CONTRACTS IN ENGLISH
Cambridge Law Studio
- Vocabulary crash-course
The commercial and technical vocabulary you need to understand, draft and amend commercial contracts.
- Awareness of accurate and natural sentence structure in English
Often a direct translation from a foreign language into English produces clumsy results. It is important to analyse how English lawyers put words together and follow that style.
- Awareness of the correct register of the English language in a contract
For example, a contract should be formal but this does not mean ‘legalese’ is the right style. Plain English is the target language. However, this does not mean simple English. It is important to get the balance right.
- Awareness of how to use prepositions accurately in English
One of the most common difficulties is using the correct preposition because these words are not used with any particular logic in English. For example, there are 2 parties to a contract (not of a contract). When you mention a deadline, payment must be made by 1 September (not until 1 September). Accurate use of prepositions is vital.
- Awareness of how to use collocation accurately in English
Collocation is using words together in natural partnerships in the same way that English speakers do. A basic example of this is to ask why interestaccrues on arrears rather than accumulates or grows. The answer is that the verb to accrue forms a natural collocation with the noun arrears. An awareness of how collocation works can improve professionalism and accuracy in a very short space of time.
- Deal with problematic words found in contracts
There are certain words that are found in commercial contracts that create problems in use and understanding. What, for example, is the precise difference between a mortgage, a charge, a pledge, a lien and an encumbrance? Does indemnify mean the same as compensate? Common misunderstandings are explained.
- Awareness of which nouns are countable and which are uncountable
Warranties and indemnities are countable but information and interest are not. You cannot charge ‘an interest’ or ‘interests’ because that noun is uncountable. It is very important to learn which words in English can be made plural and which cannot.
- The structure of a contract drafted in English
- The general principles of drafting using a plain English approach
- Replacing archaic language and deleting legal jargon
- Exercises in contract wording and phraseology
- An overview of cross-border contracts
- Joint ventures
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Other contracts
- Reading and understanding international agreements
- A joint venture agreement – a focused study
- Exercises on redrafting poorly-drafted clauses
- Exercises on redrafting traditionally-drafted clauses
- Drafting Heads of Terms/Letters of Intent
- Commercial negotiation role play
- Drafting the operative part of a Share Purchase Agreement
- Purchase price, warranties and indemnities, conditions precedent
- Consolidation and review