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Energy intensive contracts

5 areas burning you out.

Creating and signing contracts is usually an energy intensive process for all the involved parties. Agreeing on a set of terms that all parties support can be challenging. Drafting the terms and agreeing on the wording can be delicate. This article highlights the 5 areas where the most energy is lost in the contracting process.

Free and paid contract templates float on the web but choosing the right one can be a treacherous challenge for the unlawyered. In particular they need to understand which agreement is most appropriate for them based on their appetite for risk and willingness to take…


Discussing the temp in templates.

There is no shortage of free or paid contract template providers online for anyone seeking some form of agreement. The UK government even offers example templates for the Non-Disclosure Agreement and Assured shorthold tenancy agreement. However, working with a trustworthy contract template is not always the safest or most useful option for the unlawyered. When using online templates, you might find yourself tackling the three Ts: tailoring, tracking and terms.

The first reason is that a template will inevitably require some form of tailoring to the specific situation it is being used for. For example, there are different types of…


Photo by Christa Dodoo on Unsplash.

Why digitalising paperwork is not the solution.

Paperwork is critical for business operations as handshake agreements are not recommended and do not scale beyond trusted circles. However, completing, signing and maintaining physical documents is time and space consuming which presents its challenges especially for smaller organisations.

Digital paperwork is a step change improvement from physical as it eliminates the space and location constraints associated with hard copies but it is not a silver bullet. Digital has amplified paperwork’s issues by removing the physical constraints which were the limiting factor.

Filling in digital documents can be faster but is still error-prone. This is because the tools to manipulate…


Machine Learning, startups and Legislate

My new venture: Legislate

In April 2020 I started Legislate to take the pain out of contracting for the unlawyered, by making the process more interactive and the data more usable. I mainly write articles on the Legislate blog.

Startups

Machine Learning 101s

Being in Oxford and working directly with some of the brightest minds in Machine Learning taught me a lot about the key concepts and how to use them to solve problems. Here are some of my attempts to explain and demystify them.


Photo by Coline Beulin on Unsplash

Watch out for what’s missing.

Contract negotiation tends to steer the engaging parties’ attention to what’s in the contract as opposed to what’s absent. This can lead to incomplete and potentially dangerous agreements. This also sets the relationship up for failure in the longer term.

A shared understanding and vision of the terms of the contract are required for the relationship to succeed. This understanding should be clear for what’s stated in the agreement. However, the shared vision can easily be blurred for terms which are not explicitly stated.

For example, a software sales agreement which does not detail the level of support or services…


(Photo by Matt Thornhill on Unsplash)

Unless you’re a lawyer you probably don’t interact much with contracts but when you do it’s rarely a pleasant experience. On the other hand, signing a contract is an exhilarating experience.

Why does contract negotiation have to be so painful and how can we make the whole process as enjoyable as the final signature?

Formal contracts are only required because of the uncertainty or lack of trust between the engaging parties. …


Simeon Muller

Long live the contract

Contracts provide an essential framework for people and corporations to work with each other under negotiated conditions. The negotiation is often the most challenging stage of the relationship because each party will try to protect their own interests.

In doing so they will try to minimise the impact of their potential wrongdoings whilst maximising their entitled damages for the other’s. Attempting to reconcile each party’s interests can delay the process or worse, terminate it.

This is also the most unfair stage of the relationship as the legal resources of each party will impact the final “deal”. A less experienced party…


Improving patient outcomes with Machine Learning

[UPDATE: I have started a tech company. You can find out more here]

When patients suffer unintended reactions to medicines, it can be both dangerous for the individual and costly to society. However, what if medical professionals could use machine learning to forecast adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and minimise risks to patients?

ADRs are a huge concern within the healthcare industry, directly accounting for approximately 5% of all hospital admissions and estimated to be the sixth leading cause of death worldwide.


Machine learning has the potential to transform our world, just as electricity transformed almost everything around a century ago. However, it’s hard to imagine how your profession will be affected. So, let’s consider the potential of machine learning for investment managers.

[UPDATE: I have started a tech company. You can find out more here]

Implementing an investment philosophy

Investing requires a philosophy to act as a framework for finding, evaluating and selecting new investment opportunities. These philosophies enable investment managers to differentiate themselves and thereby attract a particular client base.

The implementation of any investment philosophy has two components. The first involves introducing the…

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