It is often the case that contracts are signed by two parties who are on uneven footing. For example, contracts signed between landlords and tenants and between employers and employees (or interns) run the risk of one-sidedness in terms of negotiation power and comprehension of technical terms. Unscrupulous employers and landlords have much more power than do employees and tenants, and can seek to exploit this by inserting unfair clauses into their contracts, knowing that their prospective employees, interns and tenants do not have the necessary bargaining power with which to successfully negotiate or amend these clauses. Legislate eliminates this unfairness by providing all parties to a contract with access to transparent, fair and lawyer-approved contracts.
Each contract available on Legislate’s platform is accompanied by important explanatory notes. For example, the key clauses of each contract are explained in plain language, meaning that all users and signatories will have a clear understanding of what they are agreeing to in signing a contract. This facilitates the negotiation process. Legislate also provides users with a useful glossary of common legal concepts and terms. While Legislate is not a substitute for legal advice and does not purport to provide any users with legal advice, its platform and website improve users’ comprehension of key contractual terms, leading to fairer contracting processes.
Legislate’s mission to make contracts accessible means that contracts created on the platform are transparent, as the platform’s lawyer-approved contract templates make it difficult for parties with significant bargaining power to insert unfair terms into their contracts or to otherwise exploit those who are not legally educated. This is particularly important where one party is much more legally educated than the other. For example, seasoned landlords and letting agents are likely to have a much better grasp of the principles of property law than do university students who are signing tenancy agreements for the first time and are less likely to have access to legal advice. Legislate allows for the creation of student tenancy agreements whose terms are plainly explained, meaning that the students who sign them are able to appreciate the effect of their agreements, as well as each party’s obligations.
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The transparency of Legislate’s contracts also means that each party to a contract is more likely to understand and carry out its respective obligations, as the obligations set out in more onerous clauses will be succinctly displayed to each signatory in a visual format on the platform. Restrictions (including post-contract restrictions) under a contract are also displayed to the parties. For example, an employee who has signed a non-disclosure agreement with their employer will be able to access the agreement’s key metrics and quickly identify how long post-termination restrictions are in effect, without having to go back to scrutinise the agreement.
Legislate offers protection to parties in other ways, too. It is important for an organisation’s contracts to contain the necessary clauses to protect its business interests. This may be difficult to achieve for a small business on a limited legal budget that is contracting with a larger company with an in-house legal team. Without the benefit of legal guidance or expertise, this small business may unwittingly make costly mistakes in failing to understand (and thus negotiate) their agreements and in deferring to the perceived better legal judgement of the other party to the contract, which may have received legal advice. Legislate’s contract templates are all reviewed for fairness by legal professionals, and their terms are equally favourable to all parties.
Using Legislate ensures that any party to a contract will not be unnecessarily exploited due to unequal bargaining power or lack of legal knowledge.