Wise Up Wednesday: Onerous Terms Could Finish You!

Your Wise Up Wednesday today is a warning about signing up to unclear and onerous contract terms.

Poor And Onerous Drafting

Please don’t assume that all contracts are the same. They aren’t.

Please don’t assume that all Contractors or Clients placing orders with you know how to put contracts together. They don’t.

Please don’t assume that all solicitors know about construction contracts. They don’t.

Please don’t assume you have to accept what’s being offered. You don’t.

Incompetent Malevolent Apathy

I coined the phrase “Malevolent Apathy” a while ago to describe the way in which some Contractors think about their Subcontractors.

Either they are malevolent towards you, meaning they are deliberately out to screw you!

Or they are apathetic, meaning they don’t care and aren’t interested.

Yesterday in a training session for one of our Gold Buddies we decided it should be “Incompetent Malevolent Apathy” in order to reflect the growing incompetence of some Contractors.

Either way these firms are not great people to work for. And this attitude isn’t confined to Contractors, because some of the very biggest Subcontractors are just as bad.

Common Sense

Judges are unwilling to give much weight to arguments based on what you might think is commercial common sense. If there is a detailed contract,incorporating onerous terms or onerous amendments then you are stuck with it.

The onerous drafting will come out to haunt you at some point.

So you need to use your common sense to protect your business.

Making Sure You Don’t Fall Into The Trap

Please don’t rush headlong into the contract without stopping to think of the consequences of accepting onerous contract terms.

We are regularly vetting contracts for Specialist Contractors in all trades and all sizes of businesses, and contrary to popular belief Contractors and Clients will change their terms and conditions.

So please don’t simply accept what’s put in front of you, it could just cost you your business!

Want To Know More?

Contractual/JCT Training For Specialist Contractors

“Understand Your Contract to Minimise Risk and Maximise Profit”

“Introduction To Contractual Awareness and Using JCT Subcontracts”

WHEN/WHERE IS IT? The dates and fast access venues are as follows;

16 October – Village Hotel Hull Close to M62 and M180

17 October – Village Hotel Leeds South Close to M62 and M1

30 October – Village Hotel Liverpool Close to M62 and M57

31 October – Village Hotel Manchester Bury Close to M56 and M62

13 November – Village Hotel Newcastle Close to A! and A19

14 November – Village Hotel Leeds North Close to A1 and M62

Don’t see a date/location that suits? Contact us for future dates.

Here’s what your fellow Subcontractors said about our last event;

“Easily digestible information delivered in an interesting and easy to understand format”

“Very detailed and informative”

“Very informative and well delivered”

“We were struggling to get paid; not any longer!”


Session 1 – Contract Formation

Session 2 – Introduction to JCT Contracts and Construction Act

Session 3 – Time, Notices and Delay and Disruption

Session 4 – Instructions, Variations and Maximising Return

Session 5 – Getting Paid On Time and the Right Amount

Session 6 – Resolving Conflicts and Disputes

Session 7 – Putting It All Together


Our events are exclusively for Specialist Contractors so you are in the friendly company of other Specialist Contractors, and everything is designed to provide a broad appeal for all Specialist Contractors staff including;

Estimators, Contracts Managers; Project Managers; Commercial Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Credit Controllers and Directors


The Secrets To Getting Paid and Minimising Risk and Maximising Profit!

Specialist Contractors don’t get paid because they don’t understand the contract or don’t apply it when they should. We will reveal all you need to know to enable you to understand the fundamentals of those subcontracts, and how to get paid.


The value of this whole days training is £350 + VAT, however, you can get your Early Bird booking  discount and enjoy the reduced rates as follows;

  • 10% discount when you book one place
  • 20 % discount when you book 2 or more places
  • And if you are a member and StreetwiseSubbie Buddy (or join us now), you are eligible for even more heavily discounted preferential rates.

All rates are subject to VAT

Booking couldn’t be simpler, just contact Jo or Tanya directly on 01773 712116 or email  info@streetwisesubbie.com to confirm your places.

But hurry our last round of seminars sold out very quickly.

I hope you enjoyed my Wise Up Wednesday email and that it gave you some food for thought, and I sincerely hope to speak with you soon.

Best regards


P.S. Please remember if you want to protect your business from onerous terms, or have a problem, take action sooner rather than later. If you’re not sure what to do or just want a second opinion, please give us a call on 01773 712116, or email info@streetwisesubbie.com

Find out more about StreetwiseSubbie’s Wise up Wednesday here.

Share this


Become a Streetwise Buddy

Construction’s a tough place to do business right now, and Specialist Contractors need all the help you can get. That’s why you will find our resources and expertise are invaluable, whatever the size of your business and whatever your specialisation. We’re here to help you solve all your business problems, including the crucially important contractual ones, such as getting paid.

What Our Buddies Say ...

  • /


StreetwiseSubbie.com Ltd
17 Ilkeston Road
DE75 7DR

Helpline: +44 (0)1773 712116
Email: info@streetwisesubbie.com