Category: Strategy

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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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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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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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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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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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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Why simplify your contracts?

Contracts are the lifeblood of business. We’ve been using them for millennia, so why should your business follow the global trend and focus on making them simple? Contracts should: effectively communicate what each company involved in the project needs to do (allocating responsibilities) reflect the changing needs of the parties

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