […]

Legal Design for User Needs

I have gone back to school – in December 2018 I joined the Legal Creatives Academy, an on-line legal design school run by Tessa Manuello. Her multi-faceted approach to legal creativity is not based on innovation for the sake of it. It is not designed primarily to save the time of fee-earners to make a […]