Students

Welcome to the Student section of the site. 

Here you will find a bank of quizzes and activities to help you to practice your use of Legal English.  The exercises are organised by chapter.

Click on each chapter to access the full range of exercises for each section of the book.

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Legal English

True or False?

Consider the matters discussed in Chapter 1 on the origins and sources of Legal English, and decide whether the following statements are true or false?

Chapter 2 - Grammar for Legal Writing

Gapfill Exercises

Question 1 - Articles & prepositions

Complete the gaps letter (a) to (j) in the text below on the Concordia bus case (C-513/99) heard in the ECJ in September 2002 with the correct article or preposition.

Matching Exercises

Question 2

Insert the correct relative pronoun from the list below into the sentences that follow. Note that it may be necessary to use certain of the given words or phrases more than once.

Gapfill Exercises

Question 3

For each of the following, the verb, noun or adjective is provided.  Fill in the blanks to complete the missing forms of each word.

Matching Exercises

Question 4

Choose an appropriate adverb to complete the following sentences.

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 5

Consider the sentences below. In each case decide which form should be used or, if appropriate, indicate that either form may be used.

True or False?

Question 6

Consider the use of countable and uncountable nouns in relation to the following sentences.  If we were to state that each of these sentences were correct, would this be true or false?

Gapfill Exercises

Question 7

Read through the passage below and insert the correct past tense forms.

In 1989, Statchem ___ (insert correct form of verb 'to open') its first chemical plant in Thailand. Two years before this the company ___ (insert correct form of verb 'to begin') negotiations with Kemble Inc., but these eventually ___ (insert correct form of phrasal verb 'to fall through'). At about the same time, during the mid to late eighties, Statchem ___ (insert correct form of phrasal verb 'to be involved in') in the development of plastics technology and ___ (insert correct form of verb 'to spend') considerable sums of money on research and development. Statchem ___ (insert correct form of verb 'to hope') that this investment would result in an increased market share going into the new decade.

Unfortunately, this strategy failed ___ (insert correct form of phrasal verb 'to pay off'). Due to the onset of a global recession, the market ___ (insert correct form of verb 'to shrink') and as a result all the money and effort that Statchem ___ (insert correct form of phrasal verb 'to put in') the project ___ (insert correct form of verb 'to waste').

Answers:

Paragraph one: Opened, had begun, fell through, was involved in, spent, hoped.

Paragraph two: To pay off, shrank, had put into, went to waste.

Gapfill Exercises

Question 8

Insert the correct form in the gaps in these sentences.  In certain cases a form other than the conditional or subjunctive will be needed.

Matching Exercises

Question 9

Match the phrasal verbs with the definitions.

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 10 - Negatives

Choose the correct prefix to create the negatives of the following words.

Chapter 3 - Punctuation for Legal Writing

Multiple Choice Questions

For each of the following sentences, select the option which is punctuated correctly.

Chapter 4 - Sentence Structure

Open Questions

Sentence Structure

Restructure and rewrite each of the following sentences in order to make them syntactically correct.

Chapter 6 - Terminology and Linguistic Peculiarities

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 1 - Terms of art

Select the correct word or phrase from the available choices to complete these sentences.

Matching Exercises

Question 2

Match the correct Latin term to the sentences below.

Matching Exercises

Question 3

The extract below is from an Indian deed of partition.  It contains various old-fashioned terms beginning with here-, there-, or where- (e.g. hereof, whereof, thereof, hereby, hereinafter etc), which are still commonly found in documents relating to land purchases.  For each numbered gap in the extract, select the correct word from the choices below.

Gapfill Exercises

Question 4

For each of the following words, complete the appropriate counterpart.

Open Questions

Question 5

What do the following abbreviations mean?

Chapter 7 - Elements of Good Style: Clarity, Consistency, Effectiveness

Open Questions

Question 1

Redraft the following sentences in a clearer style.

Question 2

Redraft the following sentences using more consistent terminology.

Question 3

The following sentences are written in a colloquial fashion.  Rewrite them in formal legal English, using the word or words given in brackets (or derivates of those words – e.g. terminate>termination etc).

Chapter 8 - What to Avoid

Open Questions

Question 1

The sentences below are ambiguous.  Rewrite them in a way which makes their intended meaning clear and unambiguous.

Open Questions

Question 2 - Sexist language

Rewrite the sentences below in such a way as to remove any inherent sexism.

Gapfill Exercises

Question 3

Fill in the blanks with the correct word from the false word pairs given to complete the following sentences.

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 4 - Problem words and phrases

The sentences below all contain certain words or phrases which are grammatically incorrect in the context and should be replaced by a different word or phrase.  Locate these words and phrases and substitute the correct terminology.  Note that there is only one correct alternative in each sentence.  For example, the line, ‘I wouldn’t do that if I would be you’ should be altered to: ‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you’.

Matching Exercises

Question 5

Consider these verb phrases and decide which noun or noun phrase can be used to complete them.

Chapter 9 - British and American English

Open Question

Chapter 9 - British and American English

The passage below is written in British English. Put it into American English.

We signed the document on 19 October 2007 in my solicitor’s city centre offices after a great deal of complex manoeuvring fuelled by the need to establish a manageable programme for the transport of maize by lorry. It was a grey, rainy autumn day which I remember well, because I arrived at the office rather late, after getting stuck in a traffic jam on the anti-clockwise section of ring road – on the flyover just past the Daventry crossroads in fact.

I parked the car in the car park next to the estate agent’s office, placed my ticket on the windscreen, and threw my empty crisp bag into the rubbish bin. Then I climbed the stairs to Mr. Smith’s first floor office. I recall that Smith was wearing a rather striking waistcoat, in a lurid purple colour, together with truly appalling tartan trousers and braces. His idea of humour, I thought.

‘Have a biscuit’, said Smith, as we started looking at the document. ‘I dare say traffic on the motorway was bad this morning?’ I made no comment, but began to look over the text whilst Smith skilfully explained the document to me: ‘this paragraph obliges the other party to make payment in case of default, and this one provides for pre-emption…’ I listened sceptically.

Smith then explained that the other side had authorised a company called Dartingley Hoardings to install aerials in city centre flats at weekends from 20 November 2008 to 19 November 2009. Payment for these services was to be made from a building society account. ‘Is that clever?’ I asked. Smith thought it would have no effect on company turnover.

Reveal Answer Guidance

Chapter 11 – Contract Clauses: Types and Specimen Clauses

Multiple Choice Questions

Contract Clauses: Types & Specimen Clauses

Read the following contract clauses and then complete the exercises based on them by selecting the correct missing word from the options provided.

Chapter 12 - Drafting Legal Documents: Language and Structure

Multiple Choice Questions

Operative Language

Select the correct word or phrase from the options below and insert it into the sentences.

Chapter 13 - Correspondence and Memoranda

13.1        Correspondence & Memoranda
Here is a letter written in (very) colloquial English. Redraft it in appropriate formal English. Pay attention, in particular, to the following issues:

(1)          Dead wood – does the letter contain useless words and phrases that can simply be cut out?
(2)          Terminology – is the terminology used appropriate for the context? Are there more precise legal terms that can be used? Is terminology used consistently?
(3)          Phrasing – is the phrasing used appropriate for the context? Consider whether more formal phrases should be used.
(4)          Tone – is the tone of the letter suitable (see notes above)?
(5)          Conventions – have the conventions relating to the beginning and ending of the letter been followed?
(6)          Organisation/structure – could the topics covered in the letter be placed in a more logical and reader-friendly order?

Rangle & Co
10 Ark Street
London

Benjamin Ward
127 Dranglet Drive
Reading

Hi Benny

It was really great to see you when you came in for a chat on Tuesday about putting up a firm. We think the way you trust us is awesome and totally justified, because we’re pros and never kiss and tell. Like I said before, probably private limited is the way to go for the type and size of business you’re talking about.

I mean, basically the way it’s done is, like, not that difficult. Anyway you told me to go right on ahead and get the company made. I’d better let you know we got the one grand in dough you paid upfront.

So this is where the rubber hits the road. I started out this morning by taking a peek into the good old official records and found the name you wanted for the biz – “Esoteric Guitar Widgets for Droning Shoegaze Bands” – is available just now (no surprise there, huh?). So you can use that name.

Basically you said the whole point of the biz is to sell guitar widgets direct to punters off the street or by mail order. We went over the actual nitty gritty details of how the legals are done in this area and agreed there would be 100 one pound shares. Bill Ardley will have 49 and you will have 51. This one pound share thing is not supposed to be about what the company is actually worth – it’s more for calculating the size of your bag of shares against Bill’s. The point is that you have a bigger bag, dig, which puts you in a stronger position than Bill. Also, you are both going to be head honchos and will officially work out of your home address, 127 Dranglet. Hope your landlord is OK about that – you better take a look at the paperwork. Is all that stuff right?

What I’m going to do next, Benny, is bang out the co docs for ya – the memo and arts I talked about. I’ll also take care of registration.

We went into having this crazy old thing called a shareholders’ agreement. That’s where you and Bill agree big stuff about the biz – not just the day to day stuff but a lot of what ifs? too. Like, for instance, what happens if there’s a disagreement between you about how the co is run, what happens if one of you wants to sell his shares, what happens if one of you kicks the bucket. The big scary stuff. Just taking care of your interests. Anyway we can talk about this more once the co’s registered. I’ll tell you when that is done.

Call me if there’s anything you need to know. Otherwise I’ll be in touch once registration’s done.

Ciao

Show Answer

13.2 Memoranda

Read the following texts about Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty (which relate to European competition law) and the Irish Sugar case and then do the exercise below.

 

Articles 81 & 82

Competition law includes a mixture of political and economic objectives. It aims to perfect the common market by preventing undertakings from imposing practices which undermine the removal of barriers to trade. The key provisions are Articles 81 and 82.

Article 81

Article 81 applies to arrangements between undertakings ‘which may affect trade between Member States and which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the common market’. It applies if there is:

collusion between undertakings;

which affects trade between member states;

which has as its object or effect the distortion of competition within the common market.

Such collusion may take the form of agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings or concerted practices. All collusion caught by Article 81(1) is void, although there is the possibility of exemption under Article 81(3).

Article 82

Article 82 applies to any abuse of a dominant position ‘within the common market or in a substantial part of it… in so far as it may affect trade between Member States’. ‘Dominant position’ is not defined in the Treaty, but the European Court of Justice defined it in United Brands Co v Commission (1978) as:

‘A position of economic strength enjoyed by an undertaking, which enables it to prevent competition being maintained on the relevant market by giving it the power to behave, to an appreciable extent, independently of its competitors, customers, and, ultimately, of its consumers.’

Enforcement of European competition law operates on the basis of ‘dual vigilance’ meaning that in theory at least it can be enforced at Community or national level.

Case summary: Irish Sugar plc v Commission (1999)

In 1997, the Commission imposed a fine of €8.8 million on Irish Sugar plc, a subsidiaryof the Greencore Group. The decision against Irish Sugar concerned a series of infringements that had taken place since 1985. The Commission found that Irish Sugar, as the sole processor of sugar within Ireland had a 95% share of the Irish sugar market. The decision states that Irish Sugar has abused its position on the Irish sugar market by seeking to restrict competition both from imports of sugar from other Member States and from small sugar packers within Ireland.

In the late 1980s Irish Sugar and its subsidiary Sugar Distributors Limited (SDL) sought to restrict competition from imports of sugar from France and Northern Ireland by offering selectively low prices to customers of an importer of French sugar who swapped Irish Sugar's own Siucra brand of packaged sugar for an imported brand and offering selective ‘border’ rebates to customers for packaged sugar that were located close to the Northern Irish border.

Since at least 1985, Irish Sugar had offered rebates on purchases of bulk sugar to industrial customers that exported part of their final product to other Member States. These ‘sugar export rebates’ varied between customers for the same tonnage of sugar and varied over time without any consistent relationship to sales volumes or currency changes. Both the practice of offering sugar export rebates and the ad hoc manner in which the scheme was administered discriminated against customers that supplied only the Irish market. The system of rebates on exports to other Member States also distorted the common sugar regime.

Since 1993, Irish Sugar had sought to restrict competition from small sugar packers within Ireland by discriminating against them in the prices that it charged for bulk sugar, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage relative both to other customers and Irish Sugar itself. Irish Sugar also offered rebates to certain wholesalers and food retailers that were dependent on increases in their purchases of Irish Sugar's own Siucra brand, thereby making it difficult for small competitors to gain a foothold in the market.

Through its infringements Irish Sugar was able to maintain a significantly higher price level for packaged retail sugar in Ireland compared with that in other Member States, notably Northern Ireland, and was able to keep its ex-factory prices, particularly for bulk sugar for ‘domestic’ Irish consumption, among the highest in the Community, to the detriment of both industrial and final consumers in Ireland.

In setting the level of the fine the Commission took into account the fact that the infringements represented a serious breach of Community law, that several had been recognised as abuses of a dominant position by the European Court of Justice and that they had taken place over a long period of time.

Write a memo in which you should refer to the summaries of Articles 81 & 82 and the Irish Sugar case above and address the following questions.

  1. What are the ‘sugar export rebates’?
  2. What objections were there to the ‘sugar export rebates’?
  3. What was ad hoc about them?
  4. Which article was Irish Sugar plc breaching?
  5. How was it breaching this article?
  6. What was the rationale of the Commission’s decision?

Show Answer

Chapter 17 - Interviewing and Advising

Matching Exercises

Question 1

Watch the video (clip A) and then match the formal terms below with their colloquial equivalents.

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 2 - Comprehension

Watch the video clip A if you have not already done so to answer the following multiple choice questions to test your comprehension.

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 3 - Sentence Completion

Watch the video clip A if you have not already done so, to select the correct word or phrase from the list below to complete the following sentences.

Matching Exercises

Question 4

Watch the video (clip B) and then match the colloquial expressions with the correct formal equivalent. All the colloquial expressions are used in one form or another in the clip you have just viewed.

True or False?

Question 5

Watch the video clip B if you have not already done so in order to answer the following true/false questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 6 - Comprehension

Check that you have understood the video clip B correctly by choosing the statement that fits best in relation to each question below.

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 7 - Synonyms

The words and phrases listed below are used in the clip you have just viewed (see clip C). For each word, some suggested alternatives are given. One of these alternatives is clearly inappropriate in the context in which the original word or phrase was used, or clearly has the wrong meaning. Identify the inappropriate or wrong word or phrase.

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 8 - Comprehension

After viewing the video clip C, choose the statement that fits best in relation to each question below.

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 9 - Client Interview: Criminal Case - Comprehension

Watch the video clip D and consider the questions below.  In each case, decide which of the four statements given in respect of each question corresponds most closely to the meaning in the clip.

Matching Exercises

Question 10

Watch the video (clip D) and match the colloquial words and phrases used in the conversation with their formal equivalent.

Chapter 19 - Court Advocacy

Read the following transcript of a short court hearing and then do the exercises based on it.

CLAIMANT’S LAWYER: Your Honour, this is the case of Trandex Apartments Ltd v Arturo Creations Ltd, which concerns the repossession of commercial property at 33A Benchley Drive. I appear for Trandex Apartments Ltd, the landlord, and the claimant in this matter. My friend, Mr Gardner appears for Arturo Creations, the tenant and defendant. There is also present in court Mr Clive Arthurs, who is the managing director of Arturo Creations. Your Honour will note from the court file, the claimant has instituted possession proceedings against the defendant, on the grounds of non-payment of rent, which has led to substantial arrears building up over the last 14 months. The arrears currently stand at a little over £20,000. Your Honour should have before him a copy of the original tenancy agreement as well as the statement of claim.

JUDGE: Yes, I’ve seen them. Well, what is the current state of play? Are we to have a contested hearing today or is there any prospect of settling the case? Mr Gardner, does your client intend to defend these proceedings?

DEFENDANT’S LAWYER (rising to speak): No, Your Honour. My client fully accepts that arrears of rent have built up and does not dispute the figures set out in the statement of claim. The reason why the rent was not paid for a period of time was acute cashflow problems caused by extremely difficult business conditions – involving falling orders and intense competition – over the past couple of years. The business situation has now improved dramatically, largely due to radical market repositioning undertaken by my client, and my client’s current financial situation is promising. In the circumstances, I’m glad to say we have been able to settle matters on the basis that the defendant agrees to clear the arrears of rent over a period of one year. A sum of £5000 will be paid today, and the balance will be paid in ten equal monthly instalments, commencing 5 August – in other words two months to the day from today’s date. This arrangement is acceptable to both parties, and my client is prepared to submit to a suspended order for possession on those terms.

JUDGE: Good. That would seem to clear the arrears within an acceptable time-period. Have you had time to produce a draft order?

DEFENDANT’S LAWYER: Yes, Your Honour. Here it is.

JUDGE (looking over order): Thank you… Yes, I see… Yes, this appears to be in order. I see that the defendant is to pay the claimant’s costs.

CLAIMANT’S LAWYER: Yes, Your Honour.

JUDGE: You are aware of course, Ms Thomas, that pursuant to the court rules you should have produced a schedule of your costs for the court?

CLAIMANT’S LAWYER: Yes, Your Honour. In fact, the schedule is clipped to the back of the draft order.

JUDGE: Ah, yes, now I have it. Fine. Good. I take it that you have received a copy of this schedule, Mr Gardner?

DEFENDANT’S LAWYER: Yes, Your Honour. We have no objection to the costs itemised in it.

JUDGE: Good. Right, well, I’m prepared to make an order in these terms. I’ll sign the draft and the usher no doubt will be able to run it down to the court office to get it typed up and have sealed copies made.

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 1

Multiple Choice Questions

Question 2