Contract Drafting

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Challenging Arbitral Awards – Who’s the Boss and What Can It Do?

Appealing High Court decisions under the Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act) may be restricted following a recent ruling by the Court of Appeal. In Integral Petroleum SA v Melars Group Limited (2016 EWCA Civ 108), the Court of...more

Drafting Bylaws – Four Things To Consider

Four points to consider when drafting these often crucially important, but tiresome, documents: - Distinguish among Shall/Will/Must. I often cite Bylaws as an example of how “shall” may sometimes mean “must” while other...more

5 Writing Tips for Every Contract You Draft

A contract is a form of communication that a diverse audience will read and use. Attorneys who focus strictly on the legal terms and not on their word usage may find that style got in the way of substance. Don’t let that...more

Even Conduct That Is Not Barred by a Contract Can Lead to Contract Damages

In Exercising Contractual Rights Can Be Risky If It Is for an Ulterior Purpose, I discussed how a business can subject itself to multiple damages and attorneys’ fees under Mass. General Laws, Chapter 93A if it attempts to...more

Any Amendment Must be in Writing, Signed by the Parties - Sometimes Contracts Quite Literally Do Not Mean What They Say

The English Court of Appeal recently held that an express clause in a contract requiring that any amendment be in writing and signed by the parties does not preclude oral or unsigned amendments to the contract. In holding...more

Lessee Escapes Termination

Escondido and Justapor. Next up on Tiny Desk Concert? Good guess, but no. They are the parties in Escondido v. Justapor, a Texas case presenting the perils of lease termination clauses and vaguely-drawn contracts....more

Subcontractor Not Entitled to Payment After Refusal to Perform Disputed Extra Work

In the hustle and bustle of completing a construction project it can be easy to overlook the importance of the contract.  However, when a dispute arises the contract generally dictates the outcome of that dispute.  A recent...more

Fourth Circuit: Courts, Not Arbitrators, Decide the Availability of Class Arbitration

A decision allowing class-wide arbitration can transform a routine dispute into a “bet the company” problem. Who makes that decision: an arbitrator or a court? The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals answered that question...more

Defend Trade Secrets Act Signing Means It May Be Time to Update Form Agreements

President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the “DTSA”) on May 11, 2016. With his signature, your company’s standard employee intellectual property agreements, third party non-disclosure agreements and other...more

South Carolina Court of Appeals Says 150-Mile Geographic Restriction in Non-Compete is Unreasonable

South Carolina courts evaluate the enforceability of non-compete provisions executed in the employment context and in connection with the sale of the business under the same reasonableness test. To be enforceable in South...more

Long-term supply (and off-take) agreements: some recent themes

This Client Alert seeks to highlight certain recurring issues and themes arising in the context of long-term commodity supply and off-take agreements. It draws upon the recent collective experience of our lawyers as well as...more

Non-Compete Agreements Cannot be "Reasonable-ized" by Court--Even with the Parties' Consent

Yesterday, the Supreme Court stiffened its stern treatment of non-compete agreements. At issue in Beverage Systems was a non-compete clause that allowed the trial court to modify its geographic scope if the court determined...more

Express Yourself! Ongoing Split Over Class Arbitration Points to Importance of Clear Provisions

Despite the numerous Supreme Court decisions limiting class arbitrations, one central issue remains undecided: who decides whether an arbitration agreement permits class arbitration, the courts or the arbitrators? Entities...more

A Troubling Decision for Employment Arbitration Agreements with Potentially Ambiguous Language and What it Means for Employers...

On April 5, 2016, in a rare rebuke of an employment arbitration agreement by a federal court, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Hon. Madeline Cox Arleo, U.S.D.J.) held that it would not compel...more

North Carolina’s Strict Blue Pencil Doctrine is Written in Ink: The Supreme Court Rules That Courts Cannot Revise Noncompete...

The North Carolina Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) recently reiterated that North Carolina courts may not revise overly broad restrictions in noncompetition agreements, overturning a Court of Appeals decision that had...more

Beware the “Non-Exclusive” Arbitration Clause

“Non-exclusive” arbitration clauses provide that disputes “may” be referred to arbitration (rather than “shall” or “should” be so referred). The Privy Council clarified the nature of these clauses in a recent case but...more

Getting Full Value out of Noncompete Agreements

Increasingly, companies are having employees sign noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements in order to protect the company, and its customer base, should the employee leave the company. These agreements are clearly...more

Utah Enacts Post-Employment Restrictions Act

A growing number of states are tightening conditions on restrictive covenants.  The start of 2016 saw Oregon and Alabama enact higher barriers to the enforcement of non-compete agreements in those states. As of March 22,...more

Managing Litigation Risks in Third Party Technology Service Arrangements

One of the biggest risk trends for banks to watch in coming years will be risks arising from the outsourcing of information technology. Banking supervisors as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the...more

Alleviate the Fear of a License Counterparty Filing for Bankruptcy

A legitimate fear among companies negotiating license agreements exists, and that is the fear of the license counterparty filing for bankruptcy. Given the business interruption that ultimately could occur as a result of a...more

Do's and Dont's for Teaming Agreements & Subcontracts for 8(a) Contracts

Overview - - Teaming Agreements & Subcontracts - What are they? - What provisions should you include? - What are the key considerations for primes? - What are the key considerations for...more

Jay Z’s Breach of Contract Throws Off the Beat

Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, is being sued by Parlux Fragrances for allegedly failing to promote a fragrance line that Carter launched in 2013 in a partnership with Parlux. The signature fragrance, called Gold Jay Z, was...more

Beware the midnight clause: Hold the champagne?

Is it time to celebrate? - It’s midnight. The champagne is on ice. It was a tough negotiation but your attorney got all the key terms you wanted. With a few finishing touches on the contract, the deal will be done...more

WIN Wise: Back to basics - Termination of commercial contracts

Can I terminate my contract? Does the other party have a right to terminate? These appear to be simple questions, but termination of contracts is a complex area of law. This 'Back to Basics' note highlights the key...more

Midstream Gathering Agreements Rejected in Sabine Oil & Gas Bankruptcy

In a much anticipated ruling from the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Shelley C. Chapman determined that midstream gathering agreements are subject to rejection as executory contracts, based on...more

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