I am a solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team at Davis Blank Furniss. I was pleased to recently be given the opportunity to host a Forward Ladies event at Davis Blank Furniss’ offices.

Forward Ladies is a business networking group for professional women which was founded 15 years ago to assist women in developing network and support.

The event was attended by women from a range of industries and sectors from Manchester and the North West region.

Jessica Greenhalgh is a trainee solicitor at Davis Blank Furniss Solicitors and is to remain in our Business Department when she qualifies.  Jessica gave the first talk which was a short presentation in relation to Standard Terms and Conditions documents. She focused on key terms to include in your Terms and Conditions and also those to avoid in other people’s Terms and Conditions.

Jessica also explained why it was important to have a professionally drafted set of Terms of Business, namely because they keep you C A L M:

Checklist of things for you to consider when you are contracting with someone;

Avoid confusion – having a Terms of Business document means that it is clear to the parties how the contracts will be carried out.

Law – having a set of Terms and Conditions means that you are in a better legal position if any disputes happen in the future.

Manage expectations – having a set of Terms and Conditions means that the parties know what they are to expect in relation to the contract.

I then gave a presentation which provided a basic overview of when a contract is formed.  I then gave some advice on how to ensure that the written Terms of Business which Jessica had discussed governed relationships with other parties. I also provided some practical tips in relation to common mistakes and things to avoid.

The final presentation was given by Bernadette Willems of Greater Manchester Mediation Limited.

Bernadette told the group about the importance of non-verbal communication and non-verbal communication techniques such as:

  • eye contact
  • smiling
  • mirroring people’s body language
  • physical movement.

Bernadette also provided practical hints in relation to negotiation strategies, including who to negotiate with difficult people.  Bernadette’s key message was that the key to negotiation is three things:

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.

The event was a great success and good connections were made and useful information was provided which sparked some lively discussion at times.

I would like to thank Bernadette and Jessica for their contribution, and Forward Ladies for organising the event.


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