Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Every Contract tells a Story

Like it or not, whatever you do in life, you will almost definitely have to consider and sign contracts of various sorts along the way.  (Even some schools now ask parents and pupils to sign up to a School Contract outlining behaviour and performance expectations).  

You may not think there is much to commend Contract Law and that examining small print is probably the least exciting job in the world.  But myself and a group of other businessmen and women were made to think again by Jacob Scott of Foot Anstey solicitors www.footanstey.com at a working lunch at Tamar Science Park www.tamarsciencepark.com
Jacob clearly enjoys his specialisation, which is informed by a previous career in business, and got our interest at the outset by stating that we shouldn't look upon a Contract as a dry and dusty document.   Instead we should read it as a Story.  A Story about a Relationship.  And instead of thinking 'Where's the catch?"  We should read it with our mind on the people and circumstances told about in the tale making sure that, however the business fortunes (plot) twists and turns, - a 'happily ever after...' ending is achievable. 

NB An interesting fact too about why contracts might often seem overly wordy.  Long ago draftsmen who drew them up were paid by the word count.  The more they wrote, the more they earned.   Do you think that's where legal verbosity might have started?

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