Ken Adams has created a new discipline—rigorous analysis of the building blocks of contract language. Contracts drafted consistent with Ken’s guidelines are dramatically clearer and more effective than those that exhibit the dysfunction of traditional contract language.
Starting in the late 1990s, Ken has methodically mapped out a new approach to contract language, one that advocates “active drafting” over “passive drafting.” (For more about that, see this extract of this article by Ken.) His book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, a unique reference work, is in widespread use throughout the world. And he gives his “Drafting Clearer Contracts” seminars throughout North America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. For more information about Ken and his writings and seminars, go to www.adamsdrafting.com.
In preparing your templates, we work with your contracts professionals, making the best of our respective skills: your personnel know your business and your transactions, and we know contract language and the fundamentals of commercial transactions.
With each passing year, Ken’s approach to contract drafting has become more widely accepted. He has received an increasing number of inquiries from companies looking to improve their templates. To make more such work possible, Ken has started Adams Contracts Consulting, and he intends to expand its operations.
Actual Intelligence, Not the Artificial Kind
In the right context, technology can be invaluable in helping companies to manage the contract process. We use technology—the software ContractExpress—as a way to scale optimal contract language.
But if you expect technology to scour databases of publicly available contracts and come up with optimal contract language, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise—a crippling garbage-in-garbage-out problem. Given the chaos that is traditional contract language, there’s no way to create optimal contract language without strong editorial control. The person largely responsible for setting standards for that editorial control is our president, Ken Adams.
Consultants, Not a Law Firm
Adams Contracts Consulting isn’t a law firm—we don’t represent clients in transactions.
That offers advantages to our clients, in that we’re able to be more effective in the services we offer. We can partner with professionals from other disciplines, and we aren’t subject to rules that restrict the multijurisdictional practice of law.
Attorney-client privilege and work-product immunity don’t apply to the work we do for our clients. (Under the attorney-client privilege, corporate clients can shield from discovery any communications with counsel that involve giving or obtaining legal advice; the work-product doctrine protects from discovery materials prepared by an attorney in anticipation of litigation.)
And unlike law firms, we’re under no obligation to avoid representing conflicting interests. But as a matter of client relations, we’re very aware of issues that can arise when one provides services to companies that compete with each other.