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Contract Writing and Negotiation for Non-Lawyers

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In-Person / Training


The negotiation and preparation and holding one accountable to a contract are the means by which businesses achieve their objectives. Two key ingredients to successful contract management are the negotiation of terms and conditions match business outcomes and ensuring a robust, well devised contract design process. This course provides an opportunity to learn how.

The course will assist contract managers to refer to and understand a contract that they may not have designed or negotiated, to determine the specific conditions that are applicable and their negotiating position.

The course will also illustrate how to make contracts relevant to the active management of the relationship between the principal-contractor. This is applicable when needing to vary things such as price and deliverables, or proposing change when exercising options of extension.

Learn how to combat tactics and tricks that are designed to unnerve you when negotiating terms, conditions, extensions and performance outcomes. Even if as a contract manager you do not draft the contract documents, your input/briefing to the drafting team/legal staff is valuable, and will be improved after this course.

For more information and discounts, please contact Sushil on 02 9080 4395 or email us at [email protected]


Examining various types of negotiation to understand your power and influence capabilities

  • Position bargaining
  • Cooperative bargaining
  • Constructive negotiation
  • “Getting to Yes”: Principled negotiation
  • Separate the people from the problem
  • Focus on interests; not positions
  • Invent options for mutual gain
  • Insist on using objective criteria
  • Examples of how these techniques are used in practice

Discover the skills of a strong negotiator

  • Integrity and reputation
  • Communication skills and persuasion
  • Frame of mind and creativity
  • Consider how this could be adapted to your situation

Tactics and tricks to fast-track your journey and improve your confidence

  • Helpful tips and negotiating tactics
  • Miscommunication issues that often arise, how to foresee and address them
  • Dirty tricks and how to combat them

Proceeding to agreement – your role as a contract manager

  • Understanding your role as a contract manager in the negotiation process
  • Closing the negotiation
  • Documenting the agreement
  • Follow up

The role of contracts in the commercial environment

  • The purpose of contracts in business
  • Why are they there?
  • Why are they so important?
  • What would happen if there wasn’t a contract?
  • Examples of effective and ineffective contracts
  • Review the definition of a legal agreement
  • Representations

Principles of contractual interpretation

  • Why clarity and precision in drafting is paramount
  • Structure and formatting of commercial documents
  • Examples of clauses that are clear and in plain English

Nature of the contract

  • Subject of the contract
  • Pricing mechanism
  • Relationship between the parties

Contract strategy and planning

  • Determining your contracting strategy
  • Capture lessons learnt from previous contracts
  • Appreciate the importance of getting the design accurate
  • Ensure the contract is designed to support any ongoing issues that may impact during the term such as default, termination and disputes
  • Foresee the active management of the principal-contractor relationships when varying aspects like price, deliverables, extensions
  • Understand the use and amendment of standard form contracts
  • Assessing and amending standards – how they can be adapted to suit your goals
  • Techniques in adapting and modifying existing clauses
  • When and how to start from scratch

Parties to the contract

  • Principal, contractors, sub-contractors etc
  • JV and partnering structures
  • Legal entities
  • Privity of contract

Payment & performance criteria

  • Developing a contract scope – understanding the big picture and key criteria to be included
  • Performance provisions
  • Consider operational factors and performance risks
  • Payment provisions

Risk, liability & insurance

  • Contractual risk allocation
  • Warrantees, indemnities, exclusions
  • Consequential loss and contribution
  • Insurance

Default, termination & disputes

  • Default
  • Termination
  • Disputes

General provisions

  • Interpretative provisions and jurisdiction
  • Administrative provisions
  • Ownership and intellectual property

Contract cross referencing techniques to improve the linkage and alignment of your contracts


Sean McCarthy

Prior to the study and practise of law, Sean spent over 20 years in building and construction in various roles featuring project management. He ran his own successful building company in Melbourne for 7 years. Here he navigated contract and site management as well as dealing with planning and regulatory issues.

Over the last decade, Sean has focused on construction, procurement, contracts and general property and commercial law in both his studies and in legal practice. He has been “in-house” legal practitioner for a major ACT government directorate providing advice across all facets of operations, and dealing with infrastructure disputes for the latter part of 2012.

Sean teaches part time at both ANU and the University of Canberra law faculties, and is currently a director at the Society of Construction Law Australia. He has written awarded papers on the
role of “ethics” within the construction industry.

Special Offer

Melbourne // 15-16 June 2017
Super Early Bird rate: $2,395 (Save $300 + GST). Use code P17GL05ME. Expires by 5 May 2017.
Early Bird rate: $2,595. Expires by 26 May 2017.
Standard rate: $2,695.

Perth // 6-7 November 2017
Super Early Bird rate: $2,395 (Save $300 + GST). Use code P17GL05PE. Expires by 29 Sep 2017.
Early Bird rate: $2,595. Expires by 20 Oct 2017.
Standard rate: $2,695.

Sydney // 7-8 December 2017
Super Early Bird rate: $2,395 (Save $300 + GST). Use code P17GL05SY. Expires by 27 Oct 2017.
Early Bird rate: $2,595. Expires by 17 Nov 2017.
Standard rate: $2,695.

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Informa Australia is the nation’s leading event organiser. Our events comprise of large scale exhibitions, industry conferences and highly specialised corporate training.

Our professional training courses are stimulating, comprehensive and well structured, allowing attendees to enhance their professional development and build capability that is unique to their chosen fields. Informa training courses are delivered by renowned industry experts and thought leaders with extensive practical experience.

Whether you have one person, handful of people, or an entire division needing skills development, our learning programmes will help meet the development needs of your work force.

We are based in Sydney’s CBD and employ around fifty staff. We are part of the global Informa Group PLC, listed on the London Stock Exchange (INF).

Informa Australia Pty Ltd.
Level 18, 347 Kent St
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
[email protected]
Informa Australia
Level 18, 347 Kent St , Sydney, NSW, Australia 2000
+61 2 9080 4300
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