Though this is one of the most crucial aspects of a business or while purchasing an asset, this is completely ignored by one and all, in their poor understanding of the importance of well drafted documents. Most people do not grasp the consequence of poorly drafted documents which are very often a cut and paste job. It is only when disputes arise that people realise the mistake of not having considered the importance of a well drafted document.
Has anybody been able to understand why a person putting his entire life’s earnings in buying the much coveted flat or office fails to engage a good lawyer for drafting such a document. It is a general reaction that by taking a draft that is already available, that is, with the property dealer or available on the internet they can get a foolproof document. Mostly, such documents are driven by the fact that the person using it is saving pennies. Alas a fallacy as the so called foolproof document makes a fool of the person who has availed of it and it is a classic case of penny wise pound foolish. A well drafted document can save the client several legal headaches that are bound to arise when the drafted document is not customised or does not have essential information or fails to provide an indemnity in case things go wrong.
Even in the commercial world we have seen corporates making the mistake of using an earlier drafted document by merely changing the names and other details without realising the consequence of poorly drafted documents. When things go wrong the corporate can actually end up paying several hundred times the cost of a good document. In today’s fast moving commercial world rights and liabilities of parties must be set out in the written form and that too drafted by a lawyer well versed in commercial laws. Such timely action can prevent problems that would have routinely surfaced had the document been a poor draft.
Lastly and finally the most important aspect would be that when a party moves the Court or Arbitrators for enforcement of his/its legal rights, not much can be done by way of relief if the basic document that determines different aspects of the relation between the parties to the Contract are silent or missing. At the final stage no amount of oral arguments talking about the real intention of the parties can help the aggrieved party from getting relief.
Sushila Ram Varma
Chief Legal Consultant
The Indian Lawyer