A Further Note on “During the Term of This Agreement”

In MSCD, as well as in this 2007 post, I say that the phrase during the term of this agreement is usually redundant. I use the following example:

During the term of this agreement, the [The] Company shall pay Jones an automobile expense allowance of $1,000 per month, grossed up for income tax purposes, and reimburse Jones for all gasoline and maintenance expenses incurred by him in operating his automobile.

But when the phrase is redundant, it’s also potentially misleading. In using the phrase in this context, the drafter presumably intends to express the meaning “while this agreement is in effect.” But if the contract has a stated duration—invariably expressed using the word term—the phrase could be understood as applying for the entirety of that stated duration, even after the contract is terminated before the end of the stated duration.

Redundant and misleading—not a good combination.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.