Tag: effective drafting

Copying Clauses on Concurrent Delay

If you understand the principles on concurrent delay then you might also be aware of the debate whether the contract should define concurrent delay and pass its risk to the contractor. In North Midland v Cyden, the parties amended the standard JCT contract to require: the contractor to make reasonable

Read More »

Everyone Prefers Simplicity

Christopher Trudeau (and Christine Cawthorne) have repeated their 2010 study of preferences in legal documents and communication to find out how lawyers can better serve their clients and the wider community. The conclusions? Their 2017 report says: clear legal communication is vitally important legal information is very widespread (with 80%

Read More »

Hoorah for Clauses

Hoorah! Not for Santa clauses (!)… instead I am referring to the means contact writers have for splitting the huge amount of data in a construction contract into manageable chunks. From studies by Miller in the fifties, it has long been known that we have a limited span of working

Read More »

Delay Damages: £1 or £1m per day?

Once you have realised the truth behind the pesky myths surrounding liquidated damages, you will need to consider what level of liquidated damages should go into your contracts. There are a number of options: If you state £nil, then the client cannot recover any of its losses for late completion

Read More »

Avoid Disputes with Wedding Cakes

Having considered the importance of clarity and records in avoiding disputes (both easier said than done), Susannah’s last post reviews the role of contract clauses that set out a series of dispute resolution options. These are tiered procedures, hence their nickname ‘wedding cake clauses’. Although you cannot avoid a dispute

Read More »

Winning the Contract Battle

Although we have had enforceable contracts in English law for 150+ years, the process by which they are formed remains something of a mystery. Our contract processes have been called ‘haphazard’, our approach ‘cavalier’, and we get stuck in endless games of email contract tennis. One way to resolve some

Read More »

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

Read More »

Top Tips from 2017

In my column for Construction Manager Magazine, I have provided a series of tips for anyone reading, writing or reviewing construction contracts. What should you do? Use your contracts as tools to help you complete the project, not as an expensive paper-weight [never shove your contracts in a drawer, October

Read More »

Great Things Come in Small Packages

David Hyner is terrified by detail, and Mike Pagan believes that contracts can be watertight, so how would they find talking to a construction contract lawyer? In my coffee shop podcast with YourBFG they asked me for my ‘mantra’ that kept me going… I remembered my mother’s words to create

Read More »

Edit ruthlessly

My 10 tips to improve your legal writing recommend you spend time ruthlessly crossing through, deleting or rewording your text. Whenever you can shorten a sentence, do. And one always can. The best sentence? The shortest. Gustave Flaubert You need to edit your text to create a document which suits

Read More »