ONLINE: Introduction to Contracts

ONLINE: Introduction to Contracts

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£510 – £600


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    This popular 5-hour course provides training and practical exercises as an introduction to contract drafting and is taught by Mark Anderson

    About this event

    Day 1 from 9:45 - 1pm and Day 2 from 10am - 1pm

    About this course

    This course explains why contracts look the way they do. We highlight the useful features of a contract and the unnecessary features that reflect ‘tradition’. We deconstruct some of the jargon and complexity, and show how contracts can (and should) be written in straightforward language. We explain the process that lawyers, clients and support staff typically follow when working with contracts. We discuss the different stages in the life of a contract, and some of the activities that are encountered at each stage. These stages include drafting, negotiating, approving, signing, administering, performing, amending, terminating and litigating contracts.

    This practical course is designed for people who wish to understand contracts better. You don’t need to be a lawyer to benefit from the course, though it contains information that would be useful to paralegals, trainees and even qualified lawyers who are not used to looking at contracts and would like an introduction to the subject. Past participants have included a team of engineering project managers from a water utility company, a team of legal secretaries from a well-known media company, and research contract managers from universities and research funding bodies. Managers and administrators who are new to a role that involves working with contracts will find the course useful, as will more experienced staff who would like to understand better the legal and commercial background to their work with contracts.

    Specific topics to be considered in the workshop will include:

    • What makes it a contract?
    • Why are contracts written this way?
    • The process of negotiating and signing contracts
    • Administering existing contracts, including record-keeping
    • Amending and terminating contracts
    • Administering disputes over contracts

    Comments from previous attenders of this course:

    • Everything was explained clearly and the subject matter was interesting.
    • The course was really well paced – We didn’t spend too long on each individual topic, but long enough to feel confident in what was being discussed.
    • Really easy to follow, yet subject matter was quite in depth. Easily applicable to a technology transfer environment.
    • Just wanted to thank you for organising the above course. I thought it was excellent. I thought Mark was informative and extremely interesting and we were all commenting on how nice he was. Great course, very worthwhile and really felt like I have learnt something and used my brain.

    Learning Outcomes

    At the end of this course, attenders should be familiar with the basic structure of a conventional commercial agreement, some standard techniques for writing contractual obligations clearly, the typical process for negotiating and signing contracts, the need for monitoring contractual obligations after signature, and the process for terminating contracts.

    Course schedule:

    DAY ONE:

    09:45 Introduction to day’s course

    • Overview of managing and administering contracts
    • What makes it a binding a contract?
    • Different types of contract and non-contract

    10:00 Why are contracts written this way?

    • Typical contract formats
    • Legal language and terminology
    • Techniques for drafting clear contracts – avoiding the whereases and hereinafters

    [Short comfort break at about 11:15]

    11:30 Negotiation and signature of contracts

    • Avoiding premature contractualisation – “subject to contract” etc
    • Approval and signing formalities, witnessing, notarisation
    • Practical aspects of making sure the contract is properly executed

    [Short comfort break at about 12:00]

    12:10 Administration of existing contracts

    • Responsibility for (a) managing, (b) administering contract
    • Maintaining original contracts; pdf copies of signed versions
    • Recording key events and obligations; contracts databases
    • Contract negotiation files; archiving and destruction
    • Contract amendments

    12:40 Practical exercises; discussion of answers to exercises

    13:00 End of First Day


    10:00 Termination of contracts

    • Sending a valid notice of termination – what does the contract require?
    • Calculation of time periods (e.g. “3 months’ notice”)
    • Consequences of termination – actions

    10:30 Contractual disputes

    • Different types of dispute
    • Practical steps for dealing with disputes; protecting your organisation’s legal position
    • “Privileged” and “without prejudice” correspondence
    • Different types of dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration and litigation – which method (and location) is preferred?
    • What will your lawyers need from you if a dispute arises?

    [Short comfort break at about 11:00]

    11:40 Interpretation of contracts by the courts

    • How is contractual wording interpreted?
    • Words that have a special legal meaning, eg indemnities, warranties, representations

    [Short comfort break at about 12:00]

    12:10 Group discussion of a detailed contract

    13:00 Course ends

    See the full course details, tutor biography, fees and cancellation terms on the UCL Laws website

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