Category: Contracts

Be user-friendly

Contracts are not often described as user-friendly… more often they are noted as being the opposite. That may be harsh if it comes from a user, but it is feedback you need to act on if it comes from a judge. Not user-friendly In Blu-Sky v Be Caring the English

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Change behaviour (with contracts?)

Trying to change embedded behaviours is difficult – it’s hard enough in children, never mind adults! When discussing contracts, do you consider how the terms and processes will affect the users? Do contracts change behaviours? Of course, the contract could just represent what the parties already do. But surely that

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Easy to find: structuring your contract

A contract is not just a set of legal terms. Contracts include: processes such as change management deliverables and KPIs works information programming payment schedules policies and codes of conduct A completed contract is a mix of commercial, operational, legal and technical items. The difficulty for most users is finding

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Liability linked to commitments

At a recent event, one of the delegates stated “liability has to be proportional to the commitments being made.” This is otherwise described as risk v reward. What we know – from the World Commerce and Contracting Most Negotiated Terms Report – is that limits on liability are the most

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Design for use not abuse

According to data from World Commerce and Contracting, a mere 0.007% of contracts end in serious dispute (and even fewer end in tribunal proceedings). So why do we mostly draft contracts as tools for legal enforcement and not as tools for project management? And why do we take the same

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‘Cut and shut’ contracts

If you’re a driver, then you may be familiar with the phrase ‘cut & shut’ which refers to two write-off vehicles being welded together to make a ‘new and improved’ model. This happens with contracts. The clauses or halves might not have been write-offs but the resulting document is surely

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Mind your language… to avoid disputes

What are the best ways to avoid disputes on construction projects? You’d fully expect me to recommend a decent contract, but don’t just take my word for it. This post reviews the 2021 Arcadis Global Disputes Report to extract the nuggets you need to avoid disputes on your projects. Tips

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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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