CONTRACT & LEGAL DRAFTING AND NEGOTIATION SKILLS

CONTRACT & LEGAL DRAFTING AND NEGOTIATION SKILLS MASTERCLASS 

The Contract & Legal Drafting and Negotiation Skills MasterClass is designed to identify common drafting errors, improve writing and drafting skills and learn advanced negotiation skills in English. 

This hands-on masterclass explores how to draft contracts that express deal terms clearly and effectively, saving you time and money, enhancing your competitiveness, and mitigating risk. Apart from intensive lectures, we primarily utilize interactive exercises, encouraging participation and addressing practical considerations related to the drafting process. This seminar is valuable for both junior and senior legal professionals (as well as law students), with tips that apply to all contracts drafted in English, whatever the governing law. 

Benefit from a comprehensive overview of drafting, reviewing and analyzing different commercial contracts. The course will focus on the different contracts, and participants will be able to understand the commercial considerations that drive such contracts and will understand the role, importance and the manner of drafting specific clauses in these agreements such as conditions precedent, indemnification, share transfer restriction clauses and boilerplate clauses. 

Participants also have the opportunity to bring in life case studies with the confidential information redacted in the document. The class can then go over the documents and create clauses or suggest existing clauses that could solve envisioned problems. 

Participants are able to utilise this aspect as a solution to the problems they have faced in everyday drafting. 

What do you need? 

  • A basic understanding of contract law and company law would be necessary for any learner seeking to take this course 
  • This course would be generally recommended for practitioner interested in developing their expertise in this area of practice. 
  • Other than that, a standard Internet/data connection along with a computer/laptop/smartphone/tablet is enough to get you started! 

LEARNING OUTCOMES 

  • Strengthen your knowledge of complex contractual terms including indemnities, warranties and exclusion clauses 
  • Refresh your knowledge of the law surrounding breach, termination and liquidated damages, enabling you to draft tighter provisions and ensure greater protection for your stakeholders 
  • Review the latest developments in e-contract law 
  • Review useful boilerplate clauses and create new precedents 

 Improve legal writing and contract drafting skills 

Learn how to avoid common drafting pitfalls 

Develop an effective communication style 

Understand the structure and terms that are common to contracts in English 

Learn advanced negotiation skills (for commercial matters and dispute resolution) in English 

 

Summary of Course Content 

Writing legal opinions, correspondence memoranda and email 

Drafting pre-contractual documentation 

Drafting general contractual terms and specific clauses 

Negotiation skills for lawyers 

Tactics, techniques and personalities 

Negotiating key clauses 

Warranties, representations and entire agreement clauses 

Liability risk protection including indemnities, exclusion and limitation of liability clauses 

Remedial clauses and damages 

Force majeure 

Termination 

 

Delegates will receive 

Style guide including sample emails, letters and contracts 

Glossary of legalese, Latin phrases and legal terminology (for personal knowledge) 

Extensive course notes 

 

  1. Drafting a Memorandum of Understanding
  2. Drafting Share Purchase Agreements and Share Subscription Agreements
  3. Drafting Shareholders Agreements
  4. Drafting Asset Acquisition Agreements
  5. Drafting Joint Venture Agreements
  6. Drafting Conditions Precedent Clauses
  7. Drafting Representations and Warranties Clauses
  8. Drafting Indemnification Clauses
  9. Drafting Boilerplate Clauses
  10. Drafting Ancillary Agreements

AGENDA 

MODULE 1 : LEGAL ENGLISH: CONTRACT DRAFTING AND NEGOTIATING MASTERCLASS

Legal writing and contract drafting skills 

Structure and style of legal writing 

  • Legal letters, emails, memoranda and opinions 
  • Components of legal communications 
  • Plain English 
  • Content organisation 
  • Effective language style 
  • Paper advocacy 

Understanding contract purpose and form 

  • Various forms and their aim 
  • Purpose – general and specific 
  • Terms 

Preliminary agreement forms 

  • Memorandum of understanding 
  • Letter of intent 
  • Term sheet 
  • Authority to proceed 
  • Scope of work 
  • NDA/Confidentiality agreement 
  • Subject to contract 

Structure and format of agreements 

  • Parties 
  • Recitals 
  • Interpretation 
  • General terms 
  • Commercial terms 
  • Warranties, representations and undertakings 
  • Boilerplate 
  • Taxation liabilities 
  • Industry specific terms 
  • Intellectual property and third party rights 
  • Schedules 
  • Execution 

General drafting pitfalls 

  • Time 
  • Vagueness 
  • Verbosity 
  • Weak grammar 
  • One idea, one clause 
  • Jargon and legalese 
  • Active vs. Passive voice 
  • Schedules and annexures 
  • Punctuation 
  • Precedents 

Checklist and procedures for drafting 

  • Style guides and best contract style 
  • Instruction sheets 
  • Checklist for drafting agreement 
  • Checklist for drafting individual clauses 
  • Deal sheet 
  • Draft control 
  • Standard terms and battle of the forms 
  • Dealing with multiple drafts 

Common terms and phrases 

  • “Best or reasonable endeavours” 
  • Joint and several 
  • “Time is of the Essence” 
  • Warranties 
  • Indemnities and limitation of liability clauses 
  • Termination clauses 
  • “Subject to contract” 

The art of negotiating 

Negotiating skills, styles and tactics 

  • Basis of good negotiation – 3 A’s 
  • Attributes of a good negotiator 
  • Key skills in a negotiation 
  • Identify your style 
  • Versatility of style 
  • Tactical mannerisms 
  • Tactical devices 

Preparing to negotiate 

  • Team selection and role allocation 
  • Use of facilitator 
  • Fact finding and key issue identification 
  • Playing devil’s advocate 
  • Entry and exit positions 

Models of negotiation 

  • Positional 
  • Distributive 
  • Integrative 
  • Principled 

Negotiation process 

  • Opening 
  • Bargaining 
  • Closing in agreement 
  • By email 
  • Settlement and evidencing compromise 

Troubleshooting 

  • Inequality of bargaining power 
  • Dealing with hostile parties 
  • Recognising the tricks people play 
  • How to kick-start a stalled negotiation 
  • Dealing with walkouts 

MODULE 2: ADVANCED CONTRACT LAW 

Introduction 

  • Freedom of contract 
  • Purpose of formalising contracts 

Representative clauses 

  • Representations 
  • Warranties 
  • Entire agreement clauses 

Practical exercise: Delegates will break into teams to draft warranties and representation statements based on hypothetical deal sheets. Each team will then verify the other’s proposed warranties. 

Liability risk protection 

  • Limitation of liability clauses 
  • Exclusion clauses 
  • Indemnities 
  • Guarantees and Letters of Comfort 

Exclusion clauses and financial caps 

Exclusion clauses are important tools when seeking to completely remove a party’s liability for certain conduct or events under the contract. This session will look at: 

  • Background law 
  • Carve-outs from exclusion clauses 
  • Wilful misconduct 
  • Deliberate breach 
  • Gross negligence 

Practical exercise: Taking a number of factual scenarios, teams will be asked to negotiate terms to limit or exclude certain liabilities, then draft them into formal clauses. 

Boilerplate 

  • Assignment 
  • Payment 
  • Retention of title 
  • Set-off 
  • Severability 
  • Taxation liabilities 
  • Third party rights 

E-contracts 

  • Use 
  • Elements of the e-contract 
  • Shrink-wrap contracts 
  • Click-wrap contracts 
  • Browse-wrap contracts 
  • E-signatures 

Exit and remedial clauses 

  • Delay and default 
  • Force majeure 
  • Non-waiver clauses 
  • Termination 
  • Liquidated damages 
  • Service credits 

Practical exercise: Delegates will review termination clause in light of purported termination and propose redrafts. 

Overview of contract interpretation rules 

  • Contra proferentum 
  • Parol evidence rule 
  • Prior negotiations rule 
  • Implied terms