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Contract Simplification – what is the buzz all about?

In English Yleinen
When I mention to people, lawyers included, that I am doing my doctoral dissertation on the topic of contract simplification I always get a positive first response. People listen and they agree contracts are too complex hard to read or understand. No one likes contracts, unfortunately, after a mere minute of me starting to share about my research the listener has moved to an end state thought “how does anyone willingly choose to research contract documents?” …I have lost my audience.

As a contracts manager in business my simplification efforts are well received as long as the person can use the product without any additional effort to close out the action item. One and done, next item on the agenda. Leadership, engineers, business managers and accounting alike are needing data to do their job. Not having to search through a novel like document to find the information they needed is heaven.

In a few weeks on November 4th hundreds of people from business and academia will come together for the annual IACCM America’s conference* to share expertise and best practices in contract and commercial management. Different approaches from legal design, technology and professional training are presented under the umbrella of user-friendly contracts to bring business efficiencies. Many feel contracts should be value creators not a financial burden.

How to change and simplify contract documents requires many changes in today’s learned habits, especially lawyers who are the main group drafting contracts. Defining the methods and tools is no easy task because there is no one “size fits all” approach to contracts.

My mantra is; “it is all about the user!” Making contracts usable for any person within the company who rely on critical data is where the value creation proposition is.

News alert, the movement has started. The conference will have people energetically engaging on the topic and I am excited to be part of it. I love the challenge of solving how traditional black and white documents will be left in the dust and colorful aesthetically appeasing documents fill our offices. The contract simplification buzz is about a revolution. A revolution defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a sudden, radical, or complete change”. Join me in the contract simplification revolution!

Milva Finnegan
PhD Student
Business Law
School of Accounting and Finance

* For more information about the IACCM – The International Organization for Contract & Commercial Management go to:


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