A crib sheet on drafting schedules: 7 top tips

A crib sheet on drafting schedules: 7 top tips

The whiteness of the blank page blinds your eyes: this is where the schedule is supposed to go.

At the moment it is a void of information—unlike the front end of the agreement which is Japanese knot-weed in legal form: an overgrown thicket of legalese nestled within an impenetrable forest of paragraphs.

(Obviously not a Lexis®PSL Commercial document.)

Now it's your turn. You have to draft a schedule for a 100 page contract. The contrast between the detailed front end and the blank piece of paper in front of you is stark.

Where do you start?

Well, instead of slipping into an existential malaise—or indeed slipping off to the nearest pub—why not have a look at our handy cheat sheet below? Our top seven tips on what to do to help you on your way.

Tip 1: Be a journalist

No, you don't have to don a pork pie hat and start collecting grubby anoraks. Just get down to basics and ask yourself some fundamental questions:

  • What is the schedule trying to achieve? (Bearing in mind that, in the end, not all of these may be relevant):
    • Who is involved?
    • What is happening?
    • When will it take place?
    • Where will it take place?
    • How will it take place? and
    • Why is it taking place? (This is useful to know in particular when drafting recitals or background/ explanatory provisions).

Tip 2: Be Machiavellian (a bit)

Now it's time to start reading books about Machiavelli. Where does the power in the commercial relationship lie?

  • What are the negotiating strengths of the parties? Is the priority to start building a fair commercial relationship from the start or can one party take a robust (and even unreasonable) negotiating stance?

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