“Notwithstanding Anything Contained Herein”

A blog about financial agreements and language.

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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