“Party” as an Adjective

The following constructions using party are commonplace:

Acme is a party to a confidentiality agreement with Widgetco dated October 7, 2007.

Acme and Widgetco are parties to a confidentiality agreement dated October 7, 2007.

In the above examples, party is used as a noun. I suggest that in this context it would be preferable to use it as an adjective. That would result in the same examples being revised to read as follows:

Acme is party to a confidentiality agreement with Widgetco dated October 7, 2007.

Acme and Widgetco are party to a confidentiality agreement dated October 7, 2007.

I have yet to see any mention of this distinction in a dictionary, but I’m comfortable with my preference for using party as an adjective.

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.