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Top Negotiated Terms

June 8, 2009

IACCM has released its latest insights to the Most Frequently Negotiated Terms. This annual study is eagerly awaited by many negotiators and contract policy strategists for the insights it offers to business trends and issues.

This year’s survey differed from those of previous years because IACCM asked participants (who came from Legal, Procurement and Contracts / Commercial groups around the world) to describe not only what they spend most time negotiating today, but also whether they feel that today’s focus is best for their business.  75% of them said no – that at least to some extent, the agenda should change.

In their report, IACCM reveals for the first time the topics that seasoned members of the negotiating and contracts community believe should represent the priorities for a negotiations agenda. And they set out some thoughts on why this change should occur, plus the reasons it is proving hard to achieve.

Developing the report took longer this year, mostly because a record participation has allowed far greater detail. For example, it has allowed the results to be sorted in many different ways – by function, by jurisdiction, by industry. The initial report will be followed by the more detailed break-outs with commentary on why differences exist and what they tell us about the quality and effectiveness of negotiations.

Perhaps the biggest question to be answered as a result of this study  is how we can make the transition to the new negotiating agenda. It is clear from the answers that many contract and negotiation experts feel frustrated and constrained in achieving change. They see internal and external barriers, they know that they could achieve more with the right management support and the right timing and level of involvement.

IACCM will be working on how to advance this agenda and will welcome thoughts and input. In the end, progress will depend on some inspired leadership and teamwork across the community – bringing together lawyers, contract, commercial and procurement managers to define and promote the way ahead.

 Two specific ways that IACCM is already approaching this change agenda are:

  1.  IACCM is currently running a survey on the Most Admired Companies For Negotiation. Based on the results, it  will conduct a series of in-depth interviews with the top companies and publish a report detailing the practices and approaches that have gained them this respect. Please take a couple of minutes to record your view at
  2. IACCM has a Negotiations ‘Community of Interest’. This highly active group of more than 2,500 contract negotiators has been making real strides in developing ideas around best practice, undertaking research and forming an active networked community on a worldwide basis. Simply log-in to the IACCM site at and visit the Communities of Interest page, or drop an e-mail to and they will register you as part of this group.

If you would like a copy of the report, which details the Top 30 negotiated terms of today and for the future, simply e-mail And in case you want to know the current Top Ten, they are:

Limitation of Liability
Price / Charge / Price Changes
Intellectual Property
Confidential Information / Data Protection
Service Levels and Warranties
Delivery / Acceptance
Liquidated Damages
Applicable law / Jurisdiction
  1. This article / survey by Tim Cummins is of particular interest reflecting the Contract Management perspective in INDIA.
    This gives raise to many other questions which I intend to make in IACCM Forumns.
    Technip India

  2. Rakesh Edavalath permalink

    This survey is one which I follow closely, as I find that it gives an accurate reflection of what we face in day today contract negotiations.


    Rakesh Edavalath
    Supply Chain Manager
    Crescent Petroleum Company, Sharjah

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Supply Excellence — Tim Cummins of IACCM Interview @ Ariba LIVE London (Video)
  2. Collaborating To Innovate « Commitment Matters
  3. This Year’s Top Ten « Commitment Matters

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