‘Stephens on Contractual Indemnities’ by Richard Stephens
Publication due: November 2020
Indemnities have become commonplace in modern commercial contracts, with a modern commercial contract often containing numerous indemnities and using familiar expressions such as “save and hold harmless”. However, few lawyers can say with confidence what such expressions mean or even what the advantage of an indemnity is over a straight breach of warranty claim. Along with their popularity in modern drafting, cases are starting to come along at an increasing rate and the courts are having to address exactly what indemnities are and what they mean in practice. Indeed, from these same cases it can be seen what the pitfalls are for the lawyer involved in drafting or negotiating indemnities in commercial contracts.
While cases on indemnities go back centuries, this book focuses on the recent cases to draw out the practical implications for lawyers. There are many cases on the subject and the decisions are not always easy to reconcile, but this book tries to draw out the lessons that can be learned from the cases to demystify the indemnity and explain its practical implications. It is strange that the indemnity has become so popular while at the same time there is a dearth of academic or practical literature on the subject. This book attempts to state in a coherent fashion a modern “law of indemnities” for the modern commercial lawyer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Stephens has been in practice for some forty years, working primarily in the technology sector. He has seen the law from the angle of both a litigator and a non-contentious lawyer and brings to bear his experience in both of these fields. Richard first qualified as a barrister before moving in-house to work at two prominent IT companies in the 90’s and then requalifying as a solicitor to become a partner in two City of London Law firms. He set up his own practice in 2004 and since then has worked as mediator and arbitrator in numerous cases as well as establishing himself as a trainer in the area of commercial legal subjects, including a half-day session looking specifically at contractual indemnities. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, of the British Computer Society and of the Society for Computers & Law (of which he is a past Chair).