Category: Write

Shall Must or Will

Much has been written about the words that contract writers should adopt to portray an obligation. Is it shall, must or will? Here’s a summary of the expert views: Ken Adams proposes a disciplined use of shall (banishing shall from business contracts) with must and will for non-party obligations or

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Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity

The rule for simplicity [read more] is neatly espoused by Joseph Pulitzer: Put it to them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light As a lawyer and

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Your Contract Pains

I love the idea that we could create contracts that ordinary people will read, understand and use. Verity White’s Secret of Productive Contracts is another step in the right direction. Verity’s focus is on paperless contracts to speed up the contracting process. I was both delighted and a little bemused

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Contractual Eloquence

I have been reading The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth (author of the Etymologicon) in which he explains and illustrates some of the figures of rhetoric. I was struck by how many of these are beloved of lawyers and contract writers, without their users even being aware that they

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Process of Writing a Readable Contract

Now you are convinced of the benefits of readable contracts [read more], this post describes a process for writing those contracts with ideas from ‘The Art of Readable Writing’ (1949) by Rudolph Flesch. Effective Writing It is common ground that the [contract] in this case would win no drafting prizes

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The Art of Writing a Readable Contract

In ‘the Art of Readable Writing’ (1949) Rudolph Flesch provides advice that applies to writers of legal documents as well as blog posts, books, and other media. Here are some of his tips, with relevant legal examples, to help you write contracts that others can read, understand and use. Benefits

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Stop Cobbling your Consultant Appointment

Does this sound like you? When we set up our consultancy practice, like many professionals we cobbled (cut + paste) together an appointment from documents we’d been provided by our professional body and or obtained from other consultants. We took an ‘that seems to look right’ or ‘it covers most

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Edit ruthlessly

My 10 tips to improve your legal writing recommend you spend time ruthlessly crossing through, deleting or rewording your text. Whenever you can shorten a sentence, do. And one always can. The best sentence? The shortest. Gustave Flaubert You need to edit your text to create a document which suits

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What Timescales Should I Include?

Copies of my new book How to Write Simple and Effective Consultant Appointments in Just 500 Words [read more] have been prompting contacts, clients and friends to actually sit down and review their existing contracts. Bill Evans from D2E said “I must say, it was easy and compelling reading. The

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Consumer Contracts Require Transparent Terms

Clarity and legibility in contractual language is widely recognised as desirable in its own right but [the Consumer Rights Act] goes beyond promoting that objective as an end in itself … the transparency provisions in the Act have to be understood as demanding ‘transparency’ in the full sense. If your

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