Our work builds on seeing contracts and the law differently, as a positive force. A focus on contracts as enablers and on contract terms that drive success (rather than help deal with the consequences of failure) open up new avenues for innovation.
Contracts as Business Tools
Contracts do not make things happen – people do. Even the best contracts in the world do not work if they are not read and understood. We expect user-friendliness of everything else, why not our contracts?
Our work and research have revealed that current contracts do not work well as business tools. They may seek legal precision, but underperform or dysfunction in business. If contracts are not read or understood by those who are impacted, critical information is lost or misunderstood. If contracts are not implemented or interpreted as expected, unintentional non-compliance and negative surprises can follow. We can help you prevent this.
Proactive law, merged with good-quality contracts and information design, can increase the understandability and usability of contracts across cultures and disciplines. By changing the design of contracts and the ways in which those contracts are communicated—through simplification and visualization, for example—legal and business operations can be better integrated.
Contract Visualization as Part of New Contract Design
For many years Helena Haapio has promoted the use of simplification and visualization in commercial contracts. In 2013, she published her dissertation Next Generation Contracts: A Paradigm Shift that suggests how proactive law and design science can be brought together for better contracts. Contract designers can identify and bring together the needs and expectations of different users for usable contracts that are financially and legally sound. Visualization can accelerate a paradigm shift in contract thinking and help implement a new approach. Contracts can then become useful business tools, and better contracts will enable better business.