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Commercial agreements in the education sector 

As it approaches the time of year when many schools start to consider their purchasing requirements, here is a reminder of why the terms you are purchasing goods and services on are so important.

Putting a well drafted written commercial agreement in place between you and your supplier creates certainty for both parties. It should include all relevant commercial terms, and set out what happens in different situations. For example, what happens when your supplier cannot provide the services or goods under the agreement? How does the agreement come to an end? This will mean that your commercial arrangement will be easier for you to administer, as both you and your supplier will be clear on your obligations, rights and duties under the agreement.

The type of goods or services you are purchasing, or the nature of the agreement itself, may also be subject to regulatory requirements or obligations, or funding conditions, that either you or your supplier (or both) are required to comply with. A commercial agreement can help to ensure that those requirements and conditions are clearly set out, take into account the practicalities of the arrangements being put in place, and make both parties familiar with them.

Having a clear written agreement in place should also make it easier to determine when a breach has occurred and to enforce the terms of the agreement. It also removes unnecessary risk for your school (and your Multi Academy Trust if you are part of one) which may arise if there was no written agreement in place, or one which is ambiguous or unclear.

A well-drafted commercial agreement can also help to reduce the risk of a legal dispute arising in the first place. It is likely to be more cost-effective to spend time negotiating and drafting an agreement, than being involved in prolonged and expensive litigation. If a dispute does arise, the agreement will be looked at to see the consensus that had been reached between the parties and the terms that were put in place. It is therefore important to make sure that any agreement includes everything that you intend it to and captures all terms that have been discussed and agreed before the agreement was put in place as well as anything you relied upon in entering into the agreement.

We can assist you with drafting or reviewing commercial agreements and helping you to put those agreements in place. Please do get in touch with our experienced Corporate and Commercial team should you require any assistance or have any queries.

This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email: mailinglists@greenwoods.co.uk




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      By completing and submitting this form, you consent to Greenwoods Legal LLP processing your personal data to provide you with the email update services you have selected and any other materials and information about our services that Greenwoods Legal LLP reasonably believes will be of interest to you. You are free to withdraw your consent at any time by emailing mailinglists@greenwoods.co.uk