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Have you looked at your purchasing terms recently?

Member News published by Howes Percival LLP, under Legal / IP

Standard terms and conditions are one of those things, much like regular dentist check-ups or funeral plans, we all know we need but we’d rather not think about them on a daily basis. After all, who has the time to ponder their own mortality or whether they’re flossing enough every day? We’ve all got better things to do!

But the truth is, like those other examples, a company’s standard terms and conditions are essential to get right, should be updated regularly and can cause some nasty, expensive problems if you get them wrong.

We all know that having a robust and reliable supply chain is critical to any business, but the recent news stories about sub-contractor misconduct in the fashion industry provide a timely reminder of what can go wrong, as well as the damage to a business’ reputation when it does. These cases highlight why your business needs good terms and conditions for buying (as well as selling) – both to prevent problems from happening wherever possible and to give you some recourse when they do.

As such now seems like a good to time to ask – when was did you last review your terms and conditions of purchase?

If your answer is “I can’t remember”, “A few years ago I think” or worse still “What terms and conditions” then now is the time to get your terms in order. There have been a number of significant developments in the law on commercial trading in recent years and your terms need to be updated to comply with them. For example:

  • Data Protection – Did you ever get round to updating your terms in line with the dreaded “GDPR”?
  • Anti-bribery – Do you have adequate procedures in place to ensure there’s no bribery or corruption anywhere in your supply chain?
  • Modern Slavery – What have you done to ensure that your suppliers and their sub-contractors aren’t involved in modern slavery or employee rights abuses? What legal recourse would you have if you found out they were?

If any of these points are ringing alarm bells or if you generally think you’re overdue a review of your standard terms of purchase, please get in touch with Howes Percival’s Commercial team and we’ll be happy to help. In the meantime, isn’t it about time you called your dentist?

For advice on updating your terms and conditions of purchase, please contact Miles Barnes on 01604 258 066 or by emailing

The information on this site about legal matters is provided as a general guide only. Although we try to ensure that all of the information on this site is accurate and up to date, this cannot be guaranteed. The information on this site should not be relied upon or construed as constituting legal advice and Howes Percival LLP disclaims liability in relation to its use. You should seek appropriate legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action.

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