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


This live broadcast 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: Tweaking the Strength of Obligation

Mark Weston, Hill Dickinson LLP

The secret to a successful negotiation is being able to reach a fair compromise on the risks, rights and liabilities in any deal. Knowing how to tweak and calibrate those risks, rights and liabilities is a key drafting skill. This session explains clearly the nuances, benefits and pitfalls - and sharpens skills in these areas.

This session will cover:

  • The obligation spectrum: shall, will and endeavours
  • Calibrating the quality of a clause and the remedies at law: CWI
  • The difference between warranting, undertaking and representing
  • The difference between warranties and indemnities

AM break

11:10am -12:10pm: The Latest from the Courts on Contract Interpretation

Mark Weston, Hill Dickinson LLP

Knowing how to draft a contract is only beneficial if the drafter has a clear understanding of how the words used (and not used) will be interpreted in the event of a dispute. This session shows the Courts’ latest thinking and pronouncements on the techniques and methods used by the Courts to interpret words in a contract.

This session will cover:

  • Systems of law
  • Civil law v common law approaches
  • Precedent (and some latin)
  • Interpretation and construction
  • Classical contract interpretation (6 canons)
  • Clarity and ambiguity
  • Modern contract interpretation (10 principles)
  • The relevance of background to a contract

12:10pm-1:10pm: Force Majeure and Frustration

Keith Markham

Force majeure clauses often languish unnoticed in the boilerplate section of a contract until something goes wrong, at which point they are considered in minute detail in the hope of being relied upon. Similarly, frustration is a little-known common law doctrine that can be relied upon in certain specific circumstances.

Brexit and COVID-19 have brought these issues to prominence once again and this session looks at the most important aspects of force majeure clauses as well as the circumstances in which frustration may apply.

This session will include:

Force Majeure

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


  • Relationship with force majeure clauses
  • Frustration by supervening illegality
  • Frustration of common purpose
  • Summary of relevant case law

Break for lunch

2:00pm-3:00pm: Lucky 7 - New Cases to Change Your Drafting

Helen Swaffield, Contract Law Chambers

This session will include a review of 7 recent cases concerning a drafting point to check or change and will include:

  • Law and jurisdiction after Brexit
  • Indemnities - one small change, one giant step to enforcement
  • Obligations - up or down?
  • Endeavours - difference between reasonable and all reasonable
  • Limitation of liability the aggregation and capped amounts
  • Force majeure - Coronavirus extension
  • IPR - change the definition after Brexit

PM Break

3:15pm-4:15pm: Dealing with Non-Parties Successfully

Helen Swaffield, Contract Law Chambers

Privity is a powerful principle. This session will include the practicalities of dealing with different parties and will cover:

  • Sub-contractors - flow down tips
  • Third party rights - in or out?
  • Collateral warranties - check the entire agreement
  • De-risking the group using the indemnities
  • Delivering services to non-contracting parties and limiting liability
  • Novation and assignment traps

Book now

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Learn Live | 01.11.2021

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

Drafting Commercial Contracts - 2021 Virtual Conference

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10:00am - 4:15pm

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Discounts are available for multiple places. If you have 5 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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