In the contemporary business world, contract review is an extremely important skill for business managers and decision-makers as they handle business contracts on a daily basis. They must carefully review the legal terms and conditions of the contracts in order to safeguard the interests of the organization and prevent any negative legal obligations that may arise from engaging the contracts. CCPAA was fortunate to have invited James Kosa, partner from Deeth Williams Wall, and Tina Liu, lawyer from Bennett Jones LLP, to talk about the important elements of a contract and the tips for reviewing business contracts.
In real practice, Mr. Kosa recommended that every contract should be in writing and is in plain English in order to avoid contract dispute in the future. This is because oral or collateral agreements can hardly be enforceable without proper documentation of the evidence. He also discussed various types of agreements, including agreement for purchase or lease goods, services, licensing, and corporate and financial arrangements. It was suggested that when negotiating for the contract, the contractual parties must listen carefully to the other parties to capture all necessary details, and ask questions to clarify any ambiguous terms and conditions on the contract, preventing future contract disputes.
There are important differences between legal drafting and other kinds of writing. Ms. Liu emphasized that the choice of words and grammar are extremely important when drafting legal contracts, because different words have different meanings, which could result in different interpretations and legal implications by multiple parties. She shared an interesting court case that arose due to inadequate review on the contracts for grammatical error, which cost the parties multi-million dollars to resolve such contract dispute. Therefore, she highly recommended that a detailed review of the terms and conditions on the contract must be conducted prior signing the contract and do not sign any contracts with ambiguous terms and conditions.
Overall, the seminar was a great success. We have received very well positive feedbacks from the participants. CCPAA sincerely thanks Mr. Kosa, Ms. Liu, and the dedicated volunteers for their contributions. The seminar would not have been that successful without their support!