The Contract Masterclass – Where to begin

Great news: You’ve just agreed a deal! You can’t wait to crack on with the work but wait… how much work do you need to do? When do you get paid? Who takes responsibility if something goes wrong? Have you protected all your creative input? How can you exit if this turns sour? Here, James Corlett starts his contract masterclass blog series which follows the journey of ‘Bob’ the contracts manager!

More often than not, these points (and other important points too long to list here!) form part of the contract between the parties. You may be surprised to learn that many businesses (both new and established and even large businesses have no written terms in place for key contracts, blindly agree to counterparty terms or use formats that are outdated or have limited bearing upon the actual deal being agreed.

Our contractual masterclass series aims to give you some insight into how you can avoid simple mistakes, improve your knowledge and take the pain out of business to business contracting! That’s a lot to pack into 10 weeks of blogs, so obviously this series isn’t legal advice, and you shouldn’t rely on it as if it is, but our responsive team would be happy to handle any tricky queries keeping you awake at night.

Many businesses see contracts as a necessary evil; something to be gotten out the way before the fun part of getting on with business and getting paid or receiving the final product! This overlooks the value of contracts that can (and should) make your life as a business easier.

Let’s start with the basics… What’s the point of contracts?

In basic terms, the contract should set out a roadmap of how the relationship should work and also (importantly!) manage the risks. But what is risk? Risk is usually defined as ‘the chance or possibility of danger, loss, injury or other adverse consequences’.

The starting point for every contract is therefore: What is the risk? You can analyse this by addressing three questions:

  1. What are your objectives?
  2. What will prevent you from achieving your objectives and what is their possible impact?
  3. Are they likely and can they be managed?

Once you have worked out the answers and prioritised their impact from high – low, you can then make a start.

In this series we’ll follow Bob. Bob is a contracts manager at Tech It Easy Limited. Bob doesn’t think much of contracts, or lawyers. Hopefully we’ll change his mind… tune in next week for more on Bob’s contract adventures.


  • James Corlett

    Managing Partner