Short courses


Drafting Clearer Contracts

  • 6 hours
  • 1 day
  • 4 Nov 2019


This one-day course will give you a rigorous overview of the building blocks of contract language and common sources of confusion.

The focus is not on the content of contracts, but on being able to clearly and concisely express whatever it is the contract contains.

Background to the course

In the transactional world, contract drafting is an essential skill. But traditional contract drafting consists of copying (on faith) precedent contracts of uncertain quality and relevance. 

It follows that traditional contract language is full of archaisms, redundancies, chaotic verb structures, and misconceptions about the use of commonplace usages. 

Because contract drafting has consisted of copying, drafters have traditionally done this without formal training or rigorous guidelines. This is where this course is positioned.

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for:

  • law-firm lawyers
  • in-house lawyers
  • contract managers
  • anyone who drafts, negotiates, or reviews contracts

It's suitable for all levels of seniority, as much of what tutor Ken Adams has to say is new even to senior contracts professionals (i.e. he doesn't recycle the conventional wisdom).

Although Ken is based in New York, his guidelines apply internationally. This course will feature examples drawn from English contracts and discussion of issues particularly relevant to English contracts professionals.


This course is structured to encourage discussion - you'll be analysing examples and doing short drafting exercises.

Learning outcomes

On this course you'll learn:

  • how to make your contracts clearer and more concise
  • how to save time and money in drafting and negotiating
  • how to reduce the risk of disputes
  • problems to look out for when reviewing the other side's drafts
  • how to facilitate change in contract drafting

Cost and concessions

The standard fee is £600.

An early bird price of £510 is available for bookings made by 20 September 2019.

Discounts are available for full-time students, UCL alumni, UCL Institute of Brand and Innovation Law sponsoring firms, and group bookings.

Course team

Ken Adams

Ken Adams

According to the Canadian periodical The Lawyers Weekly, "In the world of contract drafting, Ken Adams is the guru." Ken gives seminars in the US, Canada, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. The Legal Writing Institute awarded him its Golden Pen Award for 2014 "to recognise his exemplary work in contract drafting."

He's taught contract drafting as an adjunct professor at Notre Dame Law School, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Hofstra School of Law. Before attending law school in the United States, Ken received all his secondary and college education in England. He practiced as a corporate lawyer with major US law firms in New York and Geneva, Switzerland.

Course information last modified: 29 Aug 2019, 10:10