Category: Simplify

5 steps to write your contract

Contracts are tools to help you do business, and in that sense, you (rather than a lawyer) might be the perfect person to write your own contract. This might seem counter-intuitive coming from a contract specialist, who helps companies to write their own contracts. When I work with clients, I

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Your contract style

There isn’t one way to draft a contract or legal document, whatever you may have been told. These tips will help you create a better contract. Any Format In England/Wales, there is no specific format or style or content for most contracts. It doesn’t even have to be written down.

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Don’t use three words when one will do

Many disclaimers (found in terms & conditions and small print) contain far too many words and are jam-packed with technical legal terms. This one is typical but comes from the GOV.UK website. These are well-written and surprisingly readable T&C. Guarantees, conditions or warranties The disclaimer starts by stating that the site

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Say no to jargon

Whether you are a lawyer, business owner or consultant, there are three temptations when writing a contract. They are: Temptation 1: using jargon and/or legalese Temptation 2: stealing with pride Temptation 3: writing a new deal Let’s start with temptation 1, typified by using jargon or phrases which you don’t

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No-one needs legalese

According to this Thomson Reuter’s Blog Legalese is “a colloquial term describing the body of formal and technical legal language that is difficult or impossible for laypeople to understand.” It is ridiculously common but can you avoid it when writing your contract? No-one needs legalese In this introduction to a

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Tell stories with your contract

If we can tell stories in our business marketing then we can tell stories with our contract terms… The show will (probably) go on Strictly Come Dancing (a BBC TV show) includes a public vote and it’s T&C have improved from their original lengthy version. I think they could tell

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Is NEC really unique in being simply drafted?

During the Annual NEC User Group conference, I had a lively twitter debate with Chris Hallam (@ChrisHallamLaw), a Partner at CMS, on the use of NEC3 (the New Engineering Contract, Engineering and Construction Contract, Third edition). From reading between the lines, I don’t think he’s convinced by NEC’s preference for

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Write your contract for users

What should your contracts try and do? My 500-word contracts are designed to build trust, and safeguard your business without annoying your clients. Being Too Literal One of the concerns of any person writing a contract is to ensure that the contract is interpreted as the parties intend. Not just

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How long is too long?

It has been said (although not by me) that one aims for contracts is to take account of eventualities that can be foreseen, and to ensure that the intentions of the parties are expressed clearly, with certainty, and that the allocation of risks is as intended. But what is the

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Can you understand your contract?

I hate to make assumptions or to speculate wildly, but… I have a sneaking suspicion that you don’t always understand your contracts. My hunch? When I wrote this post in 2013, my evidence was largely anecdotal. It came from: lawyers’ websites which state that ‘clients do not understand exactly what

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