I attended a workshop by national law firm Norton Rose Fulbright to introduce and explain their CFI Legal and Contracts Guide.
Norton Rose Fulbright won a $222,400 grant from the Department of Agriculture, under their now lapsed Extension and Outreach program, for their interesting proposal to produce a comprehensive legal guide to support the CFI sector. It might sound like a lot of money, but good folk at NRF have produced a 143 page printed tome on this complex cross-disciplinary area. They are also taking the guide on a national tour.
So what have NRF done?
The guide aims to be a legal reference tool for all things CFI. Part A of the guide is really a comprehensive introduction to the CFI. This part covers eight stages of working with the CFI from planning a project to dealing in credits, including a useful section on land rights and native title land. To an extent, this builds on existing introductory guides, including the CMI Business Guide developed fro CMI by NRF.
Part B is the new juicy part on contracts guidance and is the more significant new contribution by NRF. The part covers types of contracts, contractor beware checklists and selecting ‘fit for purpose’ contracts. Perhaps the best part is the ‘clause bank’ – a packed table of the kinds of clause to expect and why buyers and sellers would want them. This guide does not remove the need for expert advisers but allows project developers and landowners to be much more savvy about relevant issues and have a feel for how these issues are encapsulated in contracts.
If I find time to plough through the entire guide I’ll post a review. But at a glance, the guide is an impressive effort that contains an enormous collection of information. Check it out.
Disclosure: I assisted with the sections relating to land rights and native title land in the guide.