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New and Updated Contract Management Document Templates

March 2014

Contracts form the foundation of virtually all commercial transactions and play a fundamentally important role in business. It is therefore important that all terms are carefully negotiated and recorded in writing.

Even once a contract is signed and in place, however, the writing should not stop. It may be tempting to rely on oral communication to deal with matters arising during the course of a contract, but at the least things may be forgotten, and at the worst in the event of a dispute the situation can quickly deteriorate into a costly game of “he said, she said”. It is advisable, therefore, that all communications between the parties to a contract are made in writing or at least recorded in writing immediately after the fact.

New Memorandum of Understanding

An all-new Memorandum of Understanding Template is now available from Simply-Docs, designed for use with a broad range of commercial transactions.

A Memorandum of Understanding, also known as an MOU, heads of terms, heads of agreement, letters of intent or terms sheet, is a useful tool in the negotiation stages of a contract where the parties to a proposed commercial arrangement have reached a preliminary deal but have yet to negotiate the full legal and commercial terms and other details which will comprise the whole arrangement.

The advantage of a preliminary document such as a MOU is that it serves as a useful tool to help focus the parties’ discussions. It can identify and set out the main terms and issues, show the intent of the parties to go ahead with a deal, reduce the potential for misunderstandings, and indicate those major issues which need to be resolved and agreed in detail in the contract.

New Deed of Variation

During the lifetime of a commercial contract, the parties to that contract may have cause to alter it in some way. This may be due, for example, to a change in business circumstances or to a renegotiation of the original agreement.

The most effective way to ensure that such changes become legally binding is, naturally, to record them in writing and to execute that written instrument as a deed. By executing the document in question as a deed, the requirement of contractual consideration is bypassed, thus making the contents of that document legally binding without consideration.

A new Deed of Variation of Agreement is now available, designed for use in such situations and sets out the agreed changes that are to be made to the contract in question.

New Guidance Notes on Signing Contracts

New to the Business document folder is a set of guidance notes already available to our Corporate subscribers, providing detailed guidance on the formalities required for executing contracts. Of particular relevance to our new Deed of Variation, these guidance notes contain guidance and a range of model execution clauses for the execution of deeds.

New and Updated Letter Templates

A broad range of letter templates have been added to the portfolio addressing a number of common interactions between contracting parties. Ranging from a simple change of contact details notice all the way up to a notice of breach and termination with the intent to commence legal action, these letters represent valuable tools to ensuring clear and efficient communication and contract management.

A number of our existing contract management documents have also received updates to bring them into line with the new templates, including formatting updates and contextual changes within the documents making them more readily accessible to a wider range of business types.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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