Effective Legal & Business Writing Masterclass

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20th Nov 2019



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Effective legal and business writing is a critical foundational skill for anyone in professional services, in particular those who regularly deal with legal matters.  That could be reviewing contracts, drafting policies or instructing lawyers on matters.  Clients, superiors and stakeholders increasingly expect to be provided with information which is clear, concise and actionable.  It is a valid expectation; especially where it is a time-pressed client paying for your assistance! Effective writing also prevents business inefficiencies which arise from unclear messages, reduces complaints and may assist the writer if they ever have to justify their past decisions to a third party e.g. a regulator.  Strong writing skills also assist in developing the writer’s critical thinking on a topic.  The benefits of effective written communication are innumerable.  And yet, it is often neglected to the writer’s detriment notwithstanding they may be someone who commonly deals with complicated and time-pressured legal and business matters. Perhaps more than for any other skill, time taken by non-lawyers to improve their legal and business writing skills is an investment that will pay dividends throughout their entire career.  It is one that will set them apart and promote them on the road to achieving greater success in their professional career.  This masterclass may be the first step in achieving that success.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this one day masterclass you will have a better understanding of:

  • The fundamentals of effective legal & business writing
  • Recognising and understanding common legal documents
  • How to effectively use legal templates and layout guidelines
  • Where to find helpful information
  • Practical steps you can take to enhance your writing
  • Different legal & professional expectations
  • Dealing with lawyers
  • Common mistakes and how to avoid them

Featuring Our Speakers

Liam Hennessy

Senior Associate

King & Wood Mallesons

Liam focuses on advising financial services clients in relation to disputes, regulatory investigations and compliance matters.  His experience spans over 10 years working in London, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in Magic Circle and top-tier firms.  He is a very strong technical lawyer who has advised leading banks, financial services firms and advisory firms in relation to commissions of inquiry e.g. the Hayne Royal Commission, cross-border regulatory investigations e.g. global forex benchmark scandal and complex litigation e.g. audit-negligence class actions and a wide range of compliance matters e.g. AML / CTF frameworks, privacy, whistleblowing frameworks, the Banking Executive Accountability Regime, product Design & Distribution Obligations and complaints-handling frameworks.

Liam is currently finalising his Masters of Law at Sydney University focusing on corporate governance and regulation, he sits on the Queensland Law Society’s Banking and Finance Committee and the Australia-China Business Council’s Financial Services Working Group (Qld) and publishes / presents regularly on financial services regulation topics.  He also maintains a weekly blog on emerging issues in financial services regulation (which you can follow on LinkedIn); the Australian Regulators Weekly Wrap.  Outside of work, Liam sits as a non-executive director on the board of an ACNC-registered charity, Cereal for Coffee Ltd, which focuses on feeding Brisbane’s undernourished primary school children.  In his private life he enjoys spending time with his time with his wife Juliet and playing golf when he can.

Who should attend?

This masterclass is suitable for non-lawyers who often deal with legal matters (or instruct lawyers themselves) and wish to improve their legal writing & business skills.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to effective legal & business writing
  • Recognising and understanding common legal documents
  • Using the right templates and layout guidelines
  • How non-lawyers can enhance their legal writing skills
  • Tips, traps and examples