Contract Design and Simplification – is this now a must-do?

Stefania Passera, Contract Designer, World Commerce & Contracting, Passera Design, Finland
Paula Doyle, Chief Legal Innovation Officer, World Commerce & Contracting , USA

Is the pendulum shifting? In a fast, technology-driven world, business stakeholders are keen to move away from dense walls of text in contracts. Increasingly, they understand that contracts are a valuable tool for communication and doing business. They are literally the lifeblood of industry and wider society! So why has it taken so long to rethink contracts when the world around us has changed at pace? Is there still a problem? The answer is a resounding “Yes”! An analysis of more than 7,000 signed contracts undertaken by World Commerce & Contracting published in the 2018 Most Negotiated Terms report showed that 56% were based on the wrong template as a starting point. 88% of business users revealed that they find contracts “difficult or impossible to understand.”

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Finland USA Contract General July 2021 Vol.14, No. 56, Summer 2021

Stefania Passera

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Stefania Passera is a contract design and simplification expert based in Espoo, Finland. She runs her one-woman consultancy Passera Design, and is Contract Designer in Residence at World Commerce & Contracting. In these roles, she helps organizations transform their contracts and policies into user-friendly, effective tools that work for business. Stefania is an all-rounder, backing her design expertise with a solid academic background. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Vaasa, Department of Business Law, and has earned her doctoral degree from Aalto University School of Science. She has guest lectured at prestigious institutions such as Stanford University, Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession, KU Leuven, UC Louvain, European University Institute, ESADE Law School, and California Western School of Law. She is a co-founder of the Legal Design Alliance, a co-author of the Legal Design Manifesto, and the creator of Legal Design Jam. In 2020, she has received the European Women of Legal Tech Award.

Paula Doyle

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Paula Doyle is the Chief Legal Innovation Officer, World Commerce & Contracting and Chief Legal Innovation Officer. She works with organizations to build efficient contract frameworks, reimagine, and redesign their terms and conditions for greater ease of doing business, understand and work with the WorldCC contracting principles, and collaborate with technology for better outcomes. Before World Commerce & Contracting, Paula headed up the European Cloud and Solutions legal team at IBM. Prior to joining IBM, she worked for leading New York law firm Weil Gotshal and ex Silicon Valley-based start-up Micromuse. Paula is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Quintin Hogg Trust, a charity dedicated to the advancement of education. She has been working tirelessly for greater equality and has successfully lobbied the UK government to agree changes in the law to help vulnerable children access education.

World Commerce & Contracting

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Established in 1999, World Commerce & Contracting (previously IACCM) is a not for profit association that supports private and public sector organizations and professionals in achieving world-class standards in their procurement, contracting and relationship management process and skills, through training, research, benchmarking and analytics services, and contract design and simplification. WorldCC is a recognized global leader for driving innovation in trading relationships and thought leadership in commercial competencies and commercial models. Today WorldCC represents over 70,000 members within more than 18,000 cross-industry organizations across 183 countries. Since its inception, WorldCC has led the way in responding to the challenges of global networked markets and has therefore been of particular relevance to organizations with a need to operate multi-nationally. This explains why leading global corporations are among the most active members. WorldCC is unique in its coverage of both buy-side and sell-side perspectives. We work with our members on ground-breaking research and analytics, contract design and simplification, developing new frameworks and best-in-class methodologies, in addition to providing extensive training and continuing professional development programs. As a non-profit, we are also highly selective in where we apply our resources, being driven especially by projects that contribute to the wider good of society.

World Commerce & Contracting, Passera Design

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Passera Design is a small studio specialized in contract design and legal information design. Founded by legal design pioneer Stefania Passera, we apply user-centered information design to create clear, visual, usable contracts and other legal documents that work better for people and businesses. Located in Finland, we have been working with organizations of all types, verticals, and sizes all around the world.

Finland USA Contract General July 2021 Vol.14, No. 56, Summer 2021

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