What are the main provisions for English Contract Law that are covered on the course?
The basic English contract law course starts with the law needed to make a contract, to identify its express and implied terms, and to make a change to the terms or parties. We also look at the remedies available for breach. In the Advanced Contract Law course we look in more detail at specific issues and clauses such as termination, liquidated damages, representations and warranties, entire agreement, clauses limiting liability, and indemnities.
The English Contract Law course has been running for the almost 4 years. What is the secret of its success and continued popularity?
One answer to this question probably lies in the popularity of English law as the chosen law for international contracts. It’s a well developed, well documented system of law for commercial transactions, and widely known among international lawyers and arbitrators. For many organisations, it is the first or second choice for international transactions. So their lawyers and contract managers need to know about it. As for the popularity of Euromoney’s courses, those who have attended in the past continue to recommend it to their colleagues, their employers and their friends. They like the small groups, interactive approach, practical examples and (though I say it myself) the expert trainer.
What are the main differences between Contract Law and Advanced Contract Law?
Both courses assume that the delegate has some experience of working with contracts. The Advanced Contract Law course assumes the delegate already understands how to make a contract, and has some knowledge of contract law (either English or in another legal system).
Who would benefit from the course the most?
Anyone who makes or enforces English-law contracts can benefit from understanding some of the basic principles behind the wording. Most delegates are either lawyers qualified in another legal system, or contract managers with experience of dealing with English (and sometimes non-English) contracts.
A few have already studied English law, and are looking to refresh their knowledge or to discuss how it applies in practice. Many of them combine the contract law course with the course on drafting skills that runs just before.
One delegate on this course told us about a negotiation from the United Arab Emirates. The buyer headed all its offers “subject to contract”. The seller had not seen this phrase before. The seller incurred substantial costs in preparing to deliver the property, before the buyer decided not to proceed with the transaction.
The parties had agreed that English law governs their transaction, and English law says that offers made and accepted “subject to contract” do not normally bind either party to perform or even to enter an agreement.
If the seller had known this, he would have understood the risk he was taking, and maybe not proceeded so far without a stronger commitment from the buyer.
Please tell us a little bit more about yourself.
After I graduated from Cambridge University, I practised as a barrister in the English courts, specialising in commercial disputes, for 12 years. That was interesting and exciting, but it didn’t allow me enough time to develop a relationship with my children, so I moved into a City law firm, where I could support other litigators during the day and still have time with my family before nightfall. Now the children are adults, but I still prefer teaching to fighting lawsuits. I believe the world would be a better place if, at the first attempt, every client could understand everything their lawyer writes.
If this interview is of interest to you and you would like to find out more about the Contract Law courses, please visit the website or email Mia Bayley at firstname.lastname@example.org