Contracts are one of the most fundamental tools of law. The manner in which we draft, review them and negotiate their terms them speaks volumes about our capabilities as leaders in the field and is the secret sauce through which protect our clients interests.
Five Tips for iiLaw Contract Drafting
Drafting contracts is task of vital importance. How we draft contracts have a significant impact on the rights of parties moving forward. 1. Utilize a client-directed outline: Often there's a disconnect between what a client wants, and what they actually receive. By creating our contracts from outlines generated and/or approved by clients we give them a practical tool with which to guide our efforts. Our clients gain a full understanding of the contract being used and of the key terms contained therein.
2. Be clear and concise: We're all very familiar with the legendary verbosity so common within our legal system. Our firms seeks to limit that where possible. What we strive for is clarity and brevity - albeit not at the expense of competence. We practice drafting contracts that don't require advanced degrees to understand the contents or relate it to others.
3. Summarize with Recitals: Contracts may be numerous pages in length, gaining an understanding of their scope and content can be very challenging without the use of summary of the recitals. Recitals typically begin with "whereas" and serve to summarize the agreement and the surrounding circumstances. Our firm is careful to include a summary of recitals in its contracts.
4. Define key terms: In our practice we have found that providing a definition of key terms within each contract help to ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of their obligations and benefits under the terms of the contract. Furthermore, we aim to exclude the use of words that carry specific legal significance to only those occasions that warrant such significance.
5. Prepare for litigation: The true essence of a well drafted contract ensures the rights of the party are protected. If it is written well, it should help parties avoid litigation, yet a well drafted contract is always drafted in anticipation of litigation. Specifically, each term should be drafted as if that term were likely to become the subject of litigation.