Contract Law - Understanding the Concepts of a Contract

Marketing Institute of Singapore (MIS)

Course introduction

Almost daily we all make contracts. Ignorance is not a privilege. It is a misfortune. Managers, company directors, executives and businessmen need to clearly understand contract law. Now it is even more important to understand how contracts can be made electronically through the email and the world wide web over the internet. Get a thorough understanding of the principles of contract law through this interactive course taught by a well-known author of 26 law books, including the best-seller book "Contract Law". Emphasis will be placed on the terms and clauses frequently used in the drafting of contracts, agreements and joint ventures. Rules on contract drafting will be discussed. Samples of different types of contracts will be provided such as contracts of employment. Participants will learn how to terminate a contract and know the remedies available for breach of contract. Course materials will be given which are useful and invaluable references. Case studies and case presentations will be given. You will learn how to conduct your businesses effectively within the laws of business and companies. Participants will also benefit from the interactive sessions with the lecturer. Video training materials will be used to enhance learning.

Course Outline

Nature of A Business Contract

  • commercial contract
  • gentlemen agreements
  • oral/verbal contracts and written contracts
  • who is the reasonable man?
Effective Negotiation Skills
  • hard versus soft negotiator
  • how to negotiate for a successful contract?
  • Harvard Principled Negotiation Techniques
Requirements of a Valid Contract
  • distinguish between "invitation to treat" and "offer"
  • newspaper advertisement and catalogs
  • intention to create legal relations, domestic and commercial contracts
  • consideration: sufferance e.g. the price
  • Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act
  • Capacity to make a contract
  • minors
  • mentally disordered and drunkards
E-Commerce Contracts
  • making contracts via emails and the world wide web on the internet
  • Electronic Transactions Act & its implications
Terms of a Contract
  • express terms vs. implied terms
  • parol evidence rule in written contracts
  • conditions: fundamental terms
  • warranties: minor terms
  • complex terms
  • breach of conditions & warranties
  • consequences of breach of contract terms
Amendment & Variation of Contract Terms
  • the 4 exceptions
Exemption Clauses
  • Unfair Contracts Terms Act
  • control of exclusion clauses by case law & statutory laws
  • negligence & damages
Factors affecting Contract
  • misrepresentation
  • inducement, sales talk
  • fraudulent, negligent & innocent misrepresentation
  • effects of misrepresentation
  • remedies: rescission & damages
  • mistake
  • types of mistakes
  • mutual mistake
  • common mistake
  • unilateral mistake
  • operative mistake to avoid contract
  • duress & undue influence
  • voidable contract
  • economic duress, loss of profits
  • illegal contracts & its consequences
  • void contracts
  • contracts in restraint of trade
  • non-competition clauses preventing working elsewhere
Discharge of Contracts
  • 4 ways to terminate a contract
  • by performance
  • by agreement (notation)
  • by frustration
  • by breach
Remedies for Breach of Contract
  • refuse further performance
  • damages: monetary compensation & awards
  • how much monetary awards can be claimed?
  • Rule of remoteness of damage
  • mitigation of damages
  • speculative damages
  • liquidated damages, pre-estimate genuine damages, penalty clauses
  • specific performance
  • injunctions
How to Resolve Your Contractual Disputes
  • negotiations & consultations
  • mediation
  • arbitration
  • mini-trials
  • litigation & the Legal System
  • the courts
  • common law versus criminal law
  • contract law versus tort law (wrongful acts)
Upon completion, participants may progress to attend Contract Administration & Management (2 Days) and/or Understanding Contract Interpretation & Drafting Standard Commercial Clauses (2 Days).

Available Course Sessions

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Trainer Profile

Prof Catherine Tay Swee Kian

Prof Catherine Tay Swee Kian is an Associate Professorial Fellow lecturing law at the National University of Singapore, Department of Strategy and Policy (NUS Business School). She is also an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore and an author of several law books. She is Associate Director of Bernard & Rada Law Corp.

Prof Tay studied law at Queen Mary College, University of London and graduated with a Master of Laws, in which she specialised in Company, Shipping, Insurance and Marine Insurance Laws. She did her pupillage under the Honourable Lady Mary Hogg in London and returned to Singapore in the law firm of Rodyk & Davidson.

Prof Tay was on the Board of Overseas Editors for the (United Kingdom) Journal of Financial Crime, an official publication of the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime. She has presented papers at many conferences and seminars on Business Law, Medical Law, Company and Insolvency Laws both overseas and in Singapore. Prof Tay is an examiner on law subjects for a number of professional bodies in Singapore and overseas. She conducts in-house seminars for hospitals, banks, statutory boards, hotels, commercial firms and companies, clubs and associations.