Our experts assess the big developments of the year, break down crucial tactical issues and offer practical steps to keep risk in check

In one of our most popular regular publications, our annual briefing returns to gauge the lessons from some of the main English contract law cases of 2021. The stability of English contract law is, of course, one of the main reasons why it is such a popular choice of law to govern commercial contracts; indeed, there were no major contract law developments in 2021. However, the cases we have chosen serve as useful reminders of some key issues for those drafting and managing contracts. Despite the absence of major shifts in contract law itself, there is a clear evolution in the way parties are negotiating, drafting, executing, performing and managing contracts, in part reflecting the rise of document automation, online collaboration and contract lifecycle management tools.

Our analysis covers nine key themes over the year, including formation, exclusion and limitation clauses and frustration and force majeure, the latter points inevitably coming to the fore in a year in which the courts addressed a handful of Covid-related disputes. Each of our core themes includes practical lessons for lawyers drafting at the commercial coalface and brief summaries of the court reasoning in highlighted cases.

Click here for our report.

On Wednesday 23 February 2022 (1.00 – 1.45pm UK time), James Baily, Sarah Pollock and Julie Farley will deliver a webinar to clients and contacts to explore these cases in more depth. Click here to register.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.