Category: Contracts

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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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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Contracts that are fit for their purpose

What is the purpose or function of a contract? Is the focus legal or operational? According to research from World Commerce and Contracting, contract users defined at least 11 functions for contracts including: legal: a record of the parties rights and responsibilities; protection and remedies in the event of a

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What is a performance bond?

What is a performance bond? Despite its name, a performance bond doesn’t guarantee performance – the surety promises to pay up to a specific sum for some sort of contractor breach provided the employer gives it enough evidence. If you’d like an analogy, think of them as a type of

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Is it obvious? It is necessary?

Any contract – whatever its subject, however long it is, whether paper-based, digital or verbal – can have terms added to by either legislation, custom or by case law. These additions are called implied terms. This post summarises a recent Court of Appeal decision which clarified when/how the courts can

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Contracts as User Guides?

Contracts have a wide variety of functions, but one which is too often overlooked is their role as a communication tool. For that they need to be accurate, legally sound and enhance trust. Communicating trust Trust is a many-faceted word, combining concepts of integrity, intent, capabilities and results (or, as

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Easy to access and understand?

In a recent claim for nearly £1.8m against an online betting company, the judge held that none of these features are… at first blush features of an open and fair consumer contract that is easy to access and understand. On the basis it is easier to learn from the mistakes

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What does your clause mean?

What your contract means is essentially decided by strangers. What you personally think is utterly irrelevant because of the importance of an objective view. What previous cases have said about an individual term or clause is also largely irrelevant because of the importance of context. Interpreting your contract When deciding

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5 reasons not to simplify your contract

In the interests of balance, I ought to explain not just why you should simplify your contracts but also provide some of the arguments I have heard against the idea. Don’t simplify Here are the five most popular excuses I have heard for keeping to the norm of complex, one-sided

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