Ask the Expert: Construction contracts are a burden and a bore: how can we change that?
7th November 2019 Virtual Event Ask The Expert (ATE) Webinars
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The UK Construction industry depends on standard forms contracts to manage its projects. Yet the average length of the legal contents of one of these standard forms is over 50,000 words, after the inevitable schedule of changes (or 'butchering' according to one subcontractor) by lawyers. These complex, paper-based and one-sided contracts are fit for only one purpose: the legal enforcement of rights and remedies. Project partners need contracts to help them build trust and manage the project, not just avoid or manage disputes.

Sarah Fox will lead you through some changes she has introduced across a range of construction contracts to ensure contracts help, not hinder businesses:

  • using contract patterns to improve the design of the legal content
  • adopting simple language to ensure readability for users
  • reducing the overall content to focus parties' attention on key issues
  • creating illustrative timelines to demonstrate to consumers how programs can change.

Thursday, November 7th

  • 8 am Seattle
  • 11 am New York / Caracas / Santo Domingo
  • 4 pm London / Lagos / Lisbon
  • 5 pm Paris / Cape Town
  • 6 pm Helsinki / Amman / Moscow / Doha
  • 7 pm Dubai
  • 8:30 pm Mumbai
  • 11 pm Perth / Singapore / Beijing

Our Expert: Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is a lawyer with over 25 years' experience with construction contracts from 4 to 400 pages. She developed a series of 500-word contracts to demonstrate the principles of contracting to workshop participants. These became the basis for her series of books explaining how to write simple and yet effective contracts, which are neither a burden nor a bore and yet are legally robust. Sarah's mission is to create contracts and processes which give users the confidence to fight back against bad contracts. She has recently revised a major trade association's suite of contracts and is now leading a legal design project to digitize construction contracts to safeguard business without annoying users.