Rely on the most comprehensive, up-to-date legal content designed and curated by lawyers for lawyers
Work faster and smarter to improve your drafting productivity without increasing risk
Accelerate the creation and use of high quality and trusted legal documents and forms
Streamline how you manage your legal business with proven tools and processes
Manage risk and compliance in your organisation to reduce your risk profile
Stay up to date and informed with insights from our trusted experts, news and information sources
Access the best content in the industry, effortlessly — confident that your news is trustworthy and up to date.
With over 30 practice areas, we have all bases covered. Find out how we can help
Our trusted tax intelligence solutions, highly-regarded exam training and education materials help guide and tutor Tax professionals
Regulatory, business information and analytics solutions that help professionals make better decisions
A leading provider of software platforms for professional services firms
In-depth analysis, commentary and practical information to help you protect your business
LexisNexis Blogs shed light on topics affecting the legal profession and the issues you're facing
Legal professionals trust us to help navigate change. Find out how we help ensure they exceed expectations
Lex Chat is a LexisNexis current affairs podcast sharing insights on topics for the legal profession
Discuss the latest legal developments, ask questions, and share best practice with other LexisPSL subscribers
The other day, the lawyer with whom I was negotiating an IT agreement said that, in the last few years, these sorts of agreements had developed and thinking had been refined. He tried to use this to justify lengthy unacceptable changes to a vital clause! Just after that I reviewed a draft Scottish public sector contract and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was relatively short, sweet and even-handed.
These contrasting experiences got me thinking about how commercial agreements have altered in the 30 years since I qualified. Yes, of course, drafting has become more sophisticated, thinking more advanced and risks need to be addressed today that didn’t arise in the 1980s. But I am nostalgic for the brevity and deceptive simplicity of the commercial contracts of that era. Today contracts can be hundreds of pages long and contain provisions that are unnecessarily long-winded, complex and convoluted.
Modern document production may have tempted lawyers to indulge in verbosity. When I started training at a City law firm in 1983, magnetic cards were inserted into a box linked to a typewriter that recorded text as it was typed. There was a thin strip of a screen on which could be seen no more than one line of text. Mag cards were used to recall and reprint documents but editing documents and saving changes was difficult. Document production was labour intensive and slow. Keeping drafting succinct and to the point was advantageous; legal draftsmen focused their minds on conciseness and clarity.
During my first year, word processors with floppy disks were introduced, allowing documents to be amended and saved properly. This was revolutionary. Today’s document production capabilities far outstrip that WP system but are really no more than
Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK
* denotes a required field
**excludes LexisPSL Practice Compliance, Practice Management and Risk and Compliance. To discuss trialling these LexisPSL services please email customer service via our online form. Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK. We may terminate this trial at any time or decide not to give a trial, for any reason. Trial includes one question to LexisAsk during the length of the trial. See our full terms here.
Access this article and thousands of others like it free by subscribing to our blog.
Read full article
Already a subscriber? Login
Follow Linda on Twitter on @lindakabi
0330 161 1234