Commercial contract points on diversifying 

Some businesses are doing all they can to just keep going or they are working to answer the Government’s call for equipment to diversify to try and combat the financial implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Whether you are now offering free delivery from your restaurant businesses or coffee shops? Offering meals on wheels and care packages to vulnerable people? Or changing your production line to provide necessary supplies to the NHS? When diversifying there are inevitable obstacles to overcome and factors to consider in order to meet demanding timescales whilst protecting yourself from any potential liability.

Questions you should therefore be asking yourself include;

  • Do you have contracts in place with new parties? Are your new contracts valid?
  • Are you developing new methods of working to exploit new business channels?

Contract manufacturing is the outsourcing of production to another company by putting in place an outsourcing agreement between parties. This may be the preferable choice, but it is not without its complexities, especially where you have to contend with sector specific regulation such as in the provision of health care, the manufacturing medical devices or road transport Drivers’ Hours.

Parties may also be looking to collaborate by way of a joint venture to meet specific needs as there will clearly be the necessity to share technology and know-how.  In doing so they should be mindful of protecting their intellectual property rights and the rights of those in their supply chains.  Robust confidentiality agreements should be in place when sharing what will inevitably be sensitive information.

For more information contact commercialdept@woodfines.co.uk

-Claire Le Mouëllic