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IACCM - International Association for Contract & Commercial Management Contracting Excellence Magazine
 

Contracting Excellence Magazine - Oct 2011

 
 
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How Much Waste Are You Overseeing?

 
“Meaningful progress will be limited as long as (senior management) resists major reforms that would elevate the importance of contracting, commit additional resources to planning and managing contingency contracting, and institutionalize best practices within their organizations.”   (Commission on Wartime Contracting, August 2011)
 
 

For many who are involved in the creation and management of contracts, those words will resonate. There has never been any question that we deliver business value, but many of us have struggled to put hard numbers on the benefits of improved contracting and commercial management. That leaves us exposed to management changes of direction – and lacking a business case to attract the investments needed to ‘institutionalize best practices’.

There is now growing evidence that capabilities in contract management have a direct and substantial connection to costs, revenues and profit. While some of this comes from an increasing body of academic research in contract management, most of the quantitative data relating to financial impacts comes from audits, several of which are open to public scrutiny. 
 
The most recent of these audits is the Commission on Wartime Contracting whose report to the US Congress identified waste of at least $30bn through poor contracting. In studying the causes of this waste, it is clear that many of them apply to organizations and corporations worldwide.
 
Report Findings
 
The report identified three core types of waste (see below), the first two of which will be very familiar to many contracts professionals since they address proper assessment of requirements and capabilities, and the quality of performance management and governance. The third is thankfully rarer – yet as we all work increasingly in global markets, to what extent may these issues also become part of the challenges we must address? 
 
 
 
 
It went on to highlight a series of weaknesses in the contracting process, many of which will also be familiar to the professional community:
 
An absence of strategic direction and leadership
A failure to institutionalize as a core function
Poor internal coordination and guidance in contract management
Contract structures and governance often lack sustainability for long-term projects
Failure to define requirements and allocate appropriate management and oversight procedures
Responsibilities in contract wrongly allocated relative to capabilities
Inappropriate rules and procedures for types of contracting being undertaken
Poor assessment and allocation of risks
Inadequate post-award oversight and skills
Failure to capture, record and communicate lessons learned 
 
Wider Applicability of the Issues

Much of the academic research (and the independent studies undertaken by IACCM) focuses less on financial consequences and more on ways that contracting can improve. It highlights and reinforces the need to accurately and honestly define requirements and align them with supply capabilities; to develop contract structures and terms appropriate to the nature of the project or relationship to be established; to ensure a balance of risk allocation that is fair in the context of the outputs or outcomes to be achieved; and to create an implementation and post-award management structure that safeguards positive outcomes. Much of this work targets similar issues to those revealed in the Wartime Contracting report – specifically, the extent to which the field of contracting has been ignored as a business discipline and allowed to become (in many cases) a legally-driven compliance activity, rather than a business competence.
 
What Should Be Done?
 
The action plan for improved contract management starts with a need for executive support and leadership; but it also requires significant shifts in the attitude of the professional community. Unless we show a readiness to take accountability for the quality of the contracting process, we cannot expect to be entrusted with its ownership. 
 
Therefore we must establish ‘buy in’ from senior management to a set of guiding principles (an example of these appears below), and we must also make commitments about our readiness to build the capabilities needed to satisfy these principles. It is critical that we emphasize that our work is devoted to the creation of contracting competence – not to the development of an organizational empire. 
 
 
 
 
The Implications To Practitioners
 
To achieve these improvements, those charged with contract management responsibilities must adopt more common terms and methods. For example, those in procurement already use the term value leakage - but in a somewhat narrow context. As all the audit reports have shown, contract management - if not done well - is a massive source of value leakage. It requires far better harmonization of the efforts of buyers and sellers to protect not just themselves, but in some senses each other. That demands different terms, more collaborative systems and improved oversight. 
 
This calls for a more professional - and less individualized - approach to the practice of contract management. For those who today are mainly focused on compliance, it means less focus on process (which can largely be automated) and far more on oversight and judgment. 
 
Achieving these improvements will not come about through inspired individuals; nor will it be achieved by an army of administrators. Contract Management has to operate as a recognized discipline with a high level of consistency in process, terminology and goals. In many ways, one of its key tasks is to overcome the inconsistencies that are prevalent in many other professions. For example, the absence of any universal legal principles, variations in accounting standards and the nationalism of many professional bodies represent a source of potential doubt, misunderstanding and risk. The contract management role needs to understand and overcome these through disciplined analysis and management. Increasingly, it must also cope with the challenges of varying cultural beliefs, differing international business practices and ethical standards - recognizing that simply inserting terms which outlaw undesirable behaviors will have little or no effect. 
 
Conclusion
 
At last, thanks to the increased level of Government audit and the academic research, there is a growing body of evidence that proves the benefit of investing in contract and commercial management. Now, the task is to demonstrate that the contracts and commercial community understands and merits this investment. The change program for most individual professionals is as significant as that for senior management. To get the job, we must show that we deserve their confidence and trust.
 
Are you ready to start tackling the waste mountain?
 
 

Putting A Figure On The Value Of Contract Management

 
IACCM study seeks to provide hard data to its members It may not be an issue today, but at some point, most contracts and commercial groups face the question “What value are you bringing to the business?” And when that question arises – whether it is to justify headcount or to support a business case for more investment – most contract management groups struggle to describe their value in financial terms.
 
 

It may not be an issue today, but at some point, most contracts and commercial groups face the question “What value are you bringing to the business?” And when that question arises – whether it is to justify headcount or to support a business case for more investment – most contract management groups struggle to describe their value in financial terms.

Without that ability to justify (or even better, having proactively provided management with the data), many groups find their budgets and headcount are subject to the ups and downs of the market, or the whims of management sentiment.

Ironically, it is in Government and public sector that the value of contract management is often most evident. This is because the audit process results in far greater visibility of losses – and (as our lead article illustrated) the auditors are highlighting the weakness of contract management or failures in commercial expertise as key reasons for these losses.

To support its members in developing the business case for improved contract and commercial management (both sell-side and buy-side), IACCM is conducting a study to discover the extent of corporate financial losses that result from weaknesses in contracting. Its goal is to support members of the Association in their efforts to gain management support or provide strong rationale for budget and headcount.

Given the nature of the survey, the individual inputs will of course remain confidential (and can be submitted anonymously), but consolidated results will be issued to all identified participants. I hope readers of this article will take a few minutes to share their experiences at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CMvalue

 
 

Ease of Doing Business: From Concept to Reality

 
“As a services company, we must be innovative to compete.” That’s the view of Anthony Aming, Enterprise Business & Applications Architect at Baker Hughes, a major provider to the oil and gas industry. There are innovation groups throughout the company and it is one of these that emerged as the winner for ‘Internal Collaboration’ in the recent IACCM / Procurecon ‘Collaborate to Innovate’ Awards program.
 
 

“As a services company, we must be innovative to compete.”

That’s the view of Anthony Aming, Enterprise Business & Applications Architect at Baker Hughes, a major provider to the oil and gas industry. There are innovation groups throughout the company and it is one of these that emerged as the winner for ‘Internal Collaboration’ in the recent IACCM / Procurecon ‘Collaborate to Innovate’ Awards program.

Anyone in business understands the importance of getting paid – and the frustration that this can often entail, especially when dealing with large corporations where no-one seems to be responsible. Suppliers also appreciate customers who are well organized and communicative, avoiding last minute ‘panics’ and crises. These characteristics go beyond pure ‘ease of doing business’; they have a direct impact on efficiency and costs.

In order to achieve these positive behaviors, an organization has to display internal collaboration – and that is what Baker Hughes did when they developed a real-time monitoring and management system to increase visibility into areas such as DSO and inventory levels. This project has resulted in visibility throughout the business into the status of payments, levels of inventory, typical lead-times and frequency of change orders. And the consequence for suppliers is that they are getting paid on time and there has been a major reduction in unplanned or ‘rush’ orders.

“People throughout the business now have dashboards that show current status and performance. They also have auto alerts and clear escalation procedures to ensure good performance,” Anthony explained. “This has delivered savings to the supplier – but also to us, because we now optimize inventory in ways that conserve cash, but also prevent costly delays or panic purchases.”

The project was not without its challenges, but these were primarily related to people, not the technology. One of the biggest obstacles was making sure that data was entered accurately – and this required a concerted effort to educate and show the business benefits. “Process changes take time,” Anthony observed.

The benefits that come from driving cross-business initiatives of this type are many – and this project has reduced costs, increased on-time deliveries, and improved supplier relationships. “It has allowed us to reach a place where suppliers want to help us. It has taken us beyond the contract and brought more sophistication to our supplier relationship management.”

 
 

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The Operational Guide is a unique work, addressing contract and commercial principles on a worldwide basis, for both buy-side and sell-side practitioners. Invaluable for training, as a reference work, or simply to update your understanding of current practices, this is a volume that you really must own!

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Collaborative Workshop - A forum for problem solving and innovation

 
Marcos Saraiva, Vale S.A. CPO, was initially reluctant to participate in the IACCM/ProcureCon Collaborate to Innovate Awards program.  When his team first approached him about competing, he questioned the benefits and whether they even had the time to complete the nomination process.  But like a proud father, he decided his team deserved to take the time to share their enthusiasm for excellence and highlight the results of their collaboration methodology.
 
 

Marcos Saraiva, Vale S.A. CPO, was initially reluctant to participate in the IACCM/ProcureCon Collaborate to Innovate Awards program.  When his team first approached him about competing, he questioned the benefits and whether they even had the time to complete the nomination process.  But like a proud father, he decided his team deserved to take the time to share their enthusiasm for excellence and highlight the results of their collaboration methodology.

The decision to participate in the competition paid off.  Vale was honored with the ‘Collaborative Negotiation” Award for their Collaborative Workshop process which they use to identify ways to increase shareholder ROI. 

Vale achieves total cost reductions through in-depth participation from the various stakeholder areas, generating and evaluating alternative solutions throughout the supply chain. The workshop’s methodology is based on a common alignment on the most important issues to be addressed.

The Collaborative Workshop’s fundamental premise is that collaboration is the sole way to guarantee the successful implementation of select initiatives.  The workshop’s methodology was carefully designed to engage internal and external stakeholders to identify issues and together find suitable solutions.

Soon after alignment with internal stakeholders, a kick-off meeting is scheduled in which all stakeholders are represented, preferably by individuals who have direct accountability for the issues being discussed. During the kick off meeting some pre-defined information is presented in order to support further discussions. The group jointly identifies what could be done to improve the situation or solve the issue and prioritizes the initiatives. Only at the end of the session is top management brought into the discussion and decides which initiatives should move forward.

Vale’s Collaborative Workshop methodology has enabled cost savings in excess of several million dollars worldwide.  By utilizing the Collaborative Workshop with their suppliers, associations and local communities Vale was able to apply an innovative approach to a severe environmental issue.

Another benefit of the Vale collaboration methodology is that it speeds up the new supplier development process and enables out-of-the-box thinking by identifying innovative solutions to some of their toughest business problems. With the workshop’s feedback, suppliers are able to present innovative ideas on such things as recycling and new technologies (tracking and monitoring, chemical specs adjustment).  These ideas when implemented have a direct impact on the bottom line.

Besides providing proven financial gains, the Collaborative Workshop methodology is able to break silos and foster long term collaborative work.  According to Marcos, “Procurement is the change agent at Vale.  Procurement is the enabler to create the collaboration in the organization.”

When asked whether Vale is taking steps to embed collaborative and innovative behaviors into Procurement, Marcos replied with a resounding “Yes, absolutely.  One of the ways we do that is through our hiring process.  We look for people who exhibit the right attitude and behavior.  We look for people who share our beliefs but at the same time are not afraid to challenge the status quo.  They need to be big picture thinkers who are able to demonstrate their ability to work with others to achieve Vale’s objectives, not just their own personal objectives.”

 
 

Contract drafting and the way to exclude liability...?

 
A question on the IACCM member message board resulted in an interesting and informative discussion about the ‘entirety of contract’ principles with regard to pre-contract representations. It also illustrated the value of this message board to our members, the quality of the replies received and the qualifications of those who answer!
 
 

The initial question was as follows:

A party to a contract can sue for negligent misstatements relied upon prior to the Contract. A remedy is rescission...and damages. Liability caps therein may fail {BSkyB v EDS 2010}. A claim in Misrepresentation then is serious stuff and ways are sought to exclude liability. One of them is the Entire Agreement Clause. I came across a clever way of purporting to exclude liability for misrepresentation. The drafter did not seek to exclude liability for representations made (whether innocently or negligently); nor did they seek to exclude liability for reliance made within the agreement.

They simply excluded a claim brought under that head with the words that each party [note mutual] agrees that its only liability in respect of representations in the agreement shall be for breach of contract.

Would this stand up do you think? 

David Adler, a partner at Adler & Franczyk LLC, was first to comment: 

Generally speaking, in most jurisdictions, contracts are enforced according to their terms. Since the case you cite is a UK case, there may be different precedent/public policy/statutory restrictions that affect the enforceability of some types of contractual provisions.

In the U.S., parties to a contract could agree to: 1) limit the time within which a claim for misrepresentation is brought (e.g. one year from the date that the aggrieved party knew or should have known of the claim), 2) limit the amount of damages/liability that could be imposed for the misrepresentation, 3) limit liability to certain types of misrepresentations (e.g. Willful, Grossly Negligent), and 4) limit the parties from whom reliable information may be sought (e.g. executives versus administrative personnel).

An "entire agreement" clause is only meant to limit the amount of “parole evidence" or outside communications/documentation/negotiations.  In other words if the parties agreed to xyz, but xyz is not written into the agreement, then xyz is not part of the agreement.

Regardless of the existence of an “entire agreement” clause, there is always a cause of action for being fraudulently induced to enter into a contract. Put another way if the there was 1) a misrepresentation, 2) that was relied upon, 3) that was reasonable under the circumstances (people/information) and 4) that caused damages, then there may be liability.

His observations were supported by Rene-Franz Henschel, a law professor at Aarhus School of Business in Denmark:

I agree with David. The question is also closely connected to mandatory principles of good faith and prohibition of acting in bad faith in negotiations, and invalidity of contracts based on false information. See also e.g. UNIDROIT Principles art. 1.7 and 2.1.15. Although the concept of good faith is much debated in common law, courts are likely to interpret the clause as having no effect in case of misrepresentation, if the relevant circumstances show its in bad faith. This root of contract law is to supply certainty and predictability, and to protect reliance  - not to support opportunistic behavior based on negligent misrepresentation. If this was so, the contractual chains would brake down, because certain parties would start to speculate in giving information in a false way. See also PECL:

Article 4:106: Incorrect Information

A party who has concluded a contract relying on incorrect information given it by the other party may recover damages in accordance with Article 4:117(2) and (3) even if the information does not give rise to a fundamental mistake under Article 4:103, unless the party who gave the information had reason to believe that the information was correct

Article 4:118: Exclusion or Restriction of Remedies

(1) Remedies for fraud, threats and excessive benefit or unfair advantage-taking, and the right to avoid an unfair term which has not been individually negotiated, cannot be excluded or restricted.

(2) Remedies for mistake and incorrect information may be excluded or restricted unless the exclusion or restriction is contrary to good faith and fair dealing...

Thomas Barton, a professor at California Western School of Law, added his opinion:

I agree with David and Rene.  Generally the law does not permit efforts to insulate oneself from the effects of a misrepresentation in the formation of a contract. 

For example, a "merger" or "entire Agreement" clause should not exclude evidence of misrepresentation in the formation of a contract under the Parole Evidence Rule, since the purpose of offering the evidence is to end the contract rather than to change or add to the contract. 

So also, an attempt to limit the legal consequences of a misrepresentation to a breach of contract (part of the common law) is unlikely to prevent a court from employing the equitable device of "rescission," especially where bad faith is suspected in the insertion of the clause. 

Adding an observation from IACCM, Tim Cummins wrote:

If the Entire Agreement clause has actually allowed inclusion of prior representations, then have these not become part of the contract and therefore subject to provisions related to breach?

See http://www.trglaw.com/news96.html This recent UK case addresses this very topic. The results of the case are interesting because, while in this instance the defendant failed to have 'misrepresentation' excluded, the implication of the judgment is that different wording might have enabled them to do so.

From France, Gerlinde Berger-Walliser, Associate Professor of Law at
ICN Business School commented:

In this case we have to differentiate between the parol evidence rule which could be limited by an "entire agreement" clause and the question of pre-contractual liability, which seems the issue of the question raised. As regards pre-contractual liability big differences between national laws exist, and in some (civil law) jurisdictions pre-contractual liability does not necessarily imply that there actually is an existing contract between the parties; therefore my guess is that in those jurisdictions it might be difficult to limit pre-contractual liability at all.

Peter Quigley, a consultant legal adviser, wrote:

Axa refers to fairly standard wording on exclusion under entire agreement.

Absent bad faith & given the wording is mutual then it is harder to challenge as being unreasonable (UCTA).

I found this extract from Witter v TBP Industries 1994 referred to in BskyB by Justice Jacob:

"Unless it is manifestly made clear that a purchaser has agreed only to have a remedy for breach of warranty I am not disposed to think that a contractual term said to have this effect by a roundabout route does indeed do so. In other words, if a clause is to have the effect of excluding or reducing remedies for damaging untrue statements then the party seeking that protection cannot be mealy-mouthed in his clause. He must bring it home that he is limiting liability for falsehoods he may have told."

Breach of warranty is a type of breach of contract.

So the liability cap may be applicable - as per Tim`s initial thoughts.

And a final word from Henrik Lando, Economics Professor at Copenhagen Business School:

In the particular case of misrepresentation where the issue of merger clauses came up, it may come as a surprise to people who are used to common law that merger clauses are virtually not enforced by e.g. Danish courts. They are viewed as alien to our legal system, - to the pragmatic way in which Danish courts handle matters of evidence and procedure. Certainly, a limitation of liability for misrepresentation would not be enforced.

 
 

We have introduced this new section to feature those in our community who are changing jobs or achieving promotion.  Please submit your entry for future editions to iaccm@iaccm.com


RECENT APPOINTMENTS

USA

   Bob Stonick

After five years as VP of Contracts at Thales In-Flight Entertainment in Irvine, CA, Bob has advanced to the position of Group Contracts Director at Parker Aerospace, Irvine, CA.  He will lead Parker's Contract Management team in support of all of the Aerospace Group's divisions in the US with product sales to domestic and international customers for commercial and military programs.  Bob's 25 years as a contract management professional has included positions with US DoD and commercial domestic/international organizations. 10/19

  Kevin McCann

Ex Manager Contracts, Japan Operations, Raytheon IDS, NH, has been appointed Senior Manager of Contracts, Global Training and Logistics/Technical Services, Lockheed Martin, VA.  He will be leading a contract organisation of 25+ professionals supporting domestic and international sales. 9/20

   Gary Workman

Formerly Contracts Director at Viasat Antenna Systems, GA, has been appointed Director of Contracts, Cobham Commercial Systems, FL.  Gary brings 20 years of experience with several Aerospace companies negotiating Government, Commercial and International Contracts. 9/20

   Chuck Barry

Formerly Group Contracts Director at Parker Aerospace, CA, has been appointed Director of Contracts and Compliance at Proto Labs, MN.  He will be leading the establishment of a new group consisting of a 3-prson Team responsible for contracts, export compliance and international logistics, and will also contribute legal counsel services. 9/20

Joe Armstrong has moved from Halliburton, where he was Director of Performance Management, to Talisman Energy USA where he has been appointed Supply Chain Manager. 9/20

Jim Kendrick has been recruited to the Rio Tinto subsidiary, Resolution Copper Mining Company, in Phoenix Arizona, as their Contracts Superintendent. 9/20


EMEA

  Graham Drew

Following 12 successful years with Computacenter UK, Europe’s leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services, Graham Drew has taken up his new appointment as Director Commercial Contracts, Monitise Group - global leaders in providing mobile money solutions, powering banking and payments globally by connecting financial institutions, retailers and payment processors and mobile operators to their consumers. 10/19

  Gianmaria Riccardi

After 4 years leading the Cisco European Commercial team, Gianmaria Riccardi has advanced to a new role as Global Commercial Director at Cisco Systems.  He will be responsible for world-wide programs on negotiation, sales enablement and developing new commercial offers. Gianmaria has served on the IACCM Board from 2006-2009 and from 2011 to date as the EMEA Vice-Chair and was named an IACCM Honorary Fellow in 2009. 9/20

  Philip Wellstead

Previously Head of Contract Management for Siemens IT Solutions and Services (SIS), UK&I, was appointed Head of Contracts Management with Atos, subsequent to the acquisition of SIS by ATOS in June 2011.  Philip’s career started in Oil and Gas some 20 years ago, successfully transferring his skills to the IT industry when joining Siemens in 1999. 9/20

Richard Given has moved from his position as a senior counsel at Cisco to Deputy General Counsel at HSBC’s UK Headquarters, where his responsibilities will include oversight of procurement and contract management. 9/20

Vincent Schatteman has moved from Hewlett-Packard, where he led outsourcing negotiations, to TPI as a Sourcing Adviser based in France. 9/20

Kathleen Connolly formerly of Dell and HP has been appointed by Accenture to become Contract Manager for one of their key accounts in Scotland. 9/20

Ben Arguile - In February, the specialist recruitment business RK Commercial Contracts appointed Ben Arguile as Head of Practice. Ben previously held a number of senior management positions across RK Group including managing RK’s UK Procurement business. Ben said, “It’s a privilege to have joined a business with such a strong reputation for quality. We continue to provide a first class service to both clients and candidates, whilst developing the business both in the UK and internationally”  9/20

Darren Taylor - CSC has bolstered its European senior Deal Negotiator team with the acquisition of Darren Taylor from TPI. Darren will bring extensive experience of leading negotiations on huge international BPO deals. 9/20

Agi Charles - Capita Group have recruited Agi Charles as Commercial Director to focus on big deals. Agi brings with her a tremendous track record of success from her time at HP and BT. 9/20

Patrick Wood - Following continued new business wins and a substantial pipeline, Patrick Wood is the latest member to join the commercial management team at Huawei. He joins from Serco Civil Government. 9/20

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     IACCM Welcomes New Member to the Team

As part of IACCM’s continuing growth and our drive to serve ever increasing numbers of members and training programme participants, Jayne Hooton joined IACCM on 26 September 2011.

Based in Nottingham, UK, Jayne joins IACCM as Project and Development Manager. Her role is to organise and manage activities around our more than 60 current corporate training programmes and provide other member support. Jayne will manage new projects and existing programmes to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction.

Jayne was previously employed by E.ON, the German-owned power company, where she managed projects to improve processes and solutions based on user requirements and business need.  Jayne comes highly recommended and brings valuable project organisation and facilitation skills to us.

Jayne explains here why she joined and what she finds exciting about her new role:

“What appealed to me about this role was the chance to work with a small personal team with global reach and an opportunity to really contribute to helping IACCM meet its goals.

As you’d expect in my third week I am getting up to speed on IACCM’s offerings, particularly within training and development as well as getting to know the rest of the team!

I am looking forward to working with you all in the future and being part of IACCM’s continued growth.”

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   Ken Musson, Commercial Director at Logica in the UK, keeps fit playing English rugby football for his local Chobham Rugby Union Club....


In the UK, as with other participating rugby union playing nations, Rugby Union has many similarities to Commercial Management requiring team work, training, tactics, planning, determination and negotiation to achieve winning business objectives.   Of course victory is not always guaranteed and, occasionally, as most commercial managers well know, solace is reached with the odd pint in the club bar.

Do we detect a challenge, perhaps?  Across the nations, across the corporate legal and contracts fraternity...?

A league of legal gentlemen...    challenging a consortium of contracts consultants...   procuring quality referees to arbitrate... ?

Call Ken Musson to arrange!


But, first you need to know the rules......


THE FORWARDS

There are eight forwards. They take part in scrums, lineouts, rucks, and mauls - essentially everything that is meaningful in the game. The close physical work necessary for the forwards engenders a sense of comradeship not shared by the prancing, self-centered and effeminate backs. The game has evolved, thank goodness, with multi-phase possession allowing the forwards to demonstrate their running ability with the ball.

Props and Hookers
The front row is the cauldron, the foundation for all good rugby play. The front row is noted for their power and good looks, like no necks, battered ears, and S-shaped noses. Such players are noted for their intelligence and longevity well into their forties.

Second Row
The second row is the engine room where the power flows. The second row - or lock forward - is tall, with plenty of leverage strength in the legs. He must be productive in the lineouts as a jumper or supporter. Mobility is added plus. The second row is much appreciated by the front row for their power in the scrummage but they are generally not as good looking as the front row.

The loose forwards
The loose forwards include the #8 and the flankers. The loose forwards are respected by the front row for their mobility, fitness, defense and support work. The loosey must have tremendous fitness and ball fetching instincts which are not completely understood or trusted by the props and hooker, who are perfectly content to scrummage all day for the ball.

The Scrum-half
The little scrum half provides the ball to the backs when the forwards are damn well ready for the strutting backs to knock it forward. The forwards have grudging respect for the scrum-half because he tries hard and is not afraid to get dirty with the rest of the scrummies. The wise scrum-half will drink and buy beers for the scrummies to maintain his favored position with the forwards.

THE BACKS

The Fly-half
It is rumored that the Fly has the best vision, hands, kicking ability, and overall tactical decision making ability on the side. The forwards do not understand or trust this individual. The hard-working scrummies generally expect and anticipate a knock forward from the fly so they can have the pleasure of another scrum-down.

The Centers
These hombres are supposed to be deadly tacklers, with strong running instincts and good hands. Alas, the centers are lumped in there with the prancing flyhalf. If the fly doesn't knock on, surely one of the centers will muff it up so the scrummies can experience the joy and satisfaction of another scrum-down.

The Fullback and Wingers
These guys may as well be from Mars. They are allegedly fast with excellent striking ability. They are supposed to score lots of tries, catch the high ball, and counter attack with flair. But the stark reality (well understood by the forwards) is that the fullback and wingers prance and preen more than the inside backs. They don't get dirty and are always playing with their hair and pulling on their collars. In fact their sexual orientation has been called into question on numerous occasions. Some props think fullbacks and wingers are "real purdy."

Now you know how the game is played, check in to the Rugby World Cup final, Saturday 22nd October, between France and New Zealand, www.rugbyworldcup.com

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