Contract Drafting: An Advanced Level Workshop

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This practical one day workshop provides training and “hands-on” experience in the drafting of commercial contracts. It is intended for lawyers and commercial managers who already understand the basic principles of contract drafting, have at least two or more years’ experience of contract drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, and wish to take their drafting skills to an advanced level.

The course explores the principles of contract drafting, with examples, exercises and practical case studies; allowing attendees to increase their knowledge and practise their drafting skills with other experienced practitioners.  The course does not cover contract law or discuss whether particular terms are commercially acceptable.

Specific topics to be considered in the course include:

  • Plain English: when should it be used and when should it be avoided?
  • Other standard techniques for clear drafting: how prescriptive should you be?
  • Life in the real world: how do you adapt theoretical drafting techniques to the heat of negotiations?
  • Legal conventions, traditions and assumptions: when should you follow established legal practice, and when should you ignore it in the interests of better contract drafting?
  • The canons of construction: their practical use in the drafting and interpretation of contracts.
  • Drafting in complex situations: how to draft well in various situations, including multi-party agreements, international negotiations, settlement agreements.


“Excellent course and materials.”

“The depth and practical application was excellent and there was an illustrative example for each case.”

“Right pace and clear explanations of points raised.  Got some really helpful tips.”

“It was pragmatic, succinct and shifts away from overly used jargon which is great.”


The course provides the equivalent of 6 hours CPD.


The course fee is £350 plus VAT per person.  The price includes course materials, a light lunch, coffee and tea. 10% discount if two or more people attend from the same  organisation. We can arrange in-house courses for a fixed price at your premises, for between 5 and 20 people. We usually price these on the basis that the client arranges and pays for copying of course materials and the provision of a conference room, lunch, coffee and tea.

Dates and location

Dates and location to be confirmed

Sample programme

9.30 Introduction to today’s workshop

  • Outline of workshop programme
  • Contracts as technical documents to record legal obligations
  • Combining maximum clarity, legality, and commerciality: how realistic?

9.45 Analysis of defective drafting

  • Case examples illustrating poor quality drafting
  • Group discussion of defects and potential improvements
  • Recommended drafting improvements, illustrating standard techniques for clear drafting

11.00 Coffee

11.15 Legal and ‘official writing’ conventions, traditions and assumptions

12.00 Practical exercises; discussion of answers

12.45 Lunch

13.45 Drafting in the real world

  • How the pressures of negotiation affect contract drafting; case examples
  • How to reconcile commercial imperatives with drafting best practice

15.15 Tea

15.30 Plain English

  • What is it really, and when is it best practice?
  • When is it required: consumer contracts, etc
  • Limitations of plain English techniques for contract drafting

16.00 How to manage drafting in complex situations

  • Multi-party agreements
  • International negotiations
  • Settlements and other ‘contentious’ agreements

17.00 Close

Preparation for the course

Although not essential, attendees may find it helpful to read the following practitioner texts as preparation for the workshop:


Please contact Mark Anderson for more information or to register your interest to attend this course.’)