“Notwithstanding Anything Contained Herein”

A blog about financial agreements and language.

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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The Perilous Complexity of Information Extraction from Financial Contracts

March 7, 2021, 3:38 p.m.

A stark repeating pattern from my years of applying NLP to financial services is this: most seemingly straightforward information extraction tasks lure you with the sweet siren song of simplicity, allowing you to get just comfortable enough before the bottom falls out.

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