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This Practice Note offers general guidance on how to approach document drafting and explains the meaning of some common expressions used in legal documents. It also looks at how courts look at the construction of contracts and considers case law relating to contract interpretation and offers practical tips for drafting commercial contracts.
Well drafted documents share a number of common characteristics. They are:
accurately reflect the agreement between the parties
Drafting and language are key to achieving those aims. Useful principles to bear in mind are outlined below.
It is often better (and easier) to draft general statements in the singular.
For example 'the Obligors must not create any security' could give rise to the argument that the restriction is on the Obligors collectively.
It is better to phrase a prohibition like this as 'no Obligor may create any security'.
Usually, an active voice is preferable to a passive voice. Sentences using active verbs often convey more information and are easier to follow.
For example, 'when the Agent has confirmed the conditions' is better than 'when the conditions have been confirmed by the Agent'.
An active voice is not necessarily better in all circumstances and it is important to consider the emphasis of the statement. For
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