Contract Interpretation and the Importance of Unambiguous Terms: Part 2 of 3

In part one of this series, we began our discussion of contract interpretation. This installment delves a bit deeper into several of the principles of contract construction that judges and arbitrators rely on to discern the meaning of ambiguous contract terms.

Read More

Analyzing the Cost of Poor Contracting

Poor contracting can take many forms. It may relate to imbalanced negotiating power, hasty and careless drafting, or inadequate oversight during performance. Regardless of when or why a contracting relationship deteriorates, there are going to be negative consequences for both parties, and this impact is always detrimental to the companies' bottom line. According to the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) “the average cost of poor contracting is 9.2% of an organisation's annual income - and even higher for large capital projects, up to 15% of the contract value.” Here are some of the costs associated with poor contracting and ways to avoid them:

Read More

Important Elements in Intellectual Property-Related Contracts

Contracts are used to formalize virtually all business transactions. Of course, they are appropriate instruments in situations beyond traditional buy/sell arrangements and employment agreements. Any circumstance that involves a mutual exchange of promises likely necessitates a formal, written contract. This is particularly true when there is valuable intellectual property (IP) at stake. Companies with important IP must utilize contracts to ensure that their internal staff and any external vendors or consultants with access to their IP information will act appropriately, irrespective of the timing and duration of that access. And, for employees engaged in or responsible for developing IP, it is imperative for companies to make it clear which party has the proprietary rights.

Read More

3 Tips to Avoid Protracted Contract Negotiations

Contracting is an important part of everyday dealings for most businesses. Although contracts constitute an important business asset, they don’t often get the attention they warrant. This oversight can lead to unnecessary costs and lost revenue in the long run. One reason that contracting ends up being a drain on company resources is due to ongoing or contentious negotiations. Here are three ways to avoid protracted contract negotiations:

Read More