The online book: Drafting contracts

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Hopefully this book will help young legal professionals understand that many contract provisions can be reduced to a minimum without reducing their effectiveness. Hopefully it will also help their older colleagues to understand that generation-inherited skills may have begun with autodidacts, who certainly did a good job, but could do better. Contract drafting has become a discipline in its own right: a specialisation.

This book attempts to explain all those funny phrases such as for the avoidance of doubt or in the ordinary course of business; it should teach the reader how to structure a contract, how to draft and where to place definitions; and it discusses why most of the miscellaneous clauses in a contract are redundant. The book further explains that witnesseth is ‘common law language’ (and, if relevant at all, meaningless in civil law jurisdictions) and gives guidance for drafting warranties, conditions precedent, covenants and warranties. Enjoy!

I am most grateful to Henk Arnold Sijnja and Sarah Barratt-Brown of Linklaters: they did a complete language review of this manuscript and fine-tuned my remarks on the common law. Obviously, any remaining error is my responsibility; I probably added it after their review.

This book is to a certain extent what I learned from my five-year experience at Allen & Overy’s M&A-practice. Nevertheless, I take responsibility for each choice about best practices expressed in this book. If you disagree to my sometimes firm statements or if you have any suggestions for improvement, let me know. If you like the book, pass it on to others!

I hope you will find any matters of your interest. If you have any comments or suggestions, please send us an e-mail. Please respect our copyright.

Willem Wiggers