Tag: 500 words

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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Write Your Contract: In Just 500 Words

Many years ago, I sat in Ed’s diner at Euston Station (London) waiting for my train. I was chatting to my sister and she challenged me to write a contract in just 500 words. In a rash moment I agreed, and being a woman of my word, I had to

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Shortest Ever Letter of Intent

Is this the shortest letter of intent you’ll ever need? Less than 500 words, although (admittedly) it is both sides of this bookmark! Find out how you can write and use a 500-word letter of intent in my book. You will learn about the four critical contents, how to avoid

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Must You Write Must?

One of the wonders of English is the rich nuances our language permits. That richness, combined with modern usage – whether legal or otherwise – also creates confusion. A major issue for drafters and interpreters of legal documents is the use and abuse of mandatory and permissive verbs. Mandatory verbs

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The One-Page Contract

As part of my on-going research into contract writing, I reading Peter Hibberd’s (former Chairman of The Joint Contracts Tribunal) Arbrix paper How Difficult is it to Write a Standard Form Contract? He says: “How difficult is it to write a standard form contract – it depends on what one

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10 Essentials for a Construction Contract

I have been developing a set of minimum requirements for construction contracts. Rather than start with a contract and edit madly, I started with a blank sheet of paper and worked out what I needed. I decided on ten essentials. First and foremost you need to know who is involved:

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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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Do You Read Your Contracts?

The first stage for reviewing a contract is to read it. Best practice, as set out in Which Contract? suggests that you ‘study its contents and understand its implications’. Some of you do not read your contracts: you let them gather dust. If you don’t read your contract, it goes

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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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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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