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jerryking : contracts   12

Can contracts use pictures instead of words? | Financial Times
Bruce Love OCTOBER 22 2019

* David Sibbet in "Visual Meeting"
* Dan Roam in "Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work" 
Both writers advocate the use of graphics and charts to better communicate ideas between people.

Visuals and plain language make an adversarial process more constructive.

Every contract the company writes represents a business relationship that a company would prefer to see fulfilled mutually.....unwieldy contracts stand in the way of harmony.....you spend  so much time building customer relationships that you don’t want a contractual negotiation to then dismantle that relationship brick by brick.....redraft contracts using as much plain English as possible......Making contracts more faithful to the relationships they represent is a popular goal with commercial contracts.....businesses should write contracts that specify mutual goals and governance structures to keep the parties’ expectations and interests aligned over the long term........especially for “highly complex relationships in which it is impossible to predict every ‘what if ’ scenario”.....a curious innovation gathering steam in the legal world: visual contracts that incorporate images alongside or even replace text. The underlying idea is that a picture paints a thousand words.....visual contracts can be used for simple and complex agreements.....there are growing libraries of contract terms that can be assembled as modules to build complete agreements. The goal is to provide businesses with best practice examples of the most frequent and least divergent contract clauses.....While there are many benefits to visual contracts, “simple is difficult”..... It is counterproductive for negotiators to codify every minute detail of a relationship when instead much can be ascribed to a spirit of agreement, more similar to a constitution or code of ethics.
aligned_interests  books  charts  Communicating_&_Connecting  comprehension  contingencies  contracts  deal-making  graphics  infographics  legal  negotiations  plain_English  visualization 
november 2019 by jerryking
How to Give People Advice They’ll Be Delighted to Take
Oct. 21, 2019 | The New York Times | By Anna Goldfarb.

Giving spectacular advice doesn’t necessarily mean people will take it. Advice is a gift, albeit one bundled with inherent power dynamics. That “I know your situation best and here’s what you should do” attitude is what can make advice-giving so fraught.
“Expertise is a tricky thing,” “To take advice from someone is to agree to be influenced by them.” Sometimes when people don’t take advice, they’re rejecting the idea of being controlled by the advice-giver more than anything.
Three  factors determine whether input will be taken to heart. 
(1) was the advice costly to attain and the task is difficult (think: lawyers interpreting a contract)?
(2) Is the advisor more experienced and expresses extreme confidence in the quality of the advice (doctors recommending a treatment, for example)?
(3) Emotion plays a role, too: Decision makers are more likely to disregard advice if they feel certain about what they’re going to do (staying with a dud boyfriend no matter what) or they’re angry (sending an ill-advised text while fuming).

**Make sure you’re actually being asked to give counsel.  ask, “Would you be willing to hear some of my ideas, or is now not a good time?”

** Be clear on the advice-seeker’s goals. identify the exact problem: “What do you want to know specifically that I can help you with?”  Repeat back what you heard to be sure you’ve grasped the heart of the issue. Ask what outcome the advice-seeker hopes to see so your ideas align with the person’s desires. Next, inquire about what has been done to address the problem so your suggestions won’t be redundant.

**Consider your qualifications. People often go to those close to them for advice, even if family members and friends aren’t always in the best position to effectively assist, Ask yourself: “Do I have the expertise, experience or knowledge needed to provide helpful advice in this situation?” If you do, fantastic! Advise away. If you don’t, rather than give potentially unhelpful advice, identify someone who is in a better position to help.

**Be friendly. Words have power. Words can heal.

**Share experience. People tend to resist when advice is preachy. Saying, “I’ve been there and here’s what I did,” makes people more receptive. Recommend books and tools that might provide additional insight: Don't not tell what to do, offer real resources beyond me.

**Look for physical signs of relief.  Examine facial cues and body language.

** Identify takeaways (and give an out).  It’s not realistic for people to act on every piece of advice given. After discussing a problem and suggesting how to handle it, ask what tidbit resonates the most. Then give permission to disregard any suggestions made that weren’t a good fit. 

** Agree on next steps.  What kind of continued support is needed (if any) and what efforts should be avoided (i.e. too overbearing)?
advice  contracts  howto  legal  power_dynamics 
november 2019 by jerryking
A.I. Is Doing Legal Work. But It Won’t Replace Lawyers, Yet. - The New York Times
By STEVE LOHR MARCH 19, 2017

An artificial intelligence technique called natural language processing has proved useful in scanning and predicting what documents will be relevant to a case, for example. Yet other lawyers’ tasks, like advising clients, writing legal briefs, negotiating and appearing in court, seem beyond the reach of computerization, for a while......Highly paid lawyers will spend their time on work on the upper rungs of the legal task ladder. Other legal services will be performed by nonlawyers — the legal equivalent of nurse practitioners — or by technology.

Corporate clients often are no longer willing to pay high hourly rates to law firms for junior lawyers to do routine work. Those tasks are already being automated and outsourced, both by the firms themselves and by outside suppliers like Axiom, Thomson Reuters, Elevate and the Big Four accounting firms.....So major law firms, sensing the long-term risk, are undertaking initiatives to understand the emerging technology and adapt and exploit it.

Dentons, a global law firm with more than 7,000 lawyers, established an innovation and venture arm, Nextlaw Labs, in 2015. Besides monitoring the latest technology, the unit has invested in seven legal technology start-ups.

“Our industry is being disrupted, and we should do some of that ourselves, not just be a victim of it,” John Fernandez, chief innovation officer of Dentons, said.....Artificial intelligence has stirred great interest, but law firms today are using it mainly in “search-and-find type tasks” in electronic discovery, due diligence and contract review,
artificial_intelligence  automation  contracts  corporate_investors  Dentons  e-discovery  IBM_Watson  law  lawtech  lawyers  legal  NLP  start_ups  Steve_Lohr  technology 
march 2017 by jerryking
Wilbur Ross brings art of restructuring to Team Trump
JANUARY 21, 2017 | FT| by: Philip Delves Broughton.

“When you start out with your adversary understanding that he or she is going to have to make concessions, that’s a pretty good background to begin.”

So all this stuff about tariffs and walls and protectionism turns out to be pure gamesmanship.......In his career as an investment banker at NM Rothschild and then running his own business, WL Ross & Co, he has shown repeatedly how he can dive into an industrial dung heap and emerge with a fistful of dollars and not a speck on his silk tie......... Working on his own account, Mr Ross’s most famous deal was his purchase of an ailing group of US steelmakers in 2002, shortly before President George W Bush imposed tariffs on imports of steel. Mr Ross used the protection to fix the operations, cut debt and draft new contracts with workers. He was able to take the company public in 2003 and sell it two years later to the Indian steel mogul Lakshmi Mittal.

He has pulled off similar tricks, mostly successfully in coal mining, textiles and banking, immersing himself again and again in new industries and the minutiae of the laws, trade rules and contracts that govern them.

As a student at Harvard Business School, Mr Ross was mentored by Georges Doriot, a pioneering advocate for venture capital, who said: “People who do well in life understand things that other people don’t understand.”
For bothering to understand things that most people don’t, Mr Ross deserves more credit than he gets. He is often easily dismissed as a vulture or someone who buys low and sells high. But what he has done is hard. The devil in restructuring is in the grinding detail of voluminous contracts and difficult, often highly emotional negotiations.
arcane_knowledge  bankruptcy  contracts  detail_oriented  dispassion  emotions  gamesmanship  Georges_Doriot  hard_work  imports  HBS  inequality_of_information  Lakshmi_Mittal  leverage  messiness  minutiae  moguls  negotiations  new_industries  Philip_Delves_Broughton  preparation  protectionism  restructurings  sophisticated  steel  tariffs  thinking_tragically  unsentimental  vulture_investing  Wilbur_Ross 
january 2017 by jerryking
How Ubernomics can transform Canada’s legal diseconomy - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL MOTALA
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 10, 2015

Technologists from other industries hope Ubernomics is a generalizable business model. This month, the MaRS Discovery District launched LegalX, an industry cluster aimed at promoting local entrepreneurship, driving industry efficiency and pioneering new business models. One of its first startups is a service called LawScout. Like Uber, it offers a simple digital platform aimed at connecting small businesses with local lawyers on a fixed-rate basis. Beagle, another product launched at the event, performs rapid contract analysis using a sophisticated algorithm, while providing a platform for social media-inspired collaboration among decision-making teams....Ubernomics is not a panacea for the legal sector. Rather than disrupt it, it will transform. Big firms are here to stay if they embrace innovation. Digital technologies promise more efficient work flows and higher productivity. The shortcomings of the consensus-driven decision-making structure, exemplified by the fall of Heenan Blaikie, suggests more strategic thinking, stronger leadership and a heavier investment in R&D is needed to make legal work more efficient and cost effective......We live in an absurd legal diseconomy. There is an ever-widening gap between supply and unmet demand. Following the Ontario government's tuition deregulation in 1998, University of Toronto law led the charge, raising tuition by 320 per cent under dean Ron Daniels. Other law schools followed suit and continue to do so. This year, U of T law is unashamed to charge incoming students more than $30,000 a year. Not to be left out, the Law Society of Upper Canada recently doubled its licensing fees. The legal academy is aggravating the access to justice crisis by imposing ever-higher rents on the most vulnerable entrants to the profession. A false and parasitic empiricism has evidently burrowed itself in the minds of our country's greatest legal thinkers.

Ubernomics is not a panacea for the legal sector. Rather than disrupt it, it will transform. Big firms are here to stay if they embrace innovation. Digital technologies promise more efficient work flows and higher productivity. The shortcomings of the consensus-driven decision-making structure, exemplified by the fall of Heenan Blaikie, suggests more strategic thinking, stronger leadership and a heavier investment in R&D is needed to make legal work more efficient and cost effective.........
Businesses like fixed-cost projections. The billable-hour model introduces a lot of uncertainty into the equation. Software such as LawScout is unlikely to undermine the legal industry’s biggest players, but it signals that an economic culture shift lies ahead.
arbitrage  billing  contracts  digital_disruption  disruption  fees_&_commissions  invoicing  law  law_firms  law_schools  lawtech  legal  sharing_economy  start_ups  Uber  unmet_demand  uToronto 
july 2015 by jerryking
Bay Street law firm launches legal ‘incubator’ in Halifax
Jul. 02 2014 | The Globe and Mail | JEFF GRAY - LAW REPORTER

Torys says its new Torys Legal Services Centre, due to open this fall, will act for the Bay Street firm’s established corporate clients, performing high-volume, recurring legal work such as reviewing contracts or performing due diligence on corporate deals.
Bay_Street  contracts  cost-cutting  Halifax  law_firms  legal  Torys  product_launches 
july 2014 by jerryking
Designing Contracts for the XXI Century
December 04, 2012 | · An A List Apart Article | Veronica Picciafuoco
21st._century  burden_of_proof  contracts  customer_agreements  legalese 
april 2014 by jerryking
Exchange Sale Reflects New Realities of Trading - NYTimes.com
December 20, 2012 | NYT | By BEN PROTESS and NATHANIEL POPPER.

(Idea for the Ontario Food Terminal and the OPMA??) the firm, IntercontinentalExchange, or ICE, an electronic operator of markets for derivatives and commodities, is buying the symbolic cradle of American capitalism, the New York Stock Exchange,for $8.2 billion....ICE was founded in 2000 by Mr. Sprecher, who began his career developing power plants. In the 1990s, he saw that many power companies and financial firms wanted to hedge their investments in energy with financial contracts, but the market for these contracts was disorganized and opaque.

Mr. Sprecher bought an obscure exchange for buying and selling electricity in Atlanta and turned it into ICE with financing from BP and Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Banks were drawn to the idea of a standardized place to buy and sell derivatives tied to the value of oil and other commodities. But they also hoped to create a competitor to the virtual monopoly position being built up by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in futures trading....ICE also decided to fashion its own clearinghouse, rather than tap an outsize firm. It expanded through acquisitions, planting the seeds for growth in 2008, when it took over the Clearing Corporation, home to a popular derivative known as a credit-default swap.

The Dodd-Frank overhaul may provide additional benefits for ICE. Under the law, exchanges must turn over public and private information to outside data warehouses, which will, in turn, share the information with regulators. Sensing an opportunity, ICE created its own warehouse, named ICE Trade Vault.

ICE and its Chicago rival, CME Group, have also moved in recent months to convert swaps trades, which are facing more scrutiny under Dodd-Frank, into old-fashioned futures contracts. Futures trading is lucrative territory for the exchanges in part because they can shut out competitors.

“The reality is that there are incentives to convert swaps into futures, where there’s less competition,” said Richard M. McVey, chief executive of MarketAxess, an independent trading platform that is expanding into the swaps business. “There’s no requirement for CME and ICE to open their futures clearinghouses to other exchanges.”
contracts  stockmarkets  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  derivatives  Dodd-Frank  trading_platforms  bourses  OFT  hedging  opacity  public_information  private_information  disorganization  clearinghouses 
december 2012 by jerryking
Tips for executive contracts
?? | Globe & Mail | Malcolm J. MacKillop

* Responsibilities & performance
* Benefits
* Perks
* Golden parachutes
* Golden handcuffs
* Arbitration clauses
*
contracts  employment_law  tips  executive_management  law  legalese 
december 2012 by jerryking
Giving Great Advice
Janaury 2008 | HBR | Interview of Bruce Wasserstein by Tom Stewart and Gardiner More.

HBR’s editor, Thomas A. Stewart, and senior editor Gardiner Morse
spent many hours at Lazard and interviewed Wasserstein, setting out to understand how he creates value as a manager, as a deal maker, and as a counselor to CEOs. How does he attract and
manage talent, build and sustain knowledge businesses, size up companies and industries, and craft advice?

Wasserstein describes his approach as discovering whether a deal or strategy “makes sense.” Such sensemaking seems to underlie every move he makes, and it has paid off handsomely. Following is an edited presentation of HBR’s conversations with Wasserstein...first to execute deals really well and then to market that track record.

How do you develop individual talent? The idea is to create a hothouse where young talent is nourished by our culture and people are encouraged to think creatively, think deeply,
think about the long-term client relationship—but above all, think. I want them to reflect on what they are doing and why, and then wonder,“Can we do better?”

Talk about the advice business. What are CEOs looking for as you’re helping them understand the landscape? What do they
need that you’ve got? The point of advice is to create value. The
first thing in that effort is not to assume the banker knows more than the client. The second thing is to remind the CEO that corporations have to change in order to prosper and that inaction isn’t prudent—it’s radical. What we can do is help the CEO think through an array of options, partly by asking
the necessary questions, but also by inserting some very practical observations about the effects of specific decisions.
Good advice is at least as qualitative as it is quantitative....On the other hand, there’s the more qualitative part of the advice. This strikes me as being an underdeveloped side of most investment-banking relationships. Knowing the characteristics of the industry and possible consequences of a deal comes from having seen what’s happened in many companies and industries over time. So, for example, you might say, “Look, you need a very different mentality to manage this type of business than your other businesses. You have a process-oriented mentality, but you need a more market-oriented approach. Are you confident that you’re going to be able to keep the number two guy in the company you’re acquiring? Because the number-one guy will probably leave.”

Deals that make sense. Can you elaborate on that? Law school taught me to focus on dissecting premises. Anyone who’s a good logician can build an argument on just about any premises.
The argument may be taut, but the premises may be faulty. When we do deals, I always ask, “Are the premises sound? Is the risk exposure worth it for this particular company, and have
I protected my client’s back?” We proceed by identifying and evaluating qualitatively and quantitatively the key elements of risk in the transaction—overall economy risk, strategic
risk, operating business risk, financing risk, people risk. Similarly, you need to fully understand the upsides. What are the opportunities in cost cuts, synergies, internal development,
additional investments, or revenue enhancement? It’s useful to apply all the paraphernalia of mathematical science in an analysis, but focusing on the sense of things is a much better use of time. Part of determining the sense of a deal involves understanding the macroclimate, the broader context, which I think gets too little attention.

...We think of each deal in terms of a flow chart with a series of black boxes. Each box represents a facet of the deal—for example, valuation, financing structure, approach to the other party, negotiating tactics and deal process, taxes, legal structure, contracts, market reaction, and regulatory hurdles.
advice  argumentation  Bruce_Wasserstein  contracts  cost_of_inaction  dealmakers  deal-making  downside_risks  financial_advisors  financial_risk  howto  investment_banking  J.D.-M.B.A.  Lazard  logic_&_reasoning  M&A  market_risk  mergers_&_acquisitions  operating_risk  problem_solving  product_risk  risk-assessment  synergies  team_risk  upside 
july 2012 by jerryking
'Billable Hour' Under Attack - WSJ.com
AUGUST 24, 2009 | WSJ | By NATHAN KOPPEL and ASHBY JONES
'Billable Hour' Under Attack
In Recession, Companies Push Law Firms for Flat-Fee Contracts
billing  contracts  fees_&_commissions  invoicing  law_firms 
november 2011 by jerryking
Analysis: U.S. Tech Companies, China Tangle Over Contracts - WSJ.com
APRIL 18, 2011 John Bussey. Despite an agreement between
President Obama and President Hu in January, U.S. technology companies
are again complaining about how China awards contracts...The bigger
issue, Mr. Murck adds, is that this is just one piece of China's broader
industrial policy, a large array of mostly new rules designed to speed
the growth of national champions and foster home-grown innovation.

The list is long: new patent laws that could make it easier to seize
foreign innovation; the setting of standards that require products to be
re-engineered to meet Chinese specifications; national-security
initiatives that give preferential treatment to Chinese companies in
several industries; limitations on market access for U.S. services
companies; continued weak enforcement of intellectual-property rights.
China  contracts  global_champions  home_grown  Hu_Jintao  indigenous  industrial_policies  innovation  intellectual_property  non-tariff_barriers  patents  patent_law  predatory_practices  property_rights  technical_standards  technology_transfers 
april 2011 by jerryking

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