Category: Simplify

The Ideal Subcontract

The scandal of construction, according to the Huxtable Report (1983) is: the persistent and continuing imposition as a matter of deliberate policy… of onerous and unfair subcontract conditions. An ideal subcontract, said the Report, was which set out the rights and obligations of the subcontractor as clearly as possible, was

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How do you create digital contracts?

Let’s be clear, taking a contract that is not fit for purpose and digitising it will not magically create a smooth, effective contracting process. It is not about the technology. Digital contracts are legal. But they also need to be simple – contracts should be read, understood and used. Online

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What are Digital Contracts?

5000 years ago, most contracts were oral, scratched into clay tablets with a reed or laboriously transcribed onto animal skins or papyrus. In our modern, hyper-connected world – the digital age – you can create a contract in many different ways: Paper-based (hard copy) Electronic (soft copy) Digital (created, signed

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Contracts Create Disputes

The Global Construction Disputes Report 2019 (by Arcadis) confirms that failure to understand or comply with the contract is the number one cause of disputes globally. Professor Renato Nazzini, in his guest foreword says: It would be tempting to look for solutions in ever more complex, more detailed contractual documents

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What Is User-Centred Law?

A key aspect of legal design, is the concept of user-centred law. As Tessa Manuello says ‘Most legal service delivery has been designed for a world that no longer exists‘. User-centred law adapts existing legal services and systems to meet the users’ needs, rather than trying to adapt users to

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Is Your Contracting Easy for Clients?

I love it when ideas from another industry make sense for contracts. Gavin Scott of Loaf training was talking at the Professional Speaking Association about customer service. He said that 34% of client loyalty comes from being easy to deal with. Lightbulb! Contracts are one of the first elements of

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Everyone Prefers Simplicity

Christopher Trudeau (and Christine Cawthorne) have repeated their 2010 study of preferences in legal documents and communication to find out how lawyers can better serve their clients and the wider community. The conclusions? Their 2017 report says: clear legal communication is vitally important legal information is very widespread (with 80%

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Contracts: Classic Cognitive Overload

Have you ever read something for a particular interest or need, and realised it applied to your pet topic? That’s what’s happening as I read Presentation Genius by Simon Raybould. Although it’s about how you can become a presentation genius, it has plenty of applications to contracts. This post looks

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Needless Long Words

I have read dozens of academic papers, I am often struck by how they morph into technical jargon and long words. I was told by one lecturer that they have to be impenetrable “it’s what’s expected”! Heck, I even wrote one myself on limits and incentives in letters of intent

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Hoorah for Clauses

Hoorah! Not for Santa clauses (!)… instead I am referring to the means contact writers have for splitting the huge amount of data in a construction contract into manageable chunks. From studies by Miller in the fifties, it has long been known that we have a limited span of working

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