Category: Strategy

Disastrous Disputes

Weirdly, avoiding disputes does not seem to be a key factor driving the drafting of contracts (although PPC2000 might be an exception). However, given the rising cost and time involved in resolving disputes, as well as the damage to reputations and the sustainability of a company, it should be. My

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The Dotted Line: Should we burn our contracts?

Over the summer months each newsletter will focus most of its attention on one of my four themes: showstoppers, trust, dispute avoidance or simplicity. This edition starts with showstoppers. Read the full edition here » If you’d like to receive The Dotted Line directly to your email inbox every second

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Contracting as a Process

In a series of articles for journals and LinkedIn, I have outlined my view of contracting as a process, rather than treating contracts as stand-alone documents and their creation as drive-by events. A contract process maturity model This is a tool designed to refine this idea and future-proof your contracting

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The Dotted Line: How to negotiate

During the Easter break, I listened to a podcast on How to Negotiate which reinforced some of my advice from previous newsletters. The negotiators said you must know your walk away position before you start, you should understand your why (what you are trying to achieve), and you should build

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Watertight Contracts

What is a watertight contract? In my view it is like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow – we’d all like it to exist, but it doesn’t. Recent examples like Pimlico plumbers, Uber and Oakhurst diary have shown how so-called watertight contracts have been leaking at

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Signatures Are Not Required

Getting a contract wet signed (pen & ink) is becoming increasingly difficult when many clients are virtual, businesses do not have offices, and the cost of postage outweighs the benefits. In the construction industry, parties often start with the intention of getting a signed contract, but these good intentions are

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Make It Essential

This post sets out the legal requirements and 4 bare minimum content essentials for a construction contract. Even where all of those exist, the courts sometimes decide there is no contract because all the essential terms were not agreed. The terms on which the parties were [of one mind] must

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No Written Contract? No Problem

A US$60m project for a luxury Caribbean resort came to a sorry end for many hundreds of disgruntled customers. Even if your project does not involve cabanas, windswept beaches or multi-million pound deals, you can learn from the lessons of Harlequin and its contractor. Setting the scene The ‘startling features’

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One-upmanship or trust?

Alan Sugar once said: I have always been an honest trader. I come from a school of traders where there was honour in the deal. No contracts, just a handshake and that’s it, done. That’s the way I prefer to do business… Can You Contract with a Handshake? looked at

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The Dotted Line: Do you love your contracts?

It’s been Valentine’s Day this week. When I first carried out my survey of construction contract users in 2014 I was surprised that 30% of respondents said they loved their contracts because they help them do business. Do you? Read it here » If you’d like to receive The Dotted

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