Bridging the Gap between Common and Civil Law

Legal English Course in Dubai or UK

This is a 5 day intensive legal english course. This course addresses some of the key differences between the common and civil systems of law and examines the consequences of those differences for commercial and corporate legal practice, in particular drafting, negotiating and interpreting commercial contracts and corporate documents. It is aimed at legal professionals who regularly have to make the leap between two systems of law – either because they are trained in the civil law system but conduct business and legal transactions based on common law principles, or because they have a background in common law and operate in a civil law environment. Our objective is to provide the background knowledge and the practical tools to make that transition easier and to enable delegates to move confidently between the two legal traditions, allowing them to work with agreements and instruments from different jurisdictions.

If you are interested please contact us! Dates and prices upon request.


Collaboration with Enlite

Enlite Training Institute

A Timetable Example

What your week could look like

Background Sessions

Background Session 1:
Comparing and Contrasting the Civil and Common Law Traditions

  • Brief history of both legal systems
  • Geographical overview
  • Comparison of key legal concepts underlying the two systems
  • Cultural differences
  • Introduction to some typical stumbling blocks for civil code lawyers dealing with common law contracts

Background Session 2:
The Structure of a Standard Common Law Contract

  • Overview of the main parts of a contract
  • Analysis of different types of contracts, e.g. sale of goods, supply, consultancy contracts and non disclosure agreements
  • The most common challenges for drafting

Background Session 3:
The Operative Clauses of a Commercial Contract

  • Analysis of issues that can arise when negotiating key contract clauses, including:
  • Payment terms
  • Covenants and undertakings
  • Guarantees and warranties
  • Limitation of liability
  • Termination provisions

Background Session 4:
Boilerplate Clauses in Common Law Contracts

  • The role of the boilerplate clause
  • Drafting and negotiating from a precedent (contract template)
  • Analysis of some of the most problematic boilerplate clauses, eg:
  • Force majeure
  • Entire agreement
  • Governing law and jurisdiction

Background Session 5:
Breach of Contract and Contractual Remedies

  • Different rules of interpretation in common law and civil law jurisdictions
  • Strict liability and allocation of risk
  • A discussion of different contractual remedies
  • Penalty clauses

Background Session 6:
Boilerplate Clauses in Common Law Contracts

  • Difficulties for civil code and common law professionals in interpreting each other’s legal drafting and procedures  (link to other contract sessions)
  • Overview of international commercial law
  • Courts of Arbitration
  • Common law vs civil law issues in dispute resolution
  • Introducing the case study for the negotiation workshop

Skills Workshops

Skills Workshop
Commercial Contract Drafting (Part 1)

  • The different mindsets of the common law and the civil law drafter
  • Working with precedents
  • Key drafting principles
  • Drafting some key contract terms in English

Skills Workshop
Commercial Drafting (Part 2)

  • Converting client instructions into clear and precise legal English
  • Using key legal phrases correctly
  • Drafting boilerplate clauses

Skills Workshop
Networking Skills for Lawyers

  • Effective preparation for a networking event
  • Entering the room and connecting with people
  • Overcoming cultural differences at international events
  • Keeping in touch – how to make the most out of the contacts you have made and build lasting business relationships
  • Simulated group networking event

Skills Workshop
Interviewing and Advising / Conducting Meetings

  • The style and structure of a typical client meeting
  • Ice breaker – introductions
  • Fact gathering stage
  • Detailed questioning
  • Giving advice
  • Next steps and closing
  • Different types of meetings and common challenges

Skills Workshop
Negotiation Skills for Lawyers

  • Preparing for a negotiation meeting
  • Some useful negotiating tactics
  • Taking account of cultural differences in international negotiations
  • Simulated group negotiation exercise – negotiating a settlement

Skills Workshop
Modern Letter and Email Writing

  • The conventions of modern letter and email writing
  • Cultural differences in writing style
  • Choosing the right phrases for an appropriate register
  • Writing a letter of advice
Christian FreyBridging the Gap between Common and Civil Law