Category: STAR

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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Trust in construction

At a Constructing Excellence event, I was one of a panel debating the issue of trust in construction. We discussed these themes and challenges: trust from the public: the Grenfell tragedy and inquiry have eroded public trust; there are sector initiatives which may start to rebuild that trust but we

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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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Contracts that are fit for their purpose

What is the purpose or function of a contract? Is the focus legal or operational? According to research from World Commerce and Contracting, contract users defined at least 11 functions for contracts including: legal: a record of the parties rights and responsibilities; protection and remedies in the event of a

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Contracts as User Guides?

Contracts have a wide variety of functions, but one which is too often overlooked is their role as a communication tool. For that they need to be accurate, legally sound and enhance trust. Communicating trust Trust is a many-faceted word, combining concepts of integrity, intent, capabilities and results (or, as

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Will machines jeopardise your working relationships?

My sneak peak at the responses so far to the 500words digital-first contracting survey shows some interesting trends on how current practices in contracting vary and how they might change in the future. So how might changes to the business landscape impact construction contracting? Will contracts embrace the rise of

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Trust-enhancing terms

As well as having a positive process, the terms in your contract can (and should) enhance the trust you already have* with your client/supplier, both through specific terms and through their general style and tone. Demonstrating trust First, check which of the 8 Habits of Defective Contracts you are guilty

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