Category: Contracts

Doing deals badly

The process of getting a deal done should be simple – but somehow we often far more complex than it needs to be… through time pressures, through inconsistency, or through burying our heads! In a recent English court case (CLS Civil v WJG Evans), the buyer and the supplier tied

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What does success look like?

It is relatively simple to work out what the success of a project looks like. For a construction project, the focus will be on the core aims of time, cost and quality, and more recently wider issues such as environmental, social or governance (ESG). A construction project score might rate

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Only if you comply

When considering UK construction standard form contracts, it has been clear to most users that the NEC suite contains a condition precedent or time-bar clause, whilst the JCT suite does not. Conditions precedent under the JCT suite Strictly speaking, that view has not been true since Walter Lilly v Mackay

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The pompous pedestal?

Lawyers are coached into an ‘unnatural way of being’ (according to Elizabeth de Stadler of Novcon) which covers how they behave in meetings, how they interact with colleagues and clients and how they write – from emails to contracts. She says we need to unlearn those behaviours as they create

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Relational contracts for better relationships

At the 2023 World Commerce and Contracting Summit, Elizabeth de Stadler from Novcon said: we should not lose sight of what we are actually here to do: which after all is to… help clients to form relationships and to define the rules of those relationships in a way that is

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Limiting letters of intent

Financial limits in letters of intent are used to protect the client – because they rarely include a fixed price and are relying on ‘reasonable costs’ – and as an incentive for the contractor to sign the full contract.   These limits on the client’s liability to pay for works are

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Using contracts to share risk

The risks on a project, as well as the rewards, need to be shared equitably. Contracts have a significant role to play in what is sometimes referred to as managing with risk ie going ahead with a project while accepting that there will always be a degree of uncertainty… and

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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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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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