Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Reflections of a Contracts Lawyer: Part 5

Reflection No 5: There's karma in them contracts

As a lawyer in private practice I was instructed by a tour operator in relation to a contract put forward by one of their suppliers who provided a service which my client could advertise its holidays on.  The contract was the supplier's standard form contract and one of those contracts which just didn't make any sense at all just because it was rubbish.  You know the type of thing:

"This contract shall not be binding, sign here if you agree"....and....

"The contract can be terminated at any time for any reason by anyone, but termination of the contract under this clause will not affect the standing of the contract"

Eh? Exactly.

So I spent a fair amount of time tidying up the rubbish, not just making it all work for my client, but also for the supplier such was the nonsense that was in this standard contract.

Its quite annoying when you have to improve someone else's contract, as @BrettTechLawyer will testify:

Fast forward to when I myself was working in-house at a completely different tour operator, but who just happened to use the same supplier's service.

Enter the contract.

And the memories.

And what a pleasant surprise. There was all my corrective drafting, as I had written it, word for word in my previous life in private practice a good couple of years before.  Customer-friendly.

Smug lawyer. Karmic contract.

For the rest of my Reflections post, please see: Part 1: They're not as prickly as they lookPart 2: Contracts are like the sea, best when they're crystal clearPart 3: Define your own terms and Part 4: They're alive!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Melanie for the entertaining series on contracts. I get a feeling of deja-vu from reading them ...

    In my view the 100% perfect contract doesn't exist. Even if you create such document, reflection 4 (contracts have a life of their own), will make such perfection short lived.


    Gaston Bilder