Sarah Fox, director at 500 Words Ltd, collaborated with niche legal practice: Helix Law LLP, to present a half-day seminar for their clients on “Understanding JCT Contracts”.


Helix Law LLP is a growing legal practice, started in 2012 by Jonathan Waters, which specialises in clear, practical and concise advice for a fixed fee and results-based fees. It has offices in Brighton and much of its work is with SMEs working in or for the construction industry.

It has pioneered innovative approaches to helping its clients to run their businesses and manage their legal risks as effectively as possible.

500 Words’ Role

Sarah Fox liaised with Jonathan Waters and Carly Moorman to determine the most appropriate content, format, room layout, pre-event marketing and event administration to maximise the return for both Helix Law and its clients.

Sarah provided assistance and advice to Helix Law LLP as well as helping to market the event through social media and conventional channels. The aim was to ensure that the attendees got both great content as well as a good opportunity to network with other contacts and the speakers.

The Challenge

The global construction industry suffers from disputes based on failing to read, use or understand their contracts. The purpose of the event was to help contract users to understand the basics of creating legally binding contracts, choosing the right form, operating the relevant mechanisms and using effective remedies.

All this was focused on helping the audience to avoid disputes in the future.

The Event

On 14th September 2015, nearly 50 clients and contacts attended the half-day seminar at Brighton’s Lighthouse, to hear about topics such as:

Sessions on dealing with changes in the contract used case studies based on Richard III, the Wembley stadium and Mr Forsyth’s infamously shallow swimming pool. This helped bring the subject to life and make sure the content was practical and relevant to all the businesses attending, whether fit-out contractors or surveyors or main contractors.

The Outcome

The session prompted the audience to contact Helix Law with questions. One delegate said “always believing JCTs to be scary, I now see that they are simple and have the confidence to ask questions and seek help.”

Jonathan said “Sarah draws on her deep knowledge of the subject to give a lively and engaging seminar with practical takeaways for the delegates. As well as being a dynamic speaker, she understands how to promote an event, and is a pleasure to work with.