How to Understand Legal Documents
Describing the anatomy of legal documents is an inherently difficult task that is fraught with complexity and exceptions. What is true for some documents may be incorrect or inapplicable for others. The law that applies in various jurisdictions will also be a factor influencing diversity.
My comments are general observations. They must be tempered with common sense and applied with care.
Document names and terminology often vary simply due to personal preference.
Just as human anatomy is dependent on gender and age, legal anatomy is dependent on the nature and value of the transaction and, of course, on the level of potential liability.
Knowing the law is useful, but knowing how to wisely use it should be our goal. This primer should be backed up by advice from a clear, concise and commercially-astute lawyer.
Anyway enough of my caveat emptor (“buyer beware”) rant. I hope the following skeletal overviews amount to a basic User’s Manual that makes the law a more useful tool in your hand:
- Deed of Confidentiality
- Heads of Agreement
- Shareholders Agreement
- Deed of Release
- Interpretation Boilerplate
- Terminology Made Simple
|Photo by Patrick J. Lynch|