Blog

Don’t take it literally

There are two ways that law courts (at least in England) have interpreted contracts: literally and purposefully. The literal approach is the more classic or traditional way of interpreting documents. The problem with the literal approach is that it led contract writers into a number of sins: very detailed drafting

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Sarah Fox

The Dotted Line: The perfect approach

Good fences make good neighbours… and good clear contracting including simple terms make good client relationships.  Read the full edition here Much of what this newsletter discusses is from my conversation with Alan Berg on his podcast. You can listen to our 30-minutes of chat here (or on your preferred platform) or

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Last minute legals

The process for creating contracts is dysfunctional so the language for creating contracts is dysfunctional… [Ken Adams] When time is tight, the only realistic way to record the legal content of the deal is to copy and paste from a similar deal.  But does this really work for the buyer

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Pedants or public?

Who do we… who should we write contracts to please? Not, as you’ve noticed, who do we write contracts for. But who should we write contracts to please. If a client asks me to write a contract for their business, there are two primary readers I need to consider: my

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Love and celebrate deals

How many times does the legal process suck the life out of your deal? Legals are meant to support and work with sales, marketing and procurement. Too often, we hear that legals are more of a barrier to doing business – they sabotage sales. Back in 2011 the Office for

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Lessons from failure: don’t delay

They say that no plan ever survives first contact with reality. This can also be true of your contract process. You need to be flexible with what you want as any contract requires both buyer and seller to agree to the terms. A £40m construction dispute amply demonstrates the pitfalls

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Sarah Fox

The Dotted Line: What would you say?

If I asked you whether you are good at your job, what would you say? If I asked you whether you were a good parent/sibling/child, what would you say? If I asked you whether your organization was good at doing deals, what would you say? Read the full edition here

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Using and sharing info

Often in contracts, clauses relating to using and sharing information are split into ‘legal chapter headings’ ie topics that make sense to the contract writer but don’t necessarily reflect the needs of the contract user. When I create contracts I prefer a user-focused heading like ‘using and sharing documents and

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Will they pay on time?

Late payment is a perennial issue, and the UK construction sector is no exception. When the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 introduced mandatory reporting on Payment Practices and Performance in 2017, not a single BuildUK main contractor member paid invoices within 30 days. A payment period of 30

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Dastardly definitions

The benefit of using a Defined Term (usually with initial capital letters) in a contract or legal document is that it makes it easier to read, and consistent. However… when used to excess they can easily backfire: elements of the commercial deal do not belong in a definitions section, acronyms

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