As project finance becomes more widespread in Africa, government officials, bankers and developers will all become exposed to the complex documentation that comes with it. Some of the payment mechanisms can be very complicated and lawyers are often asked to include “worked examples” in the documentation. A recent case looked at the use of worked examples in contracts governed by English law. The court concluded the following:
- worked examples are integral parts of finance and other commercial contracts;
- it is often only when narratives and formulae are worked through that their true effect can properly be seen;
- where there is more than one worked example, consistency among the examples (in this case the inclusion of a missing step), strongly suggests that this was a deliberate choice by the drafter; and
- it is inherently more probable that the parties’ true bargain is to be found in the worked examples.