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Tailored Contracts Training for TfL

The Background

In a city as big and as densely populated as London, transport is an absolutely critical issue that requires a plethora of professional figures and skills to function effectively.

Created in 2000 as the central body responsible for the capital's transport system, Transport for London (TfL) manages the city's transport services and acts to put the Mayor of London's Transport Strategy into action. This includes overseeing a wide range of services, including:

  • The Underground
  • London Buses
  • London Overground
  • 580km of main roads
  • Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles
  • Congestion Charge Scheme
  • Cycling Initiatives

Naturally, this broad role requires extensive collaboration with external suppliers and high activity on the commercial procurement front, which in turn creates the need for a legal team that is able to effectively draft and oversee the multitude of contracts needed to manage these commercial relationships.

That is why TfL and London Underground turned to Falconbury to develop their legal teams, building on their contracts knowledge as well as providing an update and refresher on commercial contracts and boilerplate clauses.

The Solution

The solution developed by Falconbury was a two-day training session divided into two parts:

  • Part 1 - Drafting Commercial Contracts
  • Part 2 - Drafting and Understanding Boilerplate Clauses

But the course was no off-the-shelf solution. A conference call was arranged with Falconbury's legal specialist, who presented a draft outline of a seminar tailored specifically for TfL and London Underground. Once this was approved, a Non Disclosure Agreement was signed so that the client's real contracts could be used as case study examples throughout the training. Together, these elements ensured that the final course programme covered key clauses in existing contracts as well as addressing the real day-to-day issues encountered by the in-house legal team.

The Learning Outcomes

Each part of the two-day training programme had a set of clear learning objectives, which included:

Part 1

  • Understanding the benefits and pitfalls of using the structure and format of a typical commercial contract.
  • Mastering practical techniques for drafting clear, unambiguous commercial contracts.
  • Clarifying the distinction between ‘best endeavours’ and ‘reasonable endeavours’ – essential terminology in commercial contracts.
  • Understanding the effects of exclusion and limitation clauses.

Part 2

  • Drafting watertight clauses every time.
  • Examining assignment, novation & trusts to ensure adequate protection in the case of transfer or sale of rights.
  • Making clear provisions for termination to ensure each party knows where they stand.
  • Understanding the practical application of boilerplate clauses through exercises and trainer guidance.

The Feedback

From the participants:

"Interesting and enthusiastic speaker with practical examples that were very helpful."

"Useful revision of contract law, a lot covered in one day."

"Very good, knowledgeable speaker and excellent material."

From the client sponsor:

"It was a pleasure to work with Falconbury. Everyone I dealt with was very professional and the whole process from initial phone call to post-seminar wrap up ran smoothly. Using our own contracts made a huge difference and meant we got the most out of the training days."

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