Blog

The Dotted Line: How flexible are you?

Are you guilty of fixing plans too early? My in-laws’ plans for a quiet wedding in 1966 needed a tweak when England made it into the World Cup Final on their wedding day.  Do you really think we can predict the future and, if not, do we have contracts that are flexible enough to stay

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Working with 500 Words – contract FAQs

If you want to know the types of business we work with, or the work we do, please visit our general FAQs. If you want us to speak at your event or deliver an in-house workshop, please have a look at our speaking pages. As a contract writer If you

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Trust in construction

At a Constructing Excellence event, I was one of a panel debating the issue of trust in construction. We discussed these themes and challenges: trust from the public: the Grenfell tragedy and inquiry have eroded public trust; there are sector initiatives which may start to rebuild that trust but we

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Working with 500 Words – General FAQs

What would it be like to work with 500 Words? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions… Who do we work with? Our work focuses on the UK construction and engineering sector. We review/write contracts relating to construction and engineering projects, design and deliver workshops for companies in this

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A messy contract divorce

How patient are you? Frankly, I am not sure if my home was in chaos and my son was about to sit important exams, that I’d be very patient at all! But that doesn’t mean I would be contractually ‘in the right’. This lesson comes from a relatively simple refurbishment

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The Dotted Line: Making myself redundant

I am a turkey voting for Christmas – my goal is to make myself redundant!  Although my whole business is based on contracts (talks, workshops, consultancy), ultimately I want contract users to have the tools and skills to create, adapt, negotiate and complete their contracts withoutneeding my help. Read the

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Using standard forms

Creating a contract on a standard form is relatively straightforward… isn’t it? Ms Wild bought a 1970s house in Cheshire and wanted to renovate it. Her professional drawn up specification envisaged that any contract would be on the RIBA Domestic Building Contract 2014 (a relatively short and simple building contract).

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Contracts need clarity

What happens when your contract lacks clarity? How will the English courts interpret it? In Mott MacDonald v Trant Engineering, the judge reminded contract writers and users of these principles by which they work out what your contract words actually mean: if the words are not ambiguous, then the courts

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The Dotted Line: Things have changed

This week my eldest son is 21. Back in 2000, we couldn’t record his every move as no-one owned a camera phone, we couldn’t share his image with relatives across the world as Facebook hadn’t been dreamt up, we couldn’t press play to sing him a lullaby wherever we were

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Record it fully

The problem with being too focused on the deal, is that sometimes you don’t record what you think you have both agreed. In Donovan v Grainmarket (2021), the Court of Appeal said: the task of deciding what the parties had agreed was not easy [as] the parties’ contract was not

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