Commercial Contracts

News & Analysis as of

Will you be Penalised for a Penalty?

Recent Developments in the law of Penalties - The law has long struggled with two competing notions about the proper approach to penalties, namely: 1. the freedom of parties to contract, 2. preventing a party from obtaining a...more

Paying The Penalty? Supreme Court Clarifies Rule Against “Penalty Clauses”

Last week, the Supreme Court of England and Wales issued a judgment that gives some welcome clarification about when a contractual provision may be deemed an unenforceable “penalty clause”. This should help employers draft...more

Unfairly-Priced Imports Hurt U.S. Market Prices in Several Ways

Unfairly-priced imports in the U.S. market affect the prices U.S. producers receive in several ways, including an impact on supposedly "fixed" long-term contract prices. For some consumer goods, lower prices can increase...more

Reflections on the Hitachi FCPA Enforcement Action

Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced resolution of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action involving the Hitachi Ltd (Hitachi). There were several interesting aspects to...more

Key factors to consider when interpreting/construing commercial contracts

The recent English Supreme Court decision in Arnold v Britton provides important clarification of the correct approach to adopt when interpreting commercial contracts....more

Eurozone Crisis: Possible Outcomes

There is no precedent for a country leaving the Euro, and speculation continues as to how the crisis will unfold, and what the consequences would be of an exit of a member. There is uncertainty around various scenarios, not...more

Guide to Doing Business in New Zealand: Company Law (Updated)

COMPANY LAW - Some general matters relating to company law in New Zealand are discussed below. REGULATORY SCHEME - The Companies Act principally regulates companies. The Companies Act, together...more

Meeting of the Minds at the Inbox: Some Pitfalls of Contracting via Email

We have had a number of clients run into issues relating to whether or not an email exchange constituted a binding contract. This issue comes up regularly when informality creeps into negotiations conducted electronically,...more

The "Preliminary Agreement" – Framing or Frustrating the Deal?

Preliminary Agreements come into play when structuring and negotiating a broad spectrum of transactions and agreements. They are embraced by many market participants and are, at best, tolerated by others. They have been the...more

Asymmetrical Jurisdiction Clauses: Where Are We Heading?

On 25 March 2015, France’s highest court, the Cour de cassation, once again ruled against the validity of a contractual asymmetrical jurisdiction clause, this time on the basis that it was contrary to Article 23 of the 2007...more

Changes to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation (the "RCC") relating to Contract Law and the Law of Obligations

Federal Law No. 42-FZ dated 4 March 2015 (On Amendments to Part I of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation) (the "Law") was signed by the President of the Russian Federation on 8 March 2015 and is aimed at amending certain...more

Recent Developments in the Canadian Law of Contract

In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered two decisions relating to the law of contract. Parties doing business in Canada should be aware of these decisions because they have significantly changed how contracts are to be...more

Federal Court Practice Update for Insurance Matters

Recent changes in the Federal Court of Australia will streamline how insurance matters are managed and heard by the Court. Specific judges will be allocated to hear insurance related cases within the national Commercial &...more

Contracts 101: Read Twice, Sign Once

Fast and loose; quick and dirty; speedy and greedy are three ways to describe businessmen and women who enter into contracts without reading the fine print. As soon as an executive signs his or her name to an endlessly long...more

2015: This Is The Year Ahead: Summary Of Likely Trends And Legislative Developments Across Asia This Year

In This Issue: China; Hong Kong; Japan; Korea; and Singapore. Excerpt from Korea: The Korean government is proposing to amend the Employee Retirement Benefit Securities Act to promote the implementation...more

Not Worth The Paper It's Printed On? Strategies For Dealing With The Fraud Exception To The Parol Evidence Rule

This article explores possible measures that parties to commercial transactions and their attorneys can take to help ensure greater contract certainty when fraud claims of one type or another are not barred by the parol...more

Businesses Should Review Terms of Energy Supply Contracts

Now is the time to determine if your business is vulnerable to price swings for electricity and natural gas supply due to the volatility of the wholesale market. With cold winter months ahead, money-saving options may be...more

Commercial Contracts Include an Implied Duty of Good Faith

There has long been an implied duty that an employer must act in good faith when terminating employment contracts. Until now, such a duty was not necessarily implied in other commercial contracts. However, all companies...more

Planning for the Inevitable – Tips for Planning for Disagreements in Outsourcing and Other Commercial Contracts

Disagreements over the course of a commercial relationship are inevitable. A pitfall of many commercial contracts is that the parties often incorporate “boilerplate” dispute resolution clauses that simply state that all...more

Court Ruling Confirms that SDVOSB Contractors Possess Procedural Due Process Rights Against Adverse Eligibility Determinations

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affair's ("VA") Center for Veterans Enterprise (“CVE”) has a tough and sometimes thankless job. Its role is to serve as a “gatekeeper” for VA contracting programs for service-disabled,...more

Comparing Franchise Relationships and Beer Distribution Relationships

Beer distribution laws differ from traditional franchise laws in many ways, but they do share some commonalities. As a matter of fact, many states now regulate the relationship between those who brew or import beer into a...more

Good Faith in Government Contracting: Board of Contract Appeals Adheres to Reasonableness Standard Revived by the Federal Circuit...

Ever since the Federal Circuit’s 2010 decision in Precision Pine & Timber, Inc. v. U.S., the controlling standard for the government’s duty of good faith and fair dealing has been in flux. Prior to Precision Pine, it was...more

About that English Law and Arbitration Clause: Consider enforcement implications before signing

As is frequently seen in international commercial contracts, parties with no operations or other relationship to England or the United Kingdom specify English law as controlling, with a clause providing for arbitration of...more

What should I do when a commercial dispute lands on my desk?

When a dispute arises, a risk manager/in-house counsel may find it difficult to remember everything they should keep in mind while trying to get to grips with the factual/legal issues and putting in place a litigation...more

High Court Clarifies Duties To Subsequent Purchasers – Brookfield Multiplex v Owners Corporation

The duty of care owed by a builder to subsequent purchasers of a building has long been a source of contention. In a decision handed down on 8 October 2014, the High Court in Brookfield Multiplex Limited v Owners Corporation...more

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