Successful Contracts: Merging Design and Technology

Thomas D. Barton, Helena Haapio, Stefania Passera, James G. Hazard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Commercial contracts are sometimes ruefully described as “documents written by lawyers, for lawyers,” artifacts of a negotiated exchange wrapped tightly in pages of clauses intended to insulate the agreement against litigation attacks. Yet this verbal padding decreases accessibility, functionality, and efficiency. Reforms to the classic forms and mentality surrounding contracting have recently been proposed, several of which look to insights and methods outside the legal system. This chapter describes two branches of those efforts: information design and computer codification. Considered separately, each could be helpful. When combined, however, and especially when employed using the values and goals of Proactive/Preventive Law, these methods can enhance communication, participation, and usefulness across the entire life-cycle of contracting: assessment of needs, gathering background resources, negotiation, commitment, implementation/monitoring, adjustment, and sometimes dispute resolution. Although challenging to integrate, better design and codification re-conceptualize contracting as a process for gathering and sharing information toward generating value and managing human and business enterprise.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLegal Tech, Smart Contracts and Blockchain
EditorsMarcelo Corrales, Mark Fenwick, Helena Haapio
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-13-6086-2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

NamePerspectives in Law, Business and Innovation
ISSN (Electronic)2520-1875


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