Notes from the Road: My Day in Sydney

The “Notes from the Road” heading means no pointy-headed contracts stuff in this post, just a virtual postcard from Sydney.

I arrived here this morning from Melbourne with Andrew Godwin—you’ll remember him from this post. After checking how things were going on the home front, I headed to lunch with Adrian Goss. Adrian is corporate counsel at ACP Magazines and is active in ACLA, the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (the Australian equivalent of the ACC). He’s also a longtime reader of my stuff.

We met at a downtown restaurant, Ash St. Cellar, located on a bustling side street. I was delighted that we were joined by Trish Hyde, ACLA’s chief executive officer. (I was obnoxious enough to ask Trish and Adrian if I might take the photo you see to the right.) Over a leisurely lunch, we discussed ACLA’s mission, the opportunities open to it, and the obstacles it faces. I’ll be working with Adrian to see whether Koncision can offer ACLA anything.

We shared some small plates—the food was great. This a day after I experienced, at my Melbourne “Drafting Clearer Contracts” seminar, the best seminar catering I’ve encountered, by Mary & Steve The Caterers. And I’ve seen my fair share of seminar catering. Evidently Australia is a serious food destination.

A couple of hours later, Andrew and I, along with Kelly McDermott (also of Melbourne Law School, handling logistics), convened at Mallesons, the major Australian law firm, for my talk on contract automation. The views from the sixty-first floor will represent the extent of my sight-seeing. A couple of dozen people were present; I hope they found it worthwhile. But I learned one lesson—don’t have a long lunch, with wine, before giving a talk! The connection between my brain and my mouth was decidedly sluggish.

And to cap an eventful day, I met Peter Butt, emeritus law professor and the Australian authority on legal drafting and plain-language writing. I was pleased when a couple of weeks ago Peter emailed me, and we arranged to meet at the Mallesons event. That we did, and afterwards Andrew and I joined Peter and his wife for a delightful dinner. No photo—there are limits to my chutzpah.

Back to Mallesons tomorrow for the Sydney edition of “Drafting Clearer Contracts.”

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.