The Legislate podcast was launched in October 2021 with the aim of helping businesses and landlords learn about the latest insights in property, technology, business building and contract drafting. Legislate has been fortunate to curate theses insights from a diverse group of entrepreneurs, business owners, and lawyers in property, tech and medical. As a closing question, all podcast guests are asked what would impress them if they were to receive a contract to sign today. This article summarise the main answers from 2021.
Contracts written in plain English and contract education
Legislate's podcast guests deal with a broad set of types of contracts ranging from employment contracts and NDAs to tenancy agreements. However, a common request across industries is contract templates written in plain language. Written contracts which use legalese have a negative effect on the contract negotiation according to Mani Singh. Gabrielle Bourret-Sicotte from Greenr also believes that complicated, legal jargon a lot of the time hides a lot of clauses and policies and it would be nice to just have simple texts. Harriet from Aluna Property Management doesn't like very long-winded and repetitive contracts and is impressed when they go straight to the point.
Education was another key theme and podcast guests suggested more could be done to explain the contract terms. Heather Mitchell from Nommm suggested "little bios about the contract to avoid "Googling the name of a contract" and Jake Fox from Paperound would like the contract to explain the legal in stages to understand what the contract terms actually mean.
Easy access to the key terms of the contract
The structure and layout of a contract can make it easier to understand according to James Owusu from Checkboard but also makes it easy to quickly identify the core terms which matter such as intellectual property according to Sam Michael from OXMT. Kay from Ricketts rentals, Radhika Shah and Hannah Chappatte from HYBR all agree that the shorter and more concise a contract is, the more likely it will be read and understood, especially if everything you need to know can fit on one page and be bullet pointed.
Mary Catherine DiNunzio, Legislate's Chief Legal Officer likes contracts that are coherent. Which is really important because if you're not careful, contract terms can contradict each other which can create challenges for potential disputes and litigation. Sarah from Alt Street Property believes discussing the key terms in a Q and A type document that goes alongside the contract can preempt common questions. It also helps make it really clear what the outcomes are if something happens. Robert Lind gave a similar answer for patent applications which is that he wants the patent to be written like a story so that he is excited to read it.
Fair terms for long lasting relationships
Contracts set the terms of a relationship which is why both Mikesh Udani from Albus Health and Rich Simmonds from Orthoson believe that the terms need to be reasonable and set for the long term for the relationship to last. The intentions must be clearly stated and the terms accurately justified in the spirit of partnership rather than extraction or exploitation. This also means checking that the other side has tried honestly to translate the discussions and business objectives into the contract. George Robson also believes that the signer needs to have confidence in the contract to be able to sign it which means understanding what's actually written and trusting the other side. Fair terms and trust are essential for a valid contract and for a long lasting business relationship.
Electronic signatures and digital workflows
Legislate's podcast guests unanimously prefer e signatures over wet signatures as well as digital workflows which make it easy for contract signatories to e sign legally binding agreements. Moreover, digital platforms can record an audit trail of all the steps it took to reach the signed contract ranging from setting the terms and inviting parties to the final contract signing stage.
Zoe Conning from Amana Lettings likes a contracting experience which makes it easy to input contract information and which manages automatic reminders for people signing documents. Jonathan Campion from Totus doesn't want to have to print out and sign a contract and therefore prefers digital signatures. Phil and Charlotte from the Property Investment Geeks are impressed by a user-friendly contracting experience which is easy-to-use on laptops and phones so that documents can be seamlessly signed by anyone on the go regardless of their level of tech expertise.
How do you impress someone you're sending a contract to sign?
Legislate is a contract management platform for businesses and entrepreneurs which allows them to create lawyer-approved contracts on no legal budget. Legislate removes the legalese from contracts and ensures that the key contract terms are surfaced before anything is signed. Legislate makes the management of legal documents and contract lifecycle management efficient and usable since contract data is readily accessible. Legislate offers essential functionality such as user authentication so that signatories can sign documents with confidence.
Legislate is a contract management platform that empowers businesses to take control of their legal agreements. Our platform allows you to create bespoke contracts tailored to your specific needs, all without breaking the bank. With Legislate, you can also sign, and manage contracts electronically, making the process more efficient and allowing you to make informed decisions faster. Book a demo or sign up today to put the confidence back into contracting.
The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.