Category: Law

A messy contract divorce

How patient are you? Frankly, I am not sure if my home was in chaos and my son was about to sit important exams, that I’d be very patient at all! But that doesn’t mean I would be contractually ‘in the right’. This lesson comes from a relatively simple refurbishment

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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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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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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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Right to finish (part 2)

Do you really want to sign up to a contract that allows your client (or the main contractor) to keep taking work away from you and giving it to someone else? Contracts both entitle and oblige the provider to perform the whole of its scope – what I call a

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Retention as leverage

What is the retention? Is it, as I have suggested, the contractor’s money which the employer is holding to ransom? Is it security for any defects discovered during the defects period which the contractor fails to put right? Is it a form of commercial leverage? In Yeovil v The Stepping

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Design life: duty or desire?

Any construction project (or product) can be stated to have a specific design life – normally listed in calendar years. Recent cases have reviewed if a design life is a promise ie an actionably duty or a mere statement of intent or desire: sinking wind turbines: a requirement for these

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