Category: Write

Contractions in contracts

I was chatting to Jeremy who havd reviewed one of my template contracts. He was fine with its content but said he would be even less formal in his contract/proposal; in particular he would use contractions. So where I had written I will he would use I’ll. I didn’t disagree

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Trust and the wrong tone

Dominic Cummings, a UK Government advisor, was outed for an ill-conceived trip to Barnard Castle during the Spring 2020 lockdown (a place which ought to be famous for its mechanical silver swan rather than policital shenanigans). In his statement, he made a series of increasingly bizarre claims about testing his

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No contract? No money!

In English law, most contracts do not need to be in writing to be valid. However, not every conversation leads to a contract… so how do the courts draw the line? Tell-tale signs After a telephone call between two businesses, one claimed £1m in fees from the other for services

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Limits on the Contractor’s Liability under MF/1

MF/1 is a balanced contract providing plenty of opportunities for the purchaser to check the performance of the works – through three series of tests – before the contractor is released from liability.  It also clearly sets out limits on the contractor’s obligations. Limits on scope If you are acting

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Limited guarantees

The Scottish appeal court has recently agreed with something I have been asserting for years, that a collateral warranty is impliedly limited by the scope and terms of the underlying agreement. What is a warranty? A warranty is a simple document designed to create contractual links between the provider of

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Contracts Create Disputes

The Global Construction Disputes Report 2019 (by Arcadis) confirms that failure to understand or comply with the contract is the number one cause of disputes globally. Professor Renato Nazzini, in his guest foreword says: It would be tempting to look for solutions in ever more complex, more detailed contractual documents

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Peace of Mind

I went from nodding in agreement to shaking my head in just two sentences: A contract sets out the expectations of both the client and the contractor. A contract gives you the peace of mind that the contractor will deliver the project within an agreed timeframe, at an agreed cost

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Tried and Tested

Do you want a tried and tested contract? Really? Tried before the courts because it wasn’t clear enough? Tested by years of use and abuse [read Ken Adams’ view on tested language in contracts]? One of those contracts which surveys have held stoke mistrust? Or one of the ones which

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What No Retention?

Retention has had its day… Unjustified late and non-payment of a retention is unacceptable BEIS Report October 2017 Or perhaps that is wishful thinking? Build UK is implementing the Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter to move to zero retentions by 2025 (although some more enlightened employers like Network Rail have

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What is legal design?

As with any new discipline, there are many ways of defining legal design. It is: A movement to make law more accessible, usable and engaging (Emma Jelley) A merger of legal and design thinking to improve processes and outcomes (Helena Haapio) Preventing legal problems and empowering the users (Stefania Passera)

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