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Legal English: Drafting Contracts

A comprehensive language course that gives you the tools to draft commercial contracts with confidence.

International Legal English Courses

Our high impact course in contract drafting in English for international lawyers.

"Very beneficial and helpful to me in my current job. Excellent teacher."

Edualy Spirow, Oil and Gas industry

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This language course examines how legal English has developed, its current usage, and explores the efforts of organisations such as the Plain English Campaign and the British Council to improve it. Delegates on this programme are encouraged to analyse their written work and develop the skills necesssary to improve their writing in terms of structure, style, grammatical accuracy and choice of vocabulary. The programme will be based around the needs of the participants, through a series of written tasks, with regular feedback and discussion of current trends in legal drafting by an expert English for Law language trainer.

Legal English for Drafting:

Summary of Course Content

  • Writing legal opinions, correspondence memoranda and email
  • Drafting pre-contractual documentation
  • Drafting general contractual terms and specific clauses
  • Negotiation skills for lawyers
  • Tactics, techniques and personalities
  • Negotiating key clauses

Writing in Legal English:

Participants will receive

  • Style guide including sample emails, letters and contracts
  • Glossary of legalese, Latin phrases and legal terminology
  • Extensive course notes
  • Course book(s)

Drafting Contracts in English:

Language Focus

Crash course in language and vocabulary

The commercial and technical vocabulary you need to know in order to successfully draft, check and amend commercial contracts.

Be aware of how to formulate accurate and natural sentences in English.

Direct translations from a foreign language into English is never wholly accurate. It is important to analyse how English lawyers put words together and follow that style. Our teachers will show you how to do this.

Awareness of the correct style of English in a contract

How can a successful international lawyer get the correct balance between plain English and legalese to produce a contract that is watertight and easily understandable? We will show you how.

Awareness of how to use prepositions accurately in English

One of the most common difficulties encountered by legal English and TOLES students is how to use the correct preposition. These words are not used with any particular logic in English. For example, there are two parties to a contract (not of a contract). When you mention a deadline, payment must be made by 1 September (not until 1 September). Accurate use of prepositions is vital.

How to use collocation accurately in English

Collocation is the method of using words together in natural partnerships in the same way as a native speaker of English. For instance, in legal English why does interest accrue rather than accumulate or grow. The verb 'to accrue' forms a natural collocation with the noun 'interest'. An awareness of how collocation works can improve professionalism and accuracy in a very short space of time.

Dealing effectively with problematic words found in contracts

There are certain words in commercial contracts that create problems in use and understanding for native and non-native speakers alike. What, for example, is the precise difference between a mortgage, a charge, a pledge, a lien and an encumbrance? Does indemnify mean the same as compensate? Common misunderstandings are explained by our expert language teachers.

Awareness of which nouns are countable and which are uncountable

Warranties and indemnities are countable but information and interest are not. You cannot charge ‘an interest’ or ‘interests’ because that noun is uncountable. It is very important to learn which words in English can be made plural and which cannot.

Legal English Language Training says “As the world's leading provider of language courses for lawyers and legal professionals, we possess unparalelled knowledge of the language training needs of lawyers whose first language is not English. Our language courses will help you become more accurate and more natural in your use of English in contracts within a very short period of time. Our focus is informed, practical and, above all, relevant to your work.”

Who should attend?

  • In-house legal counsel
  • Law students
  • Contract managers/officers
  • Legal counselors - commercial contracts
  • Legal specialists
  • Legal advisors and consultants
  • Operational legal support
  • Compliance officers
  • Lawyers in private practice
  • Business development managers
  • Marketing and sales directors/managers
  • Solicitors/Barristers
Legal Writing Skills

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