Type Speaker CPD Hours Level
5 UpdateInformation
Accreditation Information
SRA Competency B


This live virtual classroom conference chaired by Mark Weston will examine a range of topical issues. The panel of leading experts will discuss topics from contract interpretation to force majeure.

Each session will provide opportunity for questions and answers.

Conference Agenda

This live and interactive 5 hour conference will cover the following:

10.00am-11.00am: Opening Address: How Do You Form a Contract?

Chair: Mark Weston, Hill Dickinson LLP

One major pitfall that many companies undergo is loose procedures around forming contracts. Sometimes one department has formed a legally binding agreement - often by accident - while the lawyers are still negotiating the document they think will be the statement of that binding deal when signed.

This session helps avoid those pitfalls and will include:

  • Ingredients to form a contract
  • Classical:
    • Offer
    • Acceptance
    • Consideration
    • Battle of the forms
    • Other elements in formation
  • Sui generis formation: Adobe formation
  • Distinctions between negotiations and contracts:
    • Have you accidentally formed a contract while negotiating?
      • The 6 steps of Pagnan Freres
      • ‘Subject to contract’
      • ‘Without prejudice’

11.00am-12.00pm: Contract Interpretation

Mark Weston, Hill Dickinson LLP

Drafting contracts is a skill that needs to be used carefully in the context of how people will understand the words you have written. Different jurisdictions have different ways of reading words. The position under English law has also evolved to reach the position where it is today.

This session examines all of these issues and will include:

  • Systems of law
  • Civil law v common law approaches
  • Precedent (and some Latin)
  • Clarity and ambiguity: Arnold v Britton
  • Ambiguity: Investors Compensation Scheme v West Bromwich
  • Classical contract interpretation (6 canons)
  • Modern contract interpretation (10 principles)
  • The effect of Brexit on contract drafting and interpretation
  • Admissible background
  • Private dictionary principles

Break for lunch

1.00pm-2.00pm: Force Majeure

Keith Markham

Force majeure clauses are a regular feature in the boilerplate section of most commercial contracts but are often inserted with little thought as to their practical application.

Recent events have brought these clauses to the forefront of everyone’s attention and this session looks at the key issues in terms of interpreting existing clauses and considering how such clauses should be drafted in the future.

This session will include:

  • Defining force majeure events - the less detail the better?
  • Causation
  • Prevention and mitigation obligations
  • Notification and termination
  • Summary of relevant case law

2.00pm-3.00pm: Liquidated Damages & Other Purchasers' Remedies

Helen Swaffield, Contract Law Chambers

The use of liquidated damages in agreements has seen an unprecedented rise. This session will include:

  • Late again- time is of the essence - conditions after Ark Shipping
  • The Makdessi drafting wins for primary obligations
  • The secondary obligation drafting traps ‘defaulting suppliers’
  • When does/can the LDs stop - on termination or on delivery?
  • Supplier's response to manage the LD exposure
  • Sole remedies or as well as general damages?
  • Caps to include the LDs
  • The test of ‘out of all proportion’ re-examined in the light of new cases

PM break

3.15pm-4.15pm: Boilerplates for the Brave

Helen Swaffield, Contract Law Chambers

This session includes the latest cases which change the drafting and litigation of boilerplates and will also include:

  • No set-off: equitable or legal?
  • Variation - side letters
  • No waiver- is it specific enough to operate?
  • Interpretation - a Brexit refresh
  • Blocks and e-signatures

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Learn Live | 17.12.2020

N/A | 10:00am - 4:15pm

Drafting Commercial Contracts - 2020 Virtual Conference

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10:00am - 4:15pm

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Discounts are available for multiple places. If you have 4 or more people interested in participating in this virtual learning session please email us at information@mblseminars.com for more information.

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