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 4th ed. 2017) is widely used internationally and has sold tens of thousands of copies. In this review, the English Law Society Gazette said that MSCD is “extraordinary.”
Ken has given hundreds of public and in-house “Drafting Clearer Contracts” presentations in the U.S., Canada, and internationally and offers training online. For more information, go here.
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 Delaware Chancery Court has continued to cite Ken; see for example this December 2020 blog post.
The Legal Writing Institute awarded Ken the Golden Pen Award for 2014, “to recognize his exemplary work in contract drafting.” And in 2015 the ABA Journal named Ken’s blog to the Hall of Fame of its “Blawg 100”—its list of the hundred best law blogs.
Ken has taught contract drafting as an adjunct professor at Hofstra University School of Law, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Notre Dame Law School.
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 November 2020 blog post.
Since August 2020, Ken has been chief content officer of LegalSifter, an artificial-intelligence company that is creating software to help with review of the other side’s draft contracts. From April 2018 to July 2020, Ken was an advisor to LegalSifter.