As a legal translator specialising in commercial contracts, I am often asked to translate contracts when there is a dispute or when trying to understand the terms of a contract after it’s been signed. My English translations help lawyers and in-house legal teams assess risk and decide upon an appropriate way forward.
Translation in a legal context is typically reactive and is treated as a means to an end. It is rarely, in my experience, incorporated into risk and compliance strategies as an essential proactive element.
Whilst it is common for lawyers and in-house legal teams to instruct local counsel to advise on contracts entered into abroad, having to trawl back through that advice or having to re-instruct counsel at a later date is time consuming and can be costly. Having an English version on file will give lawyers and in-house legal teams the tools to provide initial practical advice in line with the company’s policies and appetite for risk. From a compliance perspective, it also enables them to amend any terms or flush out any legal issues before signing.
Have you or your client considered the following:
Does your risk and compliance strategy include obtaining an English language version of all key contracts entered into by the business? For example, key supply agreements, leases, incorporation documents etc.
Are you comfortable that you have a handle on global operations from a compliance perspective?
If the executive board urgently needs to understand the key terms of the business’s relationship with its new Spanish supplier/landlord/customer, do you have an English version of that contract to hand? Are you comfortable with those terms?
Corrine is a solicitor and legal translator. She works from Spanish and Portuguese to English and specialises in commercial contracts.
Follow her on Twitter or Instagram: @ch_translations