Category: STAR

Changing motives

One of the respondents to my survey on the future of contracts told me (rather depressingly) that No-one cares about the contract. They just want the goods… But it is actually more nuanced. There are two different motives for two distinct stages: before signature: the parties are only focused on

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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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The Ideal Subcontract

The scandal of construction, according to the Huxtable Report (1983) is: the persistent and continuing imposition as a matter of deliberate policy… of onerous and unfair subcontract conditions. An ideal subcontract, said the Report, was which set out the rights and obligations of the subcontractor as clearly as possible, was

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Responsible and fair

In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, parties have been burrowing into the depths of their small print like never before. I am not convinced this is the answer. For once, I am NOT alone! The UK government has issued guidance for parties to public sector contracts (PPN 02/2020) and

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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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Restricting your freedom to contract

Although you can agree pretty much anything you like under freedom to contract, there are some restrictions on that freedom: legislation: laws can mandate minimum requirements, outlaw certain terms and allow others only within specific parameters contract: a contract can restrict the parties’ rights in the future on a specific

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Beware Sloppy Procedures

Construction contracts contain a plethora of terms which require one party to give a notice to the other party. This used to require hard copy documents to be sent by post or fax. We have moved with the times, and many notices can now be provided by email to a

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What You Need to Know About Getting Paid

Cashflow is King. Yet getting paid is a perennial problem across all projects, sectors and countries. But do you know how bad it really is? Global data According to the IACCM 2015 Report Payment Terms: Do Large Companies Abuse their Power?: 51% companies find that negotiating payment terms is becoming

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What Does Co-operation Really Mean?

Is it enough to just cc people into emails and hold a few meetings so everyone is informed about progress? Short answer: no. Long answer, read on… Rubbing along together Although there is no overriding duty of good faith under English law (a limited duty appears in some relational contracts),

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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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