Legal Redrafting Exercises
While it is difficult to get Legal English right every time you put pen to paper, you can practice to enhance your skills. Take a look at the sentences below and rewrite them into more formal English. Avoid contractions, phrasal verbs and colloquial phrases that would look out of place in a formal letter or legal document. There is a similar exercise in the TOLES Test of Legal English Skills so do try this if you are taking the exam.
You will see six sentences below that have been written in informal general English. Rephrase them so that they would suit a formal letter by using more advanced vocabulary and substituting any phrasal verbs of colloquial expressions. You can rephrase the sentences but do not change the content.
There are answers below.
1) I am writing to ask for an answer to my question about the house that my customer is buying.
2.) I encourage you to look up the case of Donoghue v Stevenson to learn more about this problem.
3) My client definitely didn't do the crime you said he did and you should take it back.
4) I am taking over the case involving John Jonson and ask you to send all documents over to me right now.
5) We ask that the awards be given in exchange for something the same as the difference between the price received by the shareholders of the company in the corporate transaction and the purchase price.
6.) Mr Jones was originally told that he could not have a divorce because the reasons he gave were not enough grounds for a divorce.
Please consider these answers as options to rephrase the sentences. There are other options available.
1) We write to enquire whether you are in a position to answer the question we had previously sent regarding our client's property purchase.
2) We would like to draw your attention to the case of Donoghue v Stevenson for further clarity on this matter.
3) Our client denies committing this crime and we would urge you to reconsider your allegations and apologise for the mistake.
4) I will be acting for John Johnson in this matter and request that you send any documents to me which involve my client.
5) We request that the awards shall be cashed out for a consideration equal to the difference between the price received by the shareholders of the company and the purchase price.
6) We note that Mr Jones was originally told that a divorce was not possible as the reasons he had provided were not sufficient for the court.
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