Understanding the Practicalities and Legalities in Project Management for Non-legal Professionals

by Prof Catherine Tay

Why You Should Attend This Course

We simply cannot ignore the legalities in our daily management of any projects.  Rules and regulations must be complied with in every project management.  Ignorance of the law is no defence, nor a privilege; it is a misfortune.  Knowing the legalities will help you to work effectively within the legal framework. 

This course focuses on the legal environment affecting Project Management, especially with many disputes arising from contractual issues.  Hence it is important to learn how contract law governs our working relationship.

Practical examples with case scenarios and the sharing of best practices will be given to enhance learning. You do not need to have legal knowledge to attend this interactive course.

Investment & Governance in Contract Management

  • Business ethics
  • Golden rule in Governance
  • Conduct of individual
  • Commercial awareness
  • Case-study: The unfair advantage
  • General awareness of knowledge job
  • Forms of contract & contract law
  • Intellectual property rights issues
  • Pentagon objective: capturing key commercial business objectives
  • Risk management – identification, assessment, reviews and mitigation
  • Efficient administration techniques
  • Monitoring & reporting
  • Meetings
  • Ongoing risk assessment
  • Project Manager’s Checklists
  • Registers
    • contract amendment register
    • subcontracts
    • confidentiality agreements
    • licenses
    • bonds / guarantees
  • Documentation and record keeping
  • Managing variation procedures
  • The doctrine of variation and the 4 exceptions

Negotiation Strategies & Dispute Resolution

  • Harvard Negotiation Project
  • PIOC techniques to getting “Yes” to terms and conditions
  • Breakthrough strategies in handling difficult negotiations
  • Recognising tactics and dirty tricks
  • Non-verbal communication

Essentials in Contract Law Management

  • Identifying fundamental terms & conditions
  • Consequences of breach of contract terms
  • Implied terms and express terms
  • Conflict management arising over contractual issues
  • 4 ways to terminate contract
  • Frustration
  • Novation
  • Breach of contract
  • Remedies available – damages, specific performance, injunction
  • Damages must not be too remote
  • Mitigation of damages

Contractual Interpretation Rules

  • Golden rule in reading contract clauses
  • Literal rule
  • Contextual rule
  • Technical or jargon meaning
  • Contra proferentum rule
  • Ejusdum generis rule

Termination Issues

  • Force majeure events
  • Defence to liability for breach of contract
  • Liquidated damages and doctrine of penalty
  • Termination events
  • Termination consequences
  • Indemnity
  • Insurance
  • Exclusion or limitation clause
  • Obligations covered by “Survival clause” which includes:
    • Confidentiality
    • Effect of Termination
    • Provision for potential disputes e.g. ADR
    • Mediation and arbitration
    • Mini-trials

Prof Catherine Tay Swee Kian has more than 35 years of experience lecturing law as Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, Department of Strategy & Business Policy.  She is a Barrister-at-law from Lincoln’s Inn, United Kingdom.  Prof Tay is also an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore and an author of several books including her best seller books on Contract Law and Director Duties & Corporate Governance.

Prof Tay studied law at Queen Mary College, University of London and graduated with an honours degree in Bachelor of Laws and a degree in Master of Laws, in which she specialised in Company, Shipping, Insurance and Marine Insurance laws.  She was called to the English Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1978.  She did her pupillage under the Honourable Lady Mary Hogg in London and returned to Singapore in the law firm of Rodyk & Davidson. 

Prof Tay won the Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par Memorial Prize for the overall best student in 1980 during her postgraduate practical law course in Singapore. She was called to the Singapore Bar in 1980. 

Prof Tay is currently a member of the National Healthcare Group Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Domain Specific Review Board tasked to review the scientific and ethical aspects of research protocols since 2002.  She received her 15 Long Service Award from NHG IRB in 2018.  She is also currently a member of the Centralised Institutional Review Board (IRB), Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd tasked to review clinical protocols for human subject experimentation.  A/Prof Tay was a member of SingHealth Polyclinics IRB since 2003.  She received her 10 years Long Service Award from Singhealth Centralised Institutional Review Board in October 2019. 

Prof Tay was also a member of the Research & Ethics Committee of Alexandra Hospital. She was also the medical-legal adviser of the Institute of Mental Health / Woodbridge Hospital. She was a member of the panel for lay persons for the National Transplant Ethics Committee, Ministry of Health in 2009-2011.

Prof Tay was on the Board of Overseas Editors for the (United Kingdom) Journal of Financial Crime, an official publication of the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime.  She has presented numerous papers at many conferences and seminars on Business Law, Medical Law, Company and Insolvency Laws both overseas and in Singapore.  She is an examiner on law subjects for a number of professional bodies in Singapore and overseas.

Prof Tay conducts in-house customised corporate programmes and seminars / workshops for commercial firms, banks, hotels, hospitals, statutory boards and companies, clubs and associations on topics such as contract management; corporate governance in both public and private sectors including public-private partnership contracts; tender bids bidding in procurement contracts; service level agreements and tenancy agreements. For over 7 years annually, she was the Programme Director, for a Singapore-Commonwealth Third Country Training Programme, Singapore-Commonwealth Advance Seminar for Chief Executives 28 May – 7 June 2008, jointly sponsored by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation Commonwealth Secretariat London, United Kingdom at Training Institution – National University of Singapore Business School.

Prof Tay has supervised medical students in electives on Medical ethics & medico-legal subjects at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, and also for University of Manchester at Singapore Polytechnic. She also lectured nursing students in nursing law and ethics at the NUS Alice School of Nursing as well as in Nanyang Polytechnic. She has lectured medical law and biomedical ethics in the NUS Faculty of Dentistry for more than 15 years. She has lectured in executive training courses at the NUS Extension in professional and business management law courses for over 34 years.  A/Prof Tay was the external examiner on medical law ethics at the Hong Kong University, Law Faculty (2007-2008).

Prof Tay was a Visiting Consultant and adjunct lecturer at the Institute of System Science, NUS for over 16 years lecturing IT outsourcing contracts, intellectual property and contract law. She gave lectures in Industrial Relations and Labour laws at the Ong Teng Cheong Institute of Labour Studies for over 12 years on labour laws in industrial relations. She was also the local teaching affiliate lecturing business law for Adelaide University, Australia.  A/Prof Tay is the Honourable Legal Advisor for Singapore Optometric Association, as well as for the Singapore Institute of Engineering Technologists.

Prof Tay lectures on “The Legislature, Policy Formulation & Implementation for Good Governance” to Ministers from Nigeria, Kaduna State Legislators” on 16-18 April 2018 at Singapore 2018 Capacity Building Retreat at Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) Professional Development. She also lectures on “Leadership & Governance” to Legislators from Kenya, 21-22 May 2018 at SIM Professional Development. She also lectures Public-Private Partnerships (PPP contracts) and joint ventures to global audience. She gave lectures several times on Corporate Governance to bankers from Uzbekistan.


13 – 14 Dec 2021

Course Fee


The class offers in-class or virtual learning
  • Time: 9am – 5pm
  • MIS Member enjoy 10% Discount
  • Register for 8 or more participants to enjoy 10% Group Discount