The large print giveth and the small print taketh away
Bills of ladling can have massive quantities of terms on the reverse in minute type. Reading all these and considering their effect takes significant effort but is essential, particularly at the beginning of a new contractual relationship.
Ask to see documents referred to in the contract
Terms may incorporate further documents which might include additional obligations on the parties. It’s easy to ignore these but do so at your peril.
Don’t just agree to agree
There are often clauses included in contracts requiring the parties to negotiate at some future date. Generally these clauses are unenforceable and expose the parties to the risk of deadlock, requiring the courts or an arbitrator to step in.
The battle of the forms
The last contractual terms that both parties see and don’t reject before they conclude a contract are usually the terms governing the agreement. Make sure your terms – not theirs -are binding by getting them in last.