According to the Canadian periodical The Lawyers Weekly, “In the world of contract drafting, Ken Adams is the guru.” He occupies a unique position in the field of contract drafting, in that he’s the only commentator to focus on the language of contracts—not what you express in a given contract provision, but how to express it in modern and effective contract language.
His book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting (ABA 3d ed. 2013) is widely used throughout the legal profession. He gives seminars in the U.S., Canada, and internationally, and he acts as a consultant and expert witness.
As part of its “Legal Rebels” project, in 2009 the ABA Journal, the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association, named Ken one of fifty leading innovators in the legal profession. And in a 2011 opinion, the Delaware Court of Chancery, the foremost business-law court in the U.S., described A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting as “thought-provoking” and noted that “One can even share and in fact applaud Adams’ encouragement of clearer forms of contract drafting.”
The Legal Writing Institute has announced that Ken is to receive the Golden Pen Award for 2014, “to recognize his exemplary work in contract drafting.” For more information, go here. The Golden Pen Award honors those who make significant contributions to advance the cause of better legal writing.
The ABA Journal has included Ken’s blog in its 2013, 2012, 2010, and 2009 “Blawg 100”—its list of the hundred best law blogs.
Ken is also at the forefront of contract automation. He’s chief content advisor for ContractExpress, the leading document-assembly software. Ken writes on contract automation for Contract-Automation Clearinghouse, the blog maintained by Business Integrity, the developer of ContractExpress. Ken has developed a document-assembly template of a confidentiality agreement that Business Integrity now maintains on its website (here) as an example of state-of-the-art document assembly. For more about how Ken works with Business Integrity, go here.
From 2006 to 2012, Ken was a lecturer in law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he taught the school’s first course on contract drafting. In August and September 2014 he will for the first time teach contract drafting at Notre Dame Law School, as an adjunct professor.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1989, Ken practiced corporate law in New York and Geneva, Switzerland, with major U.S. law firms. To find out how he changed from being a practicing lawyer to being an authority on contract language, see this February 2009 blog post.