Cover of Annual Review

November 9, 2012

Fenwick Elliott Annual Review 2012/2013

Our 16th Fenwick Elliott Annual Review provides a practical overview of the latest legal developments that may be of interest to those we work with. If there has been a theme to those key legal developments over the past few months, it is probably the importance of clear contract documentation which focuses on the specific circumstances and details of your particular project. In July 2012 Mr Justice Akenhead said that:

“In my judgment, it is necessary to construe the words in a sensible and commercial way that would resonate with commercial parties in the real world.”

The Judge was talking about the obligations of those making and considering claims for loss and/or expense but his words could equally apply to a number of the other topics we feature. What is the difference between an obligation to use “best” and one to use “reasonable endeavours”, or even “all reasonable endeavours”? What are the precise duties of the project manager or employer’s agent? What does the tricky clause in that guarantee really mean?

As our lead article comments, business common sense has now been placed at the heart of contract interpretation when ambiguity arises – something which has important ramifications for all commercial contracts. When drafting contracts, parties - and their advisors – must now give greater thought to the inclusion of provisions that expressly confirm the commercial purpose of the agreement.

There are plenty more articles for your consideration, the links to which are below or you can download a PDF of the full Review by completing the “Download our Annual Reviewform. If you would like a hard copy of this Annual Review, please contact Jeremy Glover with your name, company name, address and email.

Annual Review articles

Contract interpretation: commercial intent takes centre stage

Impact of the new ICC Rules on the management of construction arbitration cases

Conflict avoidance and dispute resolution

Mediation: an update

Building Information Modelling (BIM) & English law

EU Procurement: abnormally low and non-compliant tenders

International arbitration: choice of law and bilateral investment treaties

Bonds and guarantees: an update

Negotiating and concluding contracts by email

Concurrency, global claims and loss and/or expense

The duties of project managers and contract administrators

Best and reasonable endeavours clauses


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