Why write simpler contracts?

A good speech is like a skirt – it should be short enough to be interesting and long enough to cover the essentials… Churchill

The same is true of a good contract. Short enough to be read. Long enough to cover the essentials.

In the construction industry, we have (2018) over 100 contracts from 10+ publishers… But they’re not fit for purpose, as I explore in my article in ICES Construction Law Review.

As a contract user, if you can’t read, understand and use current standard forms, do they help you do business? Or do you shove them in a drawer, to be brought out only when there is a dispute?

As a contract drafter, simplicity means using the right words in the right places to make sure your reader understands your message first time. Simple words are elegant and immediate.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction… Albert Einstein

Once your contract is simpler to read, then the parties will read it. Once they read it, they can ask questions, explore options, check their understanding and work with you to record exactly what you want to agree to. The benefits include:

  • transparent = no small print means you can be confident that there are no onerous terms and conditions or things to trip you up
  • lovable = easier to read, understand and use so you know it helps you do business (which is what you need)
  • collaborative = built on openness and trust, designed to help you work together

Tiny little contracts provide #TLC for your business.

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