The Difference Between Simplifying a Contract and Making It Clearer

Recently I posted on LinkedIn two comments (here and here) regarding the distinction between simplifying a contract and making it clearer. In those comments I say that simplification relates to what you say in a contract whereas clarity relates to how you say it. What you say falls on a spectrum between simple and complex; how you say it falls on a spectrum between clear and unclear.

Why bother with this distinction? Because simplifying a contract and making it clearer are different tasks. If you think the problem is just complexity, you don’t understand the problem and you won’t be able to fix it. For more on that, see two 2017 posts, here and here.

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.