Contract Law Masterclass 2016

Please click on the button below to the view the 2016 event brochure (event completed on 2 March 2016).

8:00am  Registration opens

8:45am   Welcome & opening remarks from the Chair
  • Brief introduction and overview of the major developments in employment law over the last 12 months
Chris Browne, Partner, Wilson Harle

9:00am   Introductory remarks
  • The overlay of statutory obligations on contractual rights and obligations
  • Significant developments in the operation of contracts over the last 12 months
  • Searching for certainty in an uncertain world: Trends in judicial interpretation 
Allan McRae, Partner, Lowndes

9:30am   Contract is king…or is it? The role of pre-contractual communication
  • Interpretation of contracts including to what extent pre-contractual communication (including verbal agreements and email exchanges) may be taken into account
  • Implications of Carbon Smart Ltd v Prevista Ltd (2015) UK    

Mark Williamson, Partner, DLA Piper

10:15am  Being an ace negotiator: Contract negotiation strategies 
  • Preparing for a negotiation – Planning for alternative outcomes, settlement zones and walk-away positions  
  • Practical tips for negotiating and forming a water-tight contract that accurately reflects the agreement and interpretation of the parties
  • Email negotiation – Dynamics at play, common manoeuvres and tactics (and how to overcome them)
  • Tips for negotiating around road blocks
  • The relationship between negotiation style and strategy
  • Client management: Persuading parties to negotiate rather than adopting a take-it-or-leave-it approach  

Cameron Taylor, Partner, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts 

11:00am  Morning refreshment break

11:30am  WORKSHOP: How to draft the unbreakable contract 
  • Tips for drafting simpler, leaner and smarter
  • Guidelines for drafting clear, concise and enforceable 'further clauses' that are understandable by both parties (even those without the benefit of a practising certificate)
  • Drafting liquidated damages clauses and clauses relating to express remedies available to the parties upon breach (e.g. rights of specific performance)
Tim Rainey, Partner, Rainey Law

12:15pm   Indemnities and exclusion clauses
  • Liability for breach of contract: causation, remoteness and establishing loss
  • Breach of contract and indemnities
  • Negotiating limitation of liability clauses: persuading parties to agree to allocating risk
  • Current law as to indemnities and exclusion clauses and the  approach of NZ courts to these particularly as to supply contracts
  • Carve outs – how to handle situations where negligence contributes to the loss or damage
  • Do indemnity clauses provide indemnified parties with an avenue to avoid liability exclusion clauses? 

David Broadmore, Senior Associate, Buddle Findlay

1:00pm Networking lunch

1:45pm   Judicial developments: How the courts have been treating contract matters 
  • Lessons from the appellate courts: A review of recent decisions
  • Contract interpretation and types of evidence that can be used
  • Implications of Arnold v Britton and Firm PI 1 v Zurich Australian Insurance regarding judicial interpretation and recourse to ideas of commercial common sense or fairness when interpreting bargains

Jane Standage, Senior Associate, Bell Gully
2:30pm   Essential, implied and unacceptable terms
  • What qualifies as an essential term and how is section 9 of the Contractual Remedies Act 1979 being used?
  • Will obligations of good faith be implied into contracts?
  • Are "take or pay" contract terms accepted by the Courts or rejected as unenforceable penalties?

Christopher Lee, Partner, Hesketh Henry

3:15pm   Afternoon refreshment break

3:30pm   Consumer contract law: Unfair contracts update  
  • How the unfair contract terms (UCT) provisions of the Fair Trading Act are applying in practice
  • Termination for unfair terms - Differences between consumer contracts and B2B contracts
  • Drafting tips to mitigate the risks of breaching the UCT provisions while retaining key commercial and operational requirements

Joe Edwards, Senior Associate, Russell McVeagh
4:15pm   Breaking up is (sometimes) hard to do: Breach, repudiation, cancellation and insolvency
  • Breach of contract and tort – What remedies are practical and provide the greatest degree of commercial certainty? 
  • Influence of tort of interference on parties' freedom of contract rights
  • Parties’ rights on insolvency and near insolvency, with and without registered security interests
  • Repudiation and cancellation – What remedies are available, favourable and commonly applied?
  • Comparison of the various legal and equitable remedies on default
  • Protections against claims of undue influence and unconscionable bargains

Nick Flanagan, Partner, Meredith Connell

5:00pm   Concluding remarks from the Chair and close of conference