Document Drafting Masterclass

Course ID CN190318_PSK1

  • Face to Face
  • 4
  • All
  • 3.5 CPD POINTS

The ability to draft clear, effective legal documents is an essential skill for all lawyers that will assist meeting the needs of your client.

Join us in our half-day workshop and you will:

  • Learn how to plan documents in a logical, well-structured and legally effective manner
  • Understand how to plan your document with your audience in mind
  • Recognise how to best produce clear, unambiguous and consistent language


Our speakers are:

  • Professor Emeritus Peter Butt, University of Sydney
  • Chris Bland, Principal, Tradecraft Legal Consulting
  • Derek Wong, Barrister, Alinea Chambers


50% discount for New Lawyers

New Lawyers in their first three years of practice are eligible for a 50% discount off the full price of this program. This discount cannot be claimed in conjunction with any other discounts, including the alumni/Law Society member discount. Please quote NEWLAWYER at the checkout.


Scroll down for the full program


Full Price $420.00

Alumni/Member Price $378.00


Start date:

01 March 2019

End date:

01 March 2019


9.00am - 1.00pm


The College of Law
Level 16, St James Centre
111 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000

About This Course


9.00am: Welcome and Introduction


9.05am: Taking Plain Language to the Next Level

Speaker: Professor Emeritus Peter Butt, University of Sydney

  • Re-capping drafting techniques
  • The next level:
    • Structure and presentation of content
    • Recitals (do you really need them?)
    • Definitions (do you really need so many?)
    • Notes and examples (how about trying them?)
    • Flow charts, diagrams (how about trying them?)
    • Unintended ambiguity (don’t let your zeal create traps)
    • Document design (font, spacing and justification)


10.30am: Morning Tea and Networking Opportunity


10.50am: Principles of interpretation as applied in cases

Speaker: Derek Wong, Barrister, Alinea Chambers

  • Rules of Interpretation – a primer on the general rules
  • Common issues and recurrent disputes
  • Sources of guidance and research tips
  • Recent developments
  • Practical drafting examples
    • Letters to clients
    • Heads of agreements and documenting the commercial agreement


11.50am: Drafting Contracts

Speaker: Chris Bland, Principal, Tradecraft Legal Consulting

  • Drafting Contracts
  • Purpose of the Contract
  • Parties
  • Subject matter
  • Consideration
  • Promises
  • Rights
  • Conditions of performance
  • Service level agreements
  • Risk allocation
  • Frustrations and conditions for ending the contract
  • Termination
  • Instructions and Statements from clients
  • Capturing the business relationship and terms of agreement in a document


1.00pm: Q&A and Close



Designed for

This seminar is ideal for all legal professionals who want to improve their drafting skills. This course complies with the mandatory requirements of Professional Skills and Substantive Law.



Presenter biography

Professor Emeritus Peter Butt, University of Sydney

University of Sydney

  • Professor Emeritus, The University of Sydney Law School
  • Founding Director, Centre for Plain Legal Language
  • Lecturer and author in land law, native title, and legal drafting
  • Author, Land Law (Thomson Reuters, six editions – now Butt’s Land Law)
  • Past President of Clarity (an international plain language association)
  • Lecturer and author in land law
  • Papers delivered at conferences and seminars in Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, England, Canada, United States of America, on the topics of legal drafting and land law
  • Consultant to Australian Government on land law aspects of Native Title Act 1993
  • Consultant to New South Wales Law Reform Commission on various reforms to property law
  • Consultant in property law and legal drafting, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Solicitors


Chris Bland

Principal, Tradecraft Legal Consulting

Chris is an experienced in-house lawyer and management executive with over 28 years of legal and business experience as a property, projects and commercial transactions lawyer in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. He was at Transfield Holdings for 21 years, where he led Transfield’s in-house legal team as General Counsel between 2003 and 2013. During that time, he negotiated and implemented commercial, investment and development deals, projects and transactions involving Transfield Services Limited, Charter Hall Limited, ADI Limited, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Perisher Blue Ski Fields, and Novatec Solar. Chris also led infrastructure project development transactions including the $650m Walsh Bay re-development project. He continues to undertake in-house legal project development work as a legal consultant for the student accommodation business Campus Living Villages.


Derek Wong

Barrister, Alinea Chambers

Derek is a barrister at the New South Wales Bar.  Prior to being called to the Bar, he practised as a solicitor in the Dispute Resolution Group at Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons), as well as working as a tipstaff to the Honourable Justice R D Giles of the New South Wales Court of Appeal.  Derek has extensive experience in a variety of different areas of commercial law, regulatory investigations and representative proceedings as a barrister and solicitor.  He has acted for banks, multinational medical device and vehicle manufacturers, and private companies, as well as individuals.  

Derek holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales, and a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge, each with First Class Honours.



Filming and photography

Please be aware that video/audio recording may occur at professional development events organised by the College of Law for use on our website, marketing materials and publications. By attending and participating in a College of Law Continuing Professional Development course, you consent to the College of Law photographing or recording and using your image and likeness.