Category: Simplify

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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Avoid Disputes With Clear Contracts

In the first of series of 3 posts, Susannah Lee, an expert disputes solicitor,  looks at how clarity in your contract can help avoid disputes – which cause long term damage to your skilfully nurtured business relationships.  Construction projects are prone to disputes because of their technical, procedural and managerial

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Is Jargon Useful or Ridiculous?

The Winfield Rock Report Overcoming the Legal and Contractual Barriers of BIM reported that BIM aficionados expressed ‘sympathy for lawyers having to wade through endless jargon’. Te he he! For once the boot is on the other foot. I spend my life helping professionals overcome jargon: writing jargon-free contracts, training

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Piecing Together the Contract Puzzle

Early in 2018 on twitter, plain language expert Dominique Joseph (@clearerworld), Tim Cummins (@tcummins from the IACCM), Ken Adams (@KonciseD) watched closely by Stefania Passera (@StewieKee), asked who was doing a good job of making contracts more user-friendly? Initially, we got side-tracked because Dom had framed her question to ask

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