Effective contract drafting

Practical and interactive online workshop, with trainer monitoring of drafting in breakout rooms.
PSC elective or for solicitors at all levels. Content and duration can be varied. Combines well with one-to-ones.

Example outline below for a 3.5-hour course (two sessions of 1.75-hours each).

Small groups of up to 12 preferred but please discuss numbers with us. 

Why choose this skills course?

Clear and precise drafting is essential, to achieve clients’ objectives, to make documents easy to understand, and to avoid future disputes between the parties and claims against your firm. 
This course will help you to meet the SRA competence standard on drafting, both when dealing with precedents and when drafting from scratch. 

What will you achieve by attending?

You will be able to

    • spot and avoid both common and your own drafting issues 
    • assess and use precedent clauses more appropriately
    • draft more clearly and precisely

 To further develop your skills, we will give you a set of best-practice guidelines with a checklist for use in the office.

What will we cover?

    • Drafting for the reader and for your purpose
    • Structuring clauses
    • Ensuring completeness of content and language
    • Keeping drafting short and simple, including tenses, active and passive voice, syntax, and word choice
    • Dealing with provisos and exceptions
    • Minimising cross-referencing with subject to and notwithstanding
    • Recognising and avoiding ambiguity 
    • Choosing language of obligation and discretion: shall, will, must and may

What exercises will you do? 

You will complete exercises throughout, to draw out best-practice guidelines and to practise drafting with the benefit of trainer monitoring and group feedback.
Exercises will include deconstructing, analysing and redrafting poorly drafted precedent clauses; and drafting from scratch.

Online method

Zoom (preferred) or similar platform
Work in pairs, threes, group and alone
Breakout rooms: trainer monitoring,
screen sharing and joint document annotating
Homework between sessions

Course materials

Guidelines with summary checklist for use in the office
Exercises, drafting analyses and suggested redrafts 


Stella Styllis