Contract law masterclass

Tuesday 8th November, 2016 9:00 am – Tuesday 8th November, 2016 12:15 pm
The Law Society of Western Australia
Level 5, 160 St Georges Terrace Perth

The law of contract is a fundamental area of law which crosses over into so many practice areas. This contract law masterclass focuses on the following four topical areas:

Contract interpretation

The law on contractual interpretation is an important area of commercial law. However, there is still much contention and debate on what Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority of New South Wales (1982) 149 CLR 337 means in practice and the most appropriate method for interpreting a contract and whether evidence of surrounding circumstances is admissible on a question of construction of a contractual provision that is on its face ‘unambiguous or susceptible of only one meaning’. This seminar examines the current case law on the area and when you can use extrinsic evidence to interpret the terms of a written contract including discussion of the High Court decision of Mount Bruce Mining Pty Ltd v Wright Prospecting Pty Ltd [2015] HCA 37.

When does a contract become binding? Recent controversies and the latest law

Pre-contractual negotiations come in all variations and reflect the myriad of contracting parties in society. These variations can, at times, make it difficult to gauge whether the parties have intended to be legally bound to an agreement. This seminar examines the at times vexed, but fundamental, question of when does a contract become legally binding? Both the latest case law and recent controversies in this area will be examined including analysis of:

• When pre-contractual negotiations become binding contracts
• Whether “subject to contract” negotiations offer protection
• The danger of email chain negotiations
• When does a legal practitioner have authority to bind a client

Equitable remedies for breach of contract

Some equitable remedies are referred to as the forgotten remedies for breach of contract. Our experienced speaker focuses on some of the principal such equitable remedies for breach of contract, including specific performance, rectification and injunctions. Consider the characteristics and aim of each of these remedies, how they differ from common law remedies and analyse recent developments in each of these areas.

Small business and the Australian Consumer Law update

On 12 November 2016, The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Small Business and Unfair Contract Terms) Bill 2015 (Bill) will come into effect and will extend the provisions of section 23 of the Australian Consumer Law to “small business contracts”. This seminar assists you to prepare your small business clients for these changes and stresses the importance of reviewing standard form contracts to ensure that the terms contained would not be deemed ‘unfair’ and thus found to be void and unenforceable.

Level: Intermediate / Advanced

  • 3 points Competency 4 Substantive Law


Sponsored by


Chair - Matt Howard SC
Francis Burt Chambers

Marcus Solomon SC
Francis Burt Chambers

Dr Pat Saraceni
Director, Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Clifford Chance

Fiona Vernon
Francis Burt Chambers

Kim Lendich
Francis Burt Chambers

Legal Trainee / Support Staff (Member)
Legal Trainee / Support Staff (Non-Member)