“Notwithstanding Anything Contained Herein”

A blog about financial agreements and language.

When Everything Looks Like a Nail

Nov. 11, 2021, noon

Problems that should be approached with machine learning can look extremely similar to problems that should be approached in a different way. There’s often no theoretical reason you cannot approach a problem with machine learning if it can be expressed that way, but we should always be asking ourselves what we actually should be doing instead of just what we can do.

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Language Technology Needs Linguists, But Companies Need Convincing

June 8, 2021, 7:42 a.m.

As linguists, we have the distinct intuition that we have something to add to the growing number of applications in language technology, but just having an advanced degree is not enough. First learn something about language technology, and be prepared to convince others of what you have to add.

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Financial Contracts Are More Fintech than LegalTech

May 26, 2021, 11:49 a.m.

Legaltech (drafting, the workflow tooling, the review and negotiation), is important for what it is. But most of what is interesting in a contract isn’t the legal scaffolding, but instead the crucial terms and definitions. Analysis of the contract terms of importance to financial institutions is carried out within the fintech sphere.

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The Archaic Language Whereby Lawyers Draft

April 1, 2021, 2:44 p.m.

Featuring prominently among the more abstruse lawyering vocabulary are “R-pronouns” (e.g thereby, herein, wherefrom). Even when a normal human can figure out what is actually being said, thereafter it’s still quite a ways therefrom to what is being meant. Thereafter come linguists to the rescue.

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The Paper Hard Drive, or, Where are Our Contracts Anyway?

March 19, 2021, 1:16 p.m.

Institutions struggle to keep track of the latest versions of their contracts - and that’s if they actually know where they are in the first place. Beyond drafts, there is a constant layering of amendments and addenda. Contracts need to be turned into structured data, stored, and versioned.

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