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Contracts - Reading, Writing & Negotiating

Understanding contract law has become an essential part of conducting our daily business functions. Whether you are in purchasing, contract management, subcontracts, project management, general management or sales, you are constantly involved with legal and contract principles, sometimes without even realizing it.

Too often the wording used in Contracts is not properly understood by those who are making decisions relating to those Contracts, and non-specialists are reluctant to get involved in the process of drafting and amending the documents which are critical to their company’s success. There may also be problems in assessing amendments proposed by the other party, and determining whether these are reasonable, or are eroding your company’s position.

The course will deal with Contracts written in the English language, and follow principles widely used in international contracting.


  • Contract Administrators
  • Contracting Unit Supervisors
  • Project Engineers and Project Managers
  • Claims Managers and Business Audit Officers
  • Contract Strategists
  • General Managers involved in contract negotiation
  • Commercial Managers
  • Purchasing Officers & Supervisors
  • Buyers
  • Supply Managers


  • A focus on the whole scope of contracting, designed for non-specialists who need to understand English language contracts
  • Produces and ability to understand and draft contracts, or to manage others performing this task
  • Provides a review of negotiation techniques with applications beyond contracting

1.       Developing an understanding of all aspects of contracting
2.       Gain confidence in negotiation and contract management
3.       Improved ability to manage others in drafting or negotiating contracts
4.       Hands-on experience in working with real contract clauses
5.       Consideration of the different approaches of other legal systems in an
           international context
6.       Opportunity to draft modifications to clauses
7.       Focus on oil & gas and engineering and construction, but also discussion of
          contracts in other sectors
8.       Learn best practice from other regions and industries
9.       Develop negotiation skills which will be useful in all aspects of business
10.    Raise issues for review and discussion on any aspect of contracting

Programme Contents
Day 1
How and why Contracts are drafted

  • Why we use contracts
  • Formation of a Contract
  • The key elements of a contract
  • Oral or written?
  • Terms and Conditions of contract
  • Agency issues
  • The basic structure of a contract
  • Incorporating documents by reference
  • Standard Forms
  • Form of Agreement
  • Principles of contract negotiation

Day 2
Main Contract Clauses

  • Obligation to deliver/perform
  • Rework/re-performance
  • Risk
  • Title
  • Compliance with law/change of law
  • Indemnities
  • Insurance
  • Third parties
  • Liability in negligence – relationship with contract conditions

Day 3
Main Contract Clauses - continued

  • Variations and changes
  • Product liability and defective goods - rejection
  • Precedence of documents – Special Conditions
  • Intellectual property
  • Taxation
  • Suspension and termination
  • Acceptance and Certificates
  • Payment
  • Liquidated damages/penalties
  • Limits of liability
  • Guarantee/Warranty/Maintenance
  • Conflict of Laws and Choice of Law Clauses 

Day 4
Other documents and Negotiations

  • Letters of Intent or Award
  • Bank and Insurance Bonds
  • Letters of Comfort or Awareness
  • Collateral warranties
  • Alliance /Partnering Agreements
  • “Side Letters”
  • Finance arrangements 
  • Negotiating contract qualifications and amendments

Day 5
Negotiation and Resolution of Disputes

  • Contract negotiation - continued
  • Dispute Resolution clauses
  • Unequal bargaining positions
  • Negotiation, compromise and settlement
  • Litigation
  • Arbitration                                   

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