Drafting “Legal” Clauses in Commercial Contracts

Tuesday 10 October 2017, 09:00 - 17:00

UCL Laws, Bidborough House, 38 - 50 Bidborough Street, London WC1H 9BT

Drafting “Legal” Clauses in Commercial Contracts

About this Course

This popular, one-day course provides training and practical exercises in the drafting of ‘legal’ clauses in commercial contracts. In the morning, we focus on warranties, indemnities and limitation of liability. In the afternoon, we move on to boilerplate clauses, including entire agreement, force majeure and law and jurisdiction. For each topic, we explain the meaning of the term used, how the courts interpret it, and relevant practice points, and discuss examples of drafting.

The course is designed for lawyers and commercial managers who have at least two years’ experience of drafting and negotiating contracts, and who wish to increase their technical understanding of legal clauses.

Please note that this course considers the legal and commercial context of the clauses and discusses how to draft them. In other words, we focus on technical skills and not on commercial positions, though the latter will be seen in some of the examples that we use. It is not a course on contract law (it is assumed you will have an understanding of this subject if you are drafting contracts) and we don’t attempt the impossible task of telling you what contract risks your organisation or client should find commercially acceptable. These points may seem obvious, but occasional experience of different expectations from a few attenders suggests that these points need to be made explicitly.

Specific topics to be considered in the workshop will include:

  • The meaning of terms such as warranty, representation, covenant, term and condition
  • Examples of good and bad drafting practice
  • Techniques for limiting or extending the effect of warranties, indemnities and other terms
  • International issues, including the use of US legal expressions such as “hold harmless”
  • The purpose of boilerplate clauses, whether they are needed, and associated practice points
  • Drafting tips

Preparation for the course

Although not essential, attenders may find it helpful to read the following practitioner texts as preparation for the workshop:

  • Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Contracts, Mark Anderson and Victor Warner (3rd edition, Bloomsbury Professional, 2012)
  • A-Z Guide to Boilerplate and Commercial Clauses, Mark Anderson and Victor Warner (3rd edition, Bloomsbury Professional, 2012)

Comments from previous attenders of this course:

  • Excellent speaker. Very well explained – easy to follow and understand.
  • Very useful course. Of particular relevance to me were refs/comparisons to other jurisdictions, especially the USA. Unexpected and refreshing for an English law course.
  • Plenty of opportunity to ask questions and discuss.
  • I feel far more confident [after attending course] that I know what the key issues and pitfalls are.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, attenders should have a better and more detailed understanding of risk-management provisions and certain boilerplate provisions in contracts, including the meaning of legal terminology and its correct usage in such provisions, certain negotiating issues that arise, some typical provisions that are encountered, how to analyse and assess such provisions, and some of the main case law on interpreting such provisions. Attenders should have greater confidence in challenging badly-drafted provisions and recognizing when “conventional wisdom” is not supported by case law.


If you have any queries about this course please contact Lisa Penfold at the UCL Faculty of Laws by emailing lisa.penfold@ucl.ac.uk

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