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jueves, 14 de mayo de 2015

English Tips for Spanish Lawyers (xiii)

Por Nick Potter 

In this series we look at real-life examples of the most common mistakes in English by native Spanish lawyers. These and lots more invaluable tips are available in a new e-book/paperback, here: 50 English Tips for Spanish Professionals.

term time



Time flies. According to the UK Post Office, at the time of writing I have 224 days left to send my letter to Father Christmas. Or should I refer to a term of 300 days? (No – see below).


Question: Which ONE of A – F below is correct?



A A letter could be sent to counterparties informing them individually about the Transaction and stating that unless expressly refused within the relevant term set out in the letter – for instance a one (1) month term -, consent(s) would be deemed to be granted
B The Transferring Shareholder shall have a term of [●] ([●]) Business Days from the date of notice of the Tag-along right in which to respond
C PV plants registered under RD 661/2007 will receive the Regulated Tariff during a 30 years term
D The opposition to the judicial approval of the arrangement may be filed within the term of ten days following the date in which the secretary of the court has verified that the creditors’ meeting has taken place
E Any additional information as agreed between the Licensor, Licencing Officer and Licensee during the term of this Agreement
F Financial institutions will need to comply with these requirements within 12 months since the integration process has been authorized. In order to benefit from this extra term, the integration process needs to have the following features:


Before you read the answer, remember:


Corporate and commercial agreements usually contain a number of boilerplate (standard) clauses – “Term and termination” is one. 

The “Term” of an agreement is its duration i.e. how long it will be in effect (it may be indefinite). This may be stated in the form of start and end dates, or conditional:

  • The term of the Agreement shall commence upon the Client’s acceptance of these terms and conditions
  • This Agreement shall be effective as of the date Contractor first performed the Services. This Agreement shall continue until the date specified in Exhibit A or termination as provided below ("Term")
  • This Agreement will come into force on the Activation Date (when the Customer presses the “Register” button accepting the terms of this Agreement) and continue unless and until terminated pursuant to this clause

Note that “the term” (duración, plazo) is not the same as “the terms” or “these terms” (condiciones).
Term here means, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “a fixed or limited period for which something, for example office, imprisonment, or investment, lasts or is intended to last”.

In Spanish, “the term” is translated as el plazo.

¿Y? ¡Ya lo sé! What’s the problem?


Since you ask, the problem is that the Spanish word plazo does not always refer to “the term” in this sense. It can refer to the deadline for doing something, for instance.

And un plazo can simply mean a period or a time.

Debe aplicarse un plazo de seis años también a la sustitución del producto (A six-year period should also apply to the replacement product) 
Often, when referring to a specific period or time, there is often no need to translate un plazo at all.

Cada delegación podrá presentar una solicitud de consulta a la que habrá que responder en un plazo de dos meses (Each delegation may submit a request for consultation, to which a response must be given within two months)

So


A-C are all wrong because un plazo here simply means a period of time, not the term of an agreement or investment. Or it is unnecessary to translate.


A A letter could be sent to counterparties informing them individually about the Transaction and stating that unless expressly refused within the relevant term set out time/period stated in the letter, for instance a one (1) month term -, consent(s) would be deemed to be granted
B The Transferring Shareholder shall have a term of [●] ([●]) Business Days from the date of notice of the Tag-along right in which to respond
C
PV plants registered under RD 661/2007 will receive the Regulated Tariff during a for 30 years term / for a 30-year period


In D, el plazo refers to the time/period allowed to challenge arrangements with creditors. Again, in English we would state the actual time/period directly.

  
D
The opposition to the judicial approval of the arrangement may be filed within the term of ten days following the date in on which* the secretary of the court has verified that the creditors’ meeting has taken place


*“the date in which” is an extremely popular mistake – the correct preposition is on.
E is the correct answer.

   
E
Any additional information as agreed between the Licensor, Licencing Officer and Licensee during the term of this Agreement [CORRECT]


In F, again, plazo simply refers to a period of time.

  
F Financial institutions will need to comply with these requirements within 12 months since after* the integration process has been authorized. In order to benefit from this extra term time, the integration process needs to have the following features:


*Another error is to always translate desde as since – remember, it only means since when referring to the past.

Here’s a quick reminder of how to express periods of time:


A mistake often made is to translate, say, un plazo de tres meses as “a three-months period”; note that in English we drop the “s” to form a compound noun. When referring to notice, we use an apostrophe:
  • a three-month period
  • three months’ notice

Note that plazo does translate as term in a corto/largo plazo (in the short/long term).




























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