Why should you choose this course?
Understanding the fundamentals of contract law is becoming more and more important to software companies: contracts are getting longer and more detailed and the risk of pitfalls increases with every step. Contracts are not just for the bottom draw, but are a living part of any commercial relationship and everyone involved in delivery needs to be aware of the impact of what they do when interacting with business partners. You don't need to be a legal wizard to know every point, but you do need to know what the major risk areas are – what are the points to avoid, which are the ones to look out for and when you need to take advice. Most important of all, you need to know what steps you can take to minimise your commercial risks and run a set of contracts.
Who should attend?
This course is aimed at anyone who comes into contact with contracts – in particular those people responsible for negotiating them and agreeing terms. It will therefore be of interest to those working in bid teams, account managers and senior executives.
During the course of the day, the course leader will take delegates through all stages of a project, from entering into a contract through to termination, taking in all the various risk areas along the way. The most important part of the day is working through the workshop scenarios – real scenarios taken from real-life cases – to illustrate what can go wrong and what steps can be taken to avoid or minimise the risks.
What is the agenda?
The sessions and workshop scenarios will go through the following crucial areas:
- How to enter into a contract – what do you need to get a binding contract, the "battle of the forms" – and how to win it.
- How not to enter into a contract – doing so unwittingly, "letters of intent", "heads of agreement", "MOU's".
- Tendering, misrepresentation, entire agreement clauses – a threat and an opportunity, timescales and milestones, promises about scope which cannot be met.
- How the courts interpret contracts – why they might not mean what you think they mean.
- Meaning of common expressions – reasonable endeavours, good faith, orders of precedence, agreements to agree, implied terms, change control and scope creep.
- Limits of liability, "penalty" clauses, liquidated damages, the Unfair Contract Terms Act, direct and indirect/consequential loss, loss of profits.
- The end-game – force majeure, material breach, repudiatory breach, termination, "boilerplate" provisions – and what happens if you terminate when you are not entitled to.
Who is the course leader?
Richard Stephens is the founder of LORS (The Law Office of Richard Stephens) and has been a prominent solicitor specialising in the IT industry for 30 years. His experience goes across handling some of the largest disputes in the IT sector as well as being involved in negotiations and re-negotiations for major systems procurements, outsourcing and hosting agreements as well as many other types of contract. He has been acknowledged as a "Leader in his Field" by Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession. He is currently the Chair of techUK's own Legal Affairs Group, but is also a Fellow of the Society for Computers & Law, of the British Computer Society and of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
"At HPD, we found the course provided by Richard Stephens to be invaluable. His clear delivery of the key facts, with real examples of how things can go wrong, were really easy to get to grips with and everyone who took part, from account managers to senior executives, really found the course insightful; it will certainly shape much of our day to day operation. Having your eyes open in any contractual matters is both good for your business and for your clients. I would certainly recommend this course to anyone in the Information Technology delivery market."
Kevin Day, COO at HPD Software Limited
"I work with contracts on a daily basis, and this course has given me a more thorough understanding of the basics of English contract law. Richard Stephens is incredibly experienced and pitches this course at just the right level and tempo."
David Shaw, Mapping Specialist, Paragon Software Systems plc
What is the cost of the course?
techUK Members - £395.00 + VAT
Non Members - £595.00 + VAT
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