Do lawyers interpret the use of language differently from the way other people do? Do they have special rules of interpretation by which users of language are understood to mean something different from what would be understood by the ordinary person? There was a time when this was certainly true. But my purpose in this article is to demonstrate both that these rules were irrational and productive of injustice and that they have been quietly abandoned. Recently, however, there have been signs of nostalgia. Lord Sumption, for example, regrets the laying aside of ‘the considered analyses of generations of careful contract lawyers’. This view has some academic support. It is therefore necessary to explain why the old rules were incoherent and wrong …
Leonard Hoffmann, ‘Language and lawyers’ (2018) 134 Law Quarterly Review (Oct) 553.