1.1 Plain English: simple and clear

Use ‘plain English’ when drafting contracts: any normal person should be able to understand what it says. A legal counsel should be necessary only to clarify that certain phrases are normal or indeed catch the parties’ intentions. The legal aspect of a contract should be limited to what is being expressed, not how it is expressed. Traditional contract phrases, which are not plain English (anymore) make a contract harder to read. They do not serve the interest of a party. There is no need to include archaisms such as WITNESSETH or oddities such as the use of both words and numerals to express numbers.

Exactly what is plain language, especially plain legal language? It is ordinary ‘adult English’, used in day-to-day conversation. It is the use of language stripped of archaic forms and vocabulary, supported by design, layout and typography of the text.