During the Covid-19 pandemic, much of the focus has been on shoring up existing delivery and, where possible, extending arrangements if it is not possible to re-procure.
As the education environment continues to change and opportunities to make savings and generate income develop, schools and academies face a growing need to ensure that their budget and reputation is protected when they enter commercial contracts, including being able to demonstrate that adequate due diligence has been carried out.
Our experienced commercial contracts solicitors provide the best possible advice on creating business contracts with suppliers, customers or collaborators. Schools and academies enter into contracts all the time, and ensuring that your contracts are water tight is imperative for protecting you from being exposed to contractual risks, including disputes, contract negotiations, data protection breaches and regulatory compliance.
We work in partnership with you to ensure that all commercial contracts are clear and unambiguous. We draw on our extensive cross-sector and legal knowledge to ensure that all commercial contracts are fit for purpose, compliant with the law and help safeguard against commercial risks. All of your contracts need to take account of the legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the “deal” of an organisation. We work with you to make sure that whatever you are asked to sign, you know what the implications are, even if there is little room for negotiation.
While commercial contracts are put in place to safeguard your organisation, if your organisation is facing a commercial dispute we can work with you to provide clear and practical advice and support through every step of the dispute, from identifying whether there is a case, to dispute resolution through mediation or court proceedings.
We provide comprehensive and wide ranging advice on all aspects of commercial contracts, including:
- Service contracts
- Supplier contracts
- Heads of terms
- Procurement documentation
- Intellectual property
- Consultancy agreements
- Email and internet-use policies
- Website terms and conditions
- General terms and conditions of business
- Joint-venture agreements
- IT contracts
- Software licences
- Commercial contract disputes, including litigation and debt recovery support.
I value the understanding Christopher Whittington shows of our unique situation and values, rather than suggesting a generic solution from somewhere else.Sarah Smith, Diocesan Director of Education, Birmingham Diocese.
Helping teachers as people
As a teacher, or a professional working in the education sector, there are multiple issues that you may face. Whilst we do offer advice about educating children from a variety of backgrounds in a safe and caring environment, we also offer advice to you as an individual. We understand that the pressures and numerous challenges facing those in charge are not always classroom based.
Education is one of our core sectors. This allows us to combine our specialist subject knowledge and experiences with our personal approach to individual cases. Our clients tell us that the service they receive from us is unique, and we believe this comes directly from our commitment to the purpose of our firm: 'to improve lives, communities and society’.
We have been recognised for the work we do
Covid-19 has resulted, on the whole, in a marked co-operation between contracting authorities and their suppliers as everybody focuses on maintaining delivery as far as possible.
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
The Construction Leadership Council (the CLC) has released its new recovery plan for the UK construction sector - “Roadmap to Recovery”.
Newnham College, Cambridge, received a fine from the HSE in January for failings that exposed employees and subcontractors to asbestos during refurbishment works on a flat owned by the college.
It is important to remember that when it comes to selling services, you must deliver on your promises.
The European Court has upheld the long-standing principle that parties to a dispute should be able to choose their lawyers without having to go through a tender process (or use a framework).
A recent case has confirmed that a professional appointment for construction will usually be a “construction contract” under the Construction Act.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recommended changes to the law and its regulatory powers, which are intended to safeguard the interests of consumers.
“Frustration” enables a party to get out of a contract where new circumstances make performance of that contract impossible or illegal.
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