It’s a shame that three of our most famous Williams are not alive today. The poetry of Wordsworth and Blake and the sonnets of Shakespeare are studied the world over, but if the views of Clifford Chance partner Kate Gibbons are anything to go by the trio would have also excelled in the unlikely art of contract drafting. 

Speaking during an event on contract drafting hosted by University College London, Gibbons was pressed on how young lawyers could improve their drafting skills.

Gibbons’ top tip: ‘Study poetry.’ She noted that poems (good ones, anyway) have to be tightly written so that every word matters: a habit that would come in handy in contract drafting. 

Obiter is inclined to agree. But the advice set us wondering: which verses might be useful for legal work in general? Perhaps a mnemonic, along the lines of the sailor’s ‘true virgins make dull company’, or just the inspirational ‘If you can keep your head…’? Suggestions, please, to