Tag: plain language

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%

Read More »

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

Read More »

Adopt Toltec Widsom

In ‘The Four Agreements’ Don Miguel Ruiz introduces the wisdom of the Toltecs. Given the title and my specialism, my attention was hooked into how it related to contract law and contract negotiation. He says: “Language is the code for understanding and communication between humans. Every letter, every word in

Read More »

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

Read More »

Readability and Smart Contracts

Beyond considering the role of contract visualization, Stefania Passera’s doctoral dissertation Beyond the wall of contract text (2017) she also looks at the functions of contract. Her conclusions are critical for contract creators like me who believe that the purpose of a contract is not merely to safeguard rights and

Read More »

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

Read More »

Clear Communication

Clear communication means that users can understand what they have to do, when they have to do it, and change their behaviour accordingly. What should you do? If you want to remove the padding in your communication or in your contracts then you should: work out who your reader, audience

Read More »

Avoid Ambiguities at All Costs

The UK Supreme Court have recently revisited the thorny issue of fitness for purpose (and millions of Euros depend on the answer). How can you avoid the embarrassment of publication riches afforded by a Supreme Court decision, as well as months in court (the decision was given 8 years after

Read More »

Serendipitous Simplicity

Simplicity means is best described using this definition of plain language A communication is in plain language if its wording, structure, and design are so clear that the intended audience can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information. Source: International Plain Language Federation So

Read More »

Readability and Trust

In Verity White’s Secrets of Productive Contracts she says: The easier your contract is to read, the more trustworthy you and your company seem But is it true? Where’s the evidence? My contract tips [sign up] have reviewed some of the issues: Easier to read = easier to use ‘People

Read More »