Short courses


Contracts: an Introduction

  • 5 hours
  • 2 half-days


Commercial contracts can be difficult to understand. Their general appearance, style of writing, and use of legal terminology is off-putting. Sometimes, they seem to be written in impenetrable code by lawyers for other lawyers.

This online course explains why contracts look the way they do. It highlights the useful features of a contract and the unnecessary features that reflect 'tradition'.

It explain the process that lawyers, clients and support staff typically follow when working with contracts.

You'll discuss the different stages in the life of a contract, and some of the activities that are encountered at each stage. These stages include drafting, negotiating, approving, signing, administering, performing, amending, terminating and litigating contracts.

Course content

Topics covered in this workshop include:

  • What makes a contract a contract
  • Why contracts are written in this particular way
  • The process of negotiating and signing contracts
  • Administering existing contracts, including record-keeping
  • Amending and terminating contracts
  • Administering disputes over contracts

Who this course is for

This practical course is designed for people who want to understand contracts better.

You don't need to be a lawyer to benefit from the course. Past participants have included a team of engineering project managers from a water utility company, a team of legal secretaries from a well-known media company, and research contract managers from universities and research funding bodies.

Managers and administrators who are new to a role that involves working with contracts will find the course useful, as will more experienced staff who would like to understand better the legal and commercial background to their work with contracts.

The course will also be useful for legal trainees and paralegals who wish to understand better the practical aspects of this subject.

Teaching and structure 

This course is run online over 2 consecutive days. You'll need to attend:

  • from 2pm to 5:30pm on day 1
  • from 10am to 1pm on day 2

You'll need to download Zoom to your computer or use the online version of Zoom. You'll be sent the meeting id number and password on the Friday before your course.

You'll be able to access course materials via a SharePoint site.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you should be familiar with:

  • the basic structure of a conventional commercial agreement
  • some standard techniques for writing contractual obligations clearly
  • the typical process for negotiating and signing contracts
  • the need for monitoring contractual obligations after signature
  • the process for terminating contracts

Costs and concessions

The standard price is £600.

Discounts are available for:

  • UCL Alumni
  • UCL Institute of Brand and Innovation Law sponsoring firms
  • group bookings

Course team

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark is a practising solicitor, who is recommended in Chambers Directory for both life science transactions and IP. He's recommended in the international guide, IAM Patent 1000, as a leading UK lawyer in the field of IP licensing. His blog on IP contracts, IP Draughts, was made a member of the Blawg100 by the American Bar Association in 2012. He's a Certified Licensing Professional (a qualification established by the Licensing Executives Society (US and Canada)) and a Registered Technology Transfer Professional.

He's run CPD courses on IP and contract subjects since the 1990s. He's a visiting lecturer at the UCL Faculty of Laws, and is the course director of a 5-day course, Intellectual Property Transactions: Law and Practice, which is run by UCL’s Institute of Brand and Innovation Law. This course has won two awards: a Law Society Excellence Award (Highly Commended) in the Learning and Development category, and a UCL Provost’s Teaching Award.

Course information last modified: 3 Dec 2021, 08:32