Category: STAR

What’s it worth?

Construction disputes are a great source of lessons for everyone in the sector. But we must remember that those stories may be tragedies for the parties, especially individuals. As a lawyer, I am often asked to comment on friends’ issues and, having listened to their litany of woes – my

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Smart contracts and trust

As you know, I believe one of the key things missing from contractual relationships is trust. The prevailing view is that smart contracts will assist with that. But is that really true? Trust in digital In my digital-first survey, trust with contracting partners was most closely associated with companies the

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Are we ready for techno-contracting?

In the last decade, advances in technology have significantly changed our lives, from our homes to our businesses. Techno-contracting – the use of AI, machine learning or blockchain – will change the way businesses write, create, review, negotiate and sign business deals. 2020 saw a massive increase in the use

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Skill and care: no guarantee

The issue of quality is a thorny one on construction projects and covers everything from the construction process, to use and performance. The two main standards are reasonable skill and care, or fitness for purpose. Unless a contract clearly specifies a different standard, then you may have to rely on

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Assess risks carefully

It is quicker, cheaper and easier to learn from the mistakes of others, than to make you own. After a hot oil popcorn factory burnt down, the courts reviewed the risk analysis that the designers/installers and owners carried out when contracting for a fire suppression system. They were not impressed!

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Having your cake and eating it

An English idiom, from the 16th century confirms that you cannot both eat your cake and have it… which has been reversed (nonsensically) into ‘you cannot have your cake and eat it’! For contracts, this means you cannot have all three core objectives in one project. You cannot have both

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Be user-friendly

Contracts are not often described as user-friendly… more often they are noted as being the opposite. That may be harsh if it comes from a user, but it is feedback you need to act on if it comes from a judge. Not user-friendly In Blu-Sky v Be Caring the English

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Change behaviour (with contracts?)

Trying to change embedded behaviours is difficult – it’s hard enough in children, never mind adults! When discussing contracts, do you consider how the terms and processes will affect the users? Do contracts change behaviours? Of course, the contract could just represent what the parties already do. But surely that

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Liability linked to commitments

At a recent event, one of the delegates stated “liability has to be proportional to the commitments being made.” This is otherwise described as risk v reward. What we know – from the World Commerce and Contracting Most Negotiated Terms Report – is that limits on liability are the most

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