What’s it about?
Clients expect their law firms (and companies expect in-house legal teams) to deliver high-quality advice and documentation on ever-tighter budgets. As a former litigation partner in a global firm, Cathy is well aware of the need to manage legal risk by drafting clearly, succinctly and unambiguously. This drafting course:
- equips lawyers to perform at a higher level, which should reduce supervision time, improve leverage and increase profitability
- reduces legal risk by clarifying areas that might otherwise lead to claims
- increases client satisfaction because documents are clearer and easier to read, thus reducing the risk of later contractual disputes
We developed this course by analysing the skills needed to be an excellent legal drafter. We give delegates the tools to help them to draft clear, user-friendly and unambiguous legal agreements that achieve their clients’ objectives.
The course addresses all stages of the drafting process from the initial approach through improving existing drafting, using a precedent and drafting from scratch. It also provides a refresher on some tricky areas of drafting.
Who should attend?
You should attend if you:
- are a lawyer or otherwise regularly involved in drafting agreements
- want to take a fresh look at your legal drafting
- hope to avoid pitfalls and confusion in the way you draft
What does it cover?
The course is flexible in length and scope. The full course is four three-hour modules. Ideally participants will attend the modules in order. We can tailor it to your organisation’s needs, focusing more on particular areas if needed. Modules 1 and 3 are most suitable for junior lawyers. Modules 2 and 4 are suitable for all. We like, where possible, to draw from the organisation’s precedents and to reinforce any house style. We use exercises throughout, taken from real agreements, to stretch delegates and to embed the learning.
Module 1 – Taking the right approach
- Discussion of the lawyer’s role and the importance of asking the right questions
- Identifying and allocating risks
- Structure of a typical agreement
- The dangers of poor drafting – the rules on court interpretation
Module 2 – Improving existing drafting
- What does effective English legal drafting look like?
- Six clear drafting techniques
- Improving poor drafting
Module 3 – Drafting from scratch and adapting a precedent
- A four-stage approach to drafting from scratch
- Drafting key clauses
- The dangers of precedents and templates
- Checklist for using them
Module 4 – Getting down to details
- Danger areas where drafting is particularly susceptible to disputes
- Refresher on “boilerplate” language clarifying the legal meaning (based on case law or statute) of many standard words and phrases
What do others say about the course?
“Interactive, informative course providing efficient and helpful tricks to improve your drafting” (Associate, Clifford Chance)
“Cathy is a great communicator and has put together a fantastic, interactive and engaging course. The materials were very well pitched and Cathy’s delivery was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed attending each session and left having learnt something new. I would strongly recommend Cathy’s effective legal drafting course to other associates and trainees.” (Associate, King & Wood Mallesons)
“Interactive sessions and excellent exercises. Really made me think about the importance of clear drafting.” (Trainee solicitor)
“Great presentation skills. Challenging exercises. Interesting content. Fun quiz!” (Associate, Berwin Leighton Paisner)
“Very relevant and useful, and provides training in an area that is essential to our day to day working life as solicitors.” (Associate, Berwin Leighton Paisner)
“This should be compulsory for all fee earners.” (Law firm senior associate)
“There is nothing better than interactive, targeted learning. This ticked all the boxes and is one of the best training sessions I have been to since I joined the firm. More please.” (Financial services lawyer, London office of a US firm)
“[Cathy] was excellent, the sessions and materials were good and the training was aimed relatively high so it was challenging throughout.” (Associate, Berwin Leighton Paisner)
“It was a fabulous session – informative and fun!” (Financial services lawyer, London office of a US firm)
“It was an entertaining, light-hearted but extremely effective way of refreshing my knowledge of basic English commercial law.” (Financial services lawyer, London office of a US firm)
“Fantastic – one of the best training sessions I have attended yet.”(Trainee, Shearman & Sterling)
“A really good session, thoroughly enjoyable, learnt lots of new things and held my attention throughout.” (Banking associate, Baker & McKenzie)
“Interactive and genuinely useful. Allowed us to reflect on our practices/bad habits in drafting and avoid them.” (Trainee, Shearman & Sterling)