Category: Aims

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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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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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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Aims – are you set up to succeed?

Frankly it has always surprised me that so many contracts lack a statement of the obvious ie what is the specific purpose or aim of the goods, works or services to be provided. Meeting expectations — and even exceeding them — can only come about by truly understanding what’s important

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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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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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Fitness for purpose aka promising the impossible

One of the contract traps for anyone providing construction works is a fitness for purpose obligation. This type of strict liability output obligation is rarely expressly included in a construction contract* (one of the arguments being that it is not covered by standard insurances). However… Fit for furpose Whenever I

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Clear contracts create success

In studying the role of contract visualization, Stefania Passera’s doctoral dissertation Beyond the wall of contract text (2017), she cites research that: Clear and implementable contract terms are crucial in building successful business relationships Well-structured and well-developed agreements foster better relations Long-term successful relationships require strengthened terms on communication, role

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What timescales should I include?

Copies of my book How to Write Simple and Effective Consultant Appointments in Just 500 Words have been prompting contacts, clients and friends to actually sit down and review their existing contracts. Bill Evans from D2E said “I must say, it was easy and compelling reading. The contents provides so

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What’s the problem you solve?

A contract, whether it is a multi-million pound construction project, a structural survey on a house you were buying, or the design of your porch, is there to solve a client’s problem. Client’s don’t buy drills, they buy a tool to help them create holes. Client’s don’t buy porches, they

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