Category: Strategy

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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Preparing for the march of technology

Are you ready for digital first contracting? My survey seeks to find out broad opinions on current practices in contracting, and what the future may hold. It’s great to get a real-world view from across sectors and continents. However, low confidence in your organisation’s ability to manage the march of

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Will machines jeopardise your working relationships?

My sneak peak at the responses so far to the 500words digital-first contracting survey shows some interesting trends on how current practices in contracting vary and how they might change in the future. So how might changes to the business landscape impact construction contracting? Will contracts embrace the rise of

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Not fit for present purposes

One third of respondents to a 2021 Turner and Townsend survey believed that their construction contracts were unfit to address the impact of the pandemic on the project. I am not surprised. At the start of the UK lockdown, lawyers, contract users, advisers and professionals were scrabbling to find the

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A positive contracting process

You can have the best contract in the world, but if it is hard to get agreed, signed or to find, then it is not much use in managing your business relationships. You need a contract process that is a simple and positive experience for you and your clients/suppliers. Simplifying

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