I’m pleased to announce that in cooperation with Melbourne Law School I’ll be giving my “Drafting Clearer Contracts” seminar in Australia, in Melbourne on February 8 and in Sydney on February 10. For further information on the Melbourne seminar and details on how to register, go here; for further information on the Sydney seminar and details on how to register, go here; and for a copy of the flyer, go here.
And in Melbourne on February 7 and in Sydney on February 9, I’ll be giving a free late-afternoon seminar on contract automation. These seminars are being hosted by the law firm Mallesons. To register for the free Melbourne seminar, go here; to register for the free Sydney seminar, go here; and for a copy for a copy of the flyer, go here.
But more of an explanation is in order. Apparently, U.S. contract drafting isn’t highly regarded in Australia—what a shock!—so Australian lawyers might well ask themselves why they should care what I have to say.
I offer four reasons why it’s not presumptuous of me to be going to Australia:
- First, those familiar with my stuff would likely be surprised to have anyone think of me as some sort of ambassador for mainstream U.S. drafting. Instead, the message of much of what I do is that mainstream U.S. drafting is dysfunctional. Heck, I say as much in the title to this article. And for just one example of my take on U.S. drafting, check out my critique of the Google–Motorola Mobility merger agreement (here).
- Second, I aim to have the recommendations in my book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting apply to the drafting of contracts in English anywhere in the world. For more on that, see this blog post.
- Third, I’ve seen no sign that my expertise would be superfluous in Australia. For example, I have on my bookshelves what I gather are the best-known Australian texts on contract drafting, but they overlap little with MSCD.
- Fourth, although my review of an assortment of contracts drafted by some of the better-known Australian law firms suggests that they’re free of the more ludicrous shortcomings of U.S. drafting, that still leaves much to discuss.
My Australian seminars will be geared to how Australians draft. We won’t be spending time discussing, for example, why you shouldn’t include WITNESSETH in your contracts. As a result, we’ll have extra time to devote to more subtle issues.
And if you’re still nervous that I’ll foist some lame-ass U.S. stuff on you, don’t be: my longtime contact Andrew Godwin, a senior lecturer at Melbourne Law School and former Linklaters partner, will be sitting in.
So I hope to meet some of you in Australia!