I deal with contract disputes on a regular basis. More often than not once everyone has signed on the dotted line the document tends to be put in a drawer somewhere and there it remains. Even though a written document exists, which is the document that the law says dictates the relationship between the parties, there is often an understanding between the parties about how their relationship works, developed over time through their dealings with each other. Traditionally this 'understanding' is not easily recognised by the law. That seems to be changing, however. Although this may mean that those in business are more in touch with their rights and obligations, it means that there is the potential for much less certainty as to the exact nature of those rights and obligations. Sometimes the parties don't actually agree about what they had agreed. In other words; they do not agree about what their 'understanding' was!

The law has to adapt in a structured (and not reactive) way to changing economic conditions and, more often now, the internationalisation of business. Is it adapting appropriately and at the right pace? Does business feel that there is a meaningful connection between the law, contract terms and the reality of their day to day operations? Is there a better alternative? As a lawyer I should say no, but as a person in business I do wonder.