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The Contract Certainty Blog

The Contract Certainty Blog

Boilerplate that Bites: The Arbitration Clause

We had three arbitrators billing us at $500 per hour, and the case was going nowhere with no end in sight… at least in court the judge is paid for by the taxpayers

General Counsel, Fortune 500 company

A Three Step Plan for Legal IT

Lawyers like doing "high end" legal work. They hate losing clients. And they like to argue about the value of IT. But as Bruce MacEwan writes on his blog Adam Smith, Esquire, this month has witnessed some kind of consensus about how law firms can best use technology for a sustainable competitive advantage.

Aberdeen Does Sales Contracts

What better time than end of quarter to reflect on the fun of writing sales contracts in a mad rush. The sales team wants to close the deal. They don't want to wait two weeks for legal and miss their quarter-end target. They want their bonuses. Can't we just delete that pesky clause and sign?

Political Sole-Sourcing

In what appears to be a classic case of local vendor bias, Canadian transport manufacturer Bombardier, Inc. has found itself in hot water over sole-source contracts with two separate municipal authorities. Both deals are political, with Bombardier’s promise of local jobs seeming to influence the decision not to go out to public tender.

Paperclips Are Like, So Last Year

That’s right. A career in procurement no longer means you’re “in charge of paperclips”. In somewhat provocative terms, the Financial Times  (subscription required) reckons that procurement has undergone a revolution. It’s no longer a career dead-end. No longer a mere support service. The modern procurement department is experienced, professional and respected, and it’s being unleashed on an ever wider array of goods, and services. Not just stationery, furniture and laptops, but lawyers, accountants and consultants.

The $70 Million NDA

What’s the value of a good NDA? About $70 million if your name is Scott Van Dyke. In 2003, his company, Anglo-Dutch Petrolem, won a $70.4M damages claim against US oil giant Halliburton and Scottish oil exploration and development firm Ramco. This month, with a Texas court ordering it to hand over various assets, Ramco is struggling for survival.

Check Less, Improve Compliance?

With the FSA's deadline for contract certainty looming, Lloyd's is putting a positive spin on its latest initiative to "streamline the way insurance contracts are checked, produced and issued." The goal, of course, is to produce insurance documentation without any mistakes, and to issue that documentation to the customer before (or very soon after) inception.

Death by Laptop

For those of us enjoying the benefits of laptops and mobile storage gadgets, it's easy to overlook the risks. But as a recent article in Law Technology News ("Death by Laptop", May 8th, 2006) points out, the risks are high, and the consequences of ignoring them rather scary.