“During the Term of this Agreement”

During the term of this agreement seems an innocuous enough phrase, but more often than not it’s redundant.

The default rule is that contract provisions that directly address party actions remain in effect only during the term of the contract. That means that if you use during the term of this agreement to modify language of obligation, discretion, or prohibition, you’re just stating the obvious. In the interest of concision, you’d be better off omitting it:

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 if you’re deviating from the default rule, you might well need to include during the term of this agreement when specifying the duration of a given provision:

During the term of this agreement and five years thereafter, the Recipient shall not, and shall cause each of its Representatives not to, disclose any Confidential Information except as contemplated in this agreement.

Note that you don’t need to include a timeframe in boilerplate provisions that would come into play if one party sues the other after the agreement has been terminated. These include provisions relating to jurisdiction, governing law, and notices. For more on this, see this post on “survival.”

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.