Consortium agreements are one of the legal formats used by companies to organise their cooperation with other companies. While the Latin word “consortium” is widely used in practice, the simple English equivalent is “common operation.” In recent years, joint operations and joint agreements have thrived in a difficult economic environment, and their number and economic value are equivalent to those of typical DM operations. There are many reasons for entering into consortium contracts. In a construction context, a driving force is the customer`s preference for a single point of responsibility. From their point of view, the common operators aim to share the risks and commitments of major projects and/or improve their chances in the tendering process by submitting a common offer. More information is available in the European Commission`s detailed guide, including typical issues that can be addressed as part of the consortium agreement. The consortium agreement complements the Horizon 2020 award agreement. While the grant agreement defines the binding legal relationship between the European Commission and the project partners, the consortium agreement defines and regulates the relationships between the partners themselves. Unlike the subsidy agreement (which is defined and cannot be amended), the Horizon 2020 consortium agreement is essentially a trade agreement between the partners.
As such, it is flexible and can be adapted to the specific needs of the project and its partners. Remember — once the Horizon 2020 project is funded, a consortium partner will work together for a long time. That is why it is very important to have a binding agreement that takes into account the different expectations, requirements and circumstances that may arise. So what needs to be done to best meet the needs of the consortium members at an early stage, without spending the resources and time before there is more clarity in funding? A new publication of the ICC`s model contract series has been published. This time, he is dedicated to a whole new subject: consortium agreements. In order to optimize the use of available time and resources, there is a good opportunity to develop this agreement, after the EC has indicated that the project will be chosen for funding and before the EC requests the signing of the grant agreement. This period is approximately three months, which is sufficient to prepare and conclude the consortium agreement. In recent years, joint operations and joint agreements have thrived in a difficult economic context, and their number and economic value have been equivalent to those of typical ATM operations. The ICC model is up-to-date and offers more detailed methods than other existing agreements to avoid differences and overcome difficulties.
It draws attention to areas where digital instruments can improve the effectiveness of stakeholder cooperation. Simple language has been used as far as possible to allow users with limited or non-legal context to have direct access. While this is not mandatory, we recommend referring to the CA structure and guidelines when developing a consortium agreement. As mentioned above, it is advisable to use experienced legal advisors in the preparation of this agreement.