“Unless the Context Otherwise Requires”

Here are some examples, drawn from the SEC’s EDGAR database, of provisions containing the phrase unless the context otherwise requires:

Unless the context otherwise requires, capitalized terms used in this Agreement have the following meanings.

Unless the context otherwise requires, references to the “Company” shall be deemed to refer to the Company and its Subsidiaries.

Each of the representationsand warranties of the Loan Parties contained in this Agreement (and all corresponding definitions) are made after giving effect to the Transactions, unless the context otherwise requires.

Except as otherwise expressly provided herein or unless the context otherwise requires, all references to the singular shall include the plural and vice versa.

It’s always a bad idea to use this phrase, as all it does is add wiggle room that an astute litigator might be able to take advantage of. If in a contract you want to deviate from some across-the-board convention, do so explicitly.

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.