Contract Countdown Series – Most Dangerous Contract Risks #15
It’s undeniable – everyone loves a countdown. Who hasn’t high-fived their colleague on ‘hump day’, the halfway point to TGIF? Guilty. The Triple J Hottest 100 is legendary amongst summer barbeque goers. Yep, that’s us. “Top Ten Ways to” this and “Fast Five Ways to” that fill our news feeds on the daily commute. Because… 30 seconds or less, thanks.
So when we thought about the most exciting way to share our 58+ years of legal knowledge and help our audience review their contracts, a “best of” countdown came to mind. Because let’s be real here – contract review is akin to eating dirt. There, we said it. No one likes doing it, no one has time to do it, no one cares until something goes wrong. And why wouldn’t you want direct, free access to our experience in 30 seconds or less?
Introducing ‘Contract Countdown’: our new content series ranking the most dangerous legal risks that we see in Terms and Conditions from 15 to 1. Each week we’ll be deconstructing our legal experience and baking breaking contract review into bite-sized chunks, all to reveal the top 15 ways your contracts could be risking the biscuit.
So do this right now: print out a copy of your current Terms and Conditions. Keep them somewhere close by. Have a red pen at the ready. And maybe some snacks, because why not.
We can’t promise Contract Countdown will be all ‘LinkedIn and chill’ if your contracts aren’t up to scratch. But if you follow along each week, you’ll find out where your Terms and Conditions are exposed bite-by-bite, what you can do about it and which contract risk ultimately takes the cake.
#15 – REFERENCE TO OUT OF DATE LEGISLATION
Guys. The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 has replaced the Trade Practices Act 1974 since 2011. That’s as long as Kate and Wills have been married. If they can have 3 kids in that time, you can change out-of-date legislation in your Terms and Conditions. Am I right, or am I right?
Coming in at 15 on Contract Countdown is references to out-of-date or incorrect legislation.
We see this contract risk regularly (yep, it’s 2020 but we still see the Trade Practices Act). And it has more of an effect than you might think.
Take it from us: You must have current references to legislation in your Terms and Conditions. More importantly, you must phrase legislation references in a way that allows for amendments to that legislation which will be enacted from time-to-time. Because are you going to stay on top of Every. Single. Amendment. to that statute after you issue new T&C’s? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
But what’s the risk if you don’t? The provisions referencing the out-of-date legislation become incorrect, unclear or simply irrelevant. That can seriously affect the rights and obligations contained in your Terms. For example, if an Act has been repealed, a clause of your Terms might tell your suppliers to do something that doesn’t actually exist.
IF YOU WANT TO MINIMISE RISK, DO THIS
Go through your Terms with a red pen and circle all the references to legislation, and get your lawyer to check that they are current, correct and phrased in a way that includes all amendments.
That’s all for now… stay tuned for #14 in the Contract Countdown!
For more information, contact Holly Jackson