I have been a regular speaker at national and international conferences on a range of subjects connected to Technology Law.


Providing training is one of my main focuses – after all, no-one wants to instruct a lawyer after things have gone wrong, you need to know what to do in advance. That is what my training is aimed at – providing content-full, helpful, practical sessions for delegates.

Training can be aimed at different categories of people – from lawyers who want the latest case updates to business people who want practical guidance. In all cases, I don’t just read out slides, I go further and provide valuable learning points from the legal principles I discuss.

I provide a number of different training packages – here is a brief discussion of what I do. I’d love to talk to you about how I could provide some training in your organisation – please email me to find out the details.


I am probably best known for this, and it would be no exaggeration to say that hundreds of lawyers and others listen to this update every year. However, I never give the same talk twice – it is kept up to date constantly to take account of the latest developments and to highlight emerging themes.

This is chiefly aimed at lawyers – though when I deliver it to bodies like the Society for Computers & Law, it always attracts a goodly number of business people who welcome its practical focus. In fact, it sells out every year – and attracts many of the same people back year after year. It is not focused on any one particular industry sector – though it draws on developments in general commercial, corporate, construction and engineering and property. There is material for anyone in just about any area of business – and it gets delegates from across the board.

This one comes in three flavours:

  • A half-day session of three hours looking at important themes over the last five to ten years, picking out the leading cases, showing how the law of contract is developing and what the major practice points are for anyone involved in drafting, negotiating or litigating contracts
  • A two hour session focusing mostly on the last 12 to 18 months of legal developments
  • A one hour session focusing on the last 6 to 12 months of legal developments

I don’t have to sing its praises – the feedback speaks for itself. Here is what some delegates have said about recent 2018 presentations of this course:

  • Richard’s encyclopaedic review continues to amaze. He managed to cover an astonishing breadth with insight and humour. Thank you to Richard and all in support.
  • Fascinating and frightening in equal measure (as always)!
  • Great session – 10+
  • Very impressed by the scope and depth of Richard’s presentation – very useful. Excellent slides!
  • Very engaging and was able to hold the attention of his audience. Very well organised, relevant content and timing was spot on

Here is a selection of what delegates have said in past years:

  • A well-prepared, lean, useful, relevant and excellently presented seminar. Richard was superb – thanks very much!
  • A very comprehensive, thought-provoking and engaging presentation. Highly recommended.
  • Excellent as always. Great delivery and content. Thorough and incisive. Exactly what’s needed.
  • This event is excellent. I have been to the last four and rely on the brilliant notes throughout the year.

The last reference to notes is important – I believe in providing content-full events. Don’t you just hate those sessions when you come away with a slide deck full of clip art and inscrutable bullet points? I believe in providing copy slide decks you can read and actually use rather than just gaze at bullet points and wonder what they mean. Delegates have told me that they take the slide decks and use them during the year when problems come up!


This course lasts a day, and is ideal for four up to a dozen delegates. It is aimed at IT professionals, perhaps people with a technical background who are now working in a commercial environment and expected to draft or negotiate contracts. It is also aimed at people who are thorough-going commercial people with perhaps years of experience but who have never had any formal training in what contracts are – what are the buzz words? What do legal words and phrases mean? People come with lots of questions, and I try to answer them, questions like:

  • When someone holds out for best endeavours and you are offering reasonable endeavours, what are the implications?
  • What does “subject to contract” mean?
  • What do I need to know about using Letters of Intent? How are they different from MOU’s or Heads of Agreement?
  • What is the “battle of the forms” and how do I win it?
  • What about lots of other expressions and clauses that I see in contracts – “good faith”, “without prejudice”, orders of precedence clauses, what do they mean and what are the pitfalls?
  • How can I avoid turning my customer’s obligations into meaningless and unenforceable “agreements to agree”?
  • What is behind limitations and exclusions of liability – when does the law intervene with the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977? What happens then?

These and many more points are all covered in a busy day. It is not just lectures – I provide realistic scenarios based on my real-life experiences and the decisions of real cases in the IT sector. The aim is to teach you the basics and let you work out the answers to the questions posed by the scenarios. I then provide the answers and give guidance on best practice to avoid problems in future.

I have been developing and running this course for the past 8 or 9 years and feedback has been fantastic! Take a look at what some of the delegates have said in testimonials after attending at techUK:

  • I found the Contract Law course very useful. The course highlighted that all employees are able to impact the ability of the business to protect itself from legal challenges, not just those who negotiate the original contracts. Directors, managers, project teams, sales teams and operations managers particularly within SMEs would greatly benefit from attending this course. Highly recommended. (Michelle Hulse – Head of Finance, Securestorm Ltd)
  • I work with contracts on a daily basis, and this course has given me a more thorough understanding of the basics of English contract law. Richard Stephens is incredibly experienced and pitches this course at just the right level and tempo. (David Shaw – Mapping Specialist, Paragon Software Systems plc)
  • The contract law course was concise, well-structured and clear. It was exhilarating to have covered so much in so short a time. Attention was usefully drawn to the points of most relevance to commercial practitioners who did not have the benefit of a legal background. (Josh Berle, Government Sales DirectorVocaLink Limited)
  • An engaging and very interactive course offering a one-of-a-kind look at contracts within the context of the information technology landscape. Richard is an approachable and user-friendly presenter and the course is well worth attending for professionals involved in the contract negotiation process. (Laura Poole, Bid & Contracts Advisor – Iken Business Ltd)
  • The training class was slick and insightful; with knowledge gained being directly applicable to a working environment. Richard has an outstanding understanding of the subject matter, but it was his ability to construct and communicate a well-paced, digestible and inclusive course that I was truly thankful for. (Graeme Lea – General Dynamics)
  • A great course, well presented and aimed at the manager with no specific law training. Would recommend as an introduction to the pitfalls and simple mitigations to prevent contract disaster. (Chris Eldridge – Director of Operations, Mayden)