2 weeks ago BCL Legal ran its final in house seminar of the year in conjunction with Addleshaw Goddard’s commercial team in Manchester: “Top Tips for Sales and Procurement Contracts”.
There is no doubt that in house commercial contracting has become more sophisticated over time and the aim of this session, presented by Luke Stubbs, a senior lawyer at Addleshaw Goddard, was to re-cap on some of the common key areas of commercial contracts. Luke has worked via secondment at the legal teams of The Co-operative, Sainsbury’s and AstraZeneca (where he also worked closely with the relevant procurement teams), so is in a particularly good position to talk about the practical commercial considerations of contracting for large companies.
The effect of electronic communications on commercial contracting was particularly interesting, and Luke talked us through several of the many cases coming through in this area at the moment.
Another recurring theme was the effect the current economic climate is having on commercial negotiations and “after-the-event” when disputes occur. It is clear that when times are hard it is more important than ever to ensure your business is well protected for every eventuality. As always, clarity is key!
Luke updated an audience made up of solicitors and legal advisors from leading in house legal jobs teams across the North West on topics including contract formation, incorporation of terms (and the Battle of the Forms”), the correct identification of parties (surprisingly this is often overlooked!), as well as some very useful drafting points on overseas parties, pricing/payment and dispute resolution mechanisms.
Feedback from the event was very positive, with the attendees saying that the content was very relevant to their day to day work, particularly the round-up of recent cases. This late 2011 seminar was also a good chance for lawyers to collect some valuable points early in the “CPD year” in an effort to avoid a last minute rush in 2012…
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