Drafting and Negotiating International Contracts

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Stefan Messmann

Drafting contracts, and in particular international contracts, is a skill that is developed through experience and is not something that can easily be acquired through reading textbooks on the matter. Drafting an agreement is often one of the most difficult tasks confronting a young practitioner.

The same is true of negotiating such contracts.

Taking this into consideration, the present course will be divided into two  parts:

The first part will deal with the basic principles of drafting contracts, including but not limited to methods of drafting, responsibility for the first draft, objectives, layout conventions, numbering, use of precedents, style of conventions, headings and marginal notes, punctuation, checking drafts, submitting a draft, receipt of a draft, and making revisions. 

Furthermore, in the first part of the course the most important types of international contracts – such as letter of intent, joint venture agreement, license and technology transfer agreement as well as sale, supply, distribution, agency, maintenance and settlement agreements - will be examined and discussed at large. 

The second part will deal - though exercises - with the skills of negotiating. This includes but is not limited to verbal and non-verbal communications; informal, competitive, and co-operative phase of negotiation; negotiating styles/tactics; post negotiation assessment; impact of cultural differences; and negotiation ethics. During this section, frequently raised negotiation issues will be discussed.


Charles B. Craver, Effective Legal Negotiations, Charlottesville, Virginia, 2005

Lucian W. Pye, Chinese Negotiating Style- Commercial Approaches and Cultural Princip;es, Connecticut, London, 1992

Roger Fisher & William Ury, Getting to Yes. Negotiating an Agreement without Giving in, Penguin Books 1991