Tag: plain language

Pedants or public?

Who do we… who should we write contracts to please? Not, as you’ve noticed, who do we write contracts for. But who should we write contracts to please. If a client asks me to write a contract for their business, there are two primary readers I need to consider: my

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Is plain language enough?

There is a growing global movement towards plain language contracts, especially for individuals or consumers. What does plain language mean and is it enough? What is plain language? According to the Plain Language Federation (and this is the definition in the proposed new ISO on the topic): A communication is

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Extremely difficult to apply

On the front flap of A New Approach to the Standard Form of Building Contract (which refers to the 1963 RIBA form), the publishers say: By the nature of its legal terminology and complex provisions, [the form] is extremely difficult to apply in everyday practice without constant advice The book

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Mind your language… to avoid disputes

What are the best ways to avoid disputes on construction projects? You’d fully expect me to recommend a decent contract, but don’t just take my word for it. This post reviews the 2021 Arcadis Global Disputes Report to extract the nuggets you need to avoid disputes on your projects. Tips

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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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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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Adopt toltec wisdom

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

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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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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

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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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