Category: Law

Your Contract Style

There isn’t one way to draft a contract or legal document, whatever you may have been told. These tips will help you create a better contract. Any Format In England/Wales, there is no specific format or style or content for most contracts. It doesn’t even have to be written down.

Read More »

What is the Battle of the Forms?

Since 1977 lawyers have talked about the importance in contract formation of the ‘battle of the forms’. What is this and how does it affect you if you are in business? What is ‘The Battle of the Forms’? Lord Denning coined the phrase ‘battle of the forms’ in Butler Machine

Read More »

Fair Payment In Construction

The Government Construction Strategy 2025 set out a blueprint of how to create a modern, effective and sustainable construction industry. It’s aim was – through initiatives, policy and legislation – to ensure that: “Construction in 2025 is no longer characterised, as it once was, by late delivery, cost overruns, commercial

Read More »

Guidance for Architects

According to Tony Bingham, the case of West v Finlay [2013], provides “a superb set of guidance notes for every architect.” Despite the case’s length (nearly 400 paragraphs) he recommended in his column that every architect should “go chapter and verse through this case to learn the lessons.” To save

Read More »

10 Essentials for a Construction Contract

I have been developing a set of minimum requirements for construction contracts. Rather than start with a contract and edit madly, I started with a blank sheet of paper and worked out what I needed. I decided on ten essentials. First and foremost you need to know who is involved:

Read More »

Set Reasonable Delay Damages

Liquidated (or delay) damages are pre-set damages (listed in the contract) which make it simpler and quicker to recover compensation when the other party to the contract defaults or commits a breach. One such example is the notice from a hotel chain to charge £100 if a guest smokes in

Read More »

Use LADs to Compensate (not Deter)

In order to avoid technical defences to an agreed level of damages (liquidated damages), you should concentrate on making sure the purpose of the clause is made really clear. Compensation In Lorsdvale v Zambia, the question whether the amount was a penalty or a genuine pre-estimate was based on: “whether

Read More »

Failure is Your New Best Friend

Contracts should help you do business. But we have to be realistic. Change happens. Risk events occur. Humans are fallible. Most contracts do not anticipate ‘failure’ in stark terms. However, not every project will be a success, especially those which are on the edges of what is currently possible. Is

Read More »

Quality: Fit for What Purpose?

Fitness for purpose is a phrase much debated and bandied about. But what does it really mean? What your contract needs If you want your contract to provide a project which is ‘fit for purpose’ you need three things: a contractor responsible for both design and construction (either D&B or

Read More »

Fitness for Purpose: No Guarantee

It is readily accepted that products, goods, components and materials have to be reasonably fit for their purpose. That is, after all, what statute provides (Sale of Goods Act 1979 and The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982). But does this also extend to something as big as a

Read More »