(If any)

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Towards more picturesque speech
Your legal eagle in the midst of a swept-back wing knee-slide, yesterday.

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A two-word motif that, as much as any other, belies an attorney’s dark existential fear of her own language.

(If any) speaks of a nervousness that, should a dependent clause bite on something that isn’t there, somehow the whole linguistic edifice will come crashing down. But it is an edifice that one can yet miraculously affix to the firmament with this single wipe of flannel:

[blah blah blah] ... together with the amount, (if any), that the Vendor incurs ... [blah blah blah ad infinitum]

See how it stymies the natural flow of your sentence? As if you slammed on the handbrake, pulled a 180, drove 50 yards back the way you’ve just come, got out and shouted at someone, then got back in, slammed the door, turned around and carried on in your original direction?

Wouldn’t it be neater to drop in that “any” when you first needed it?

“ ... together with any amount the Vendor incurs... ”

Why add that inessential, parenthetical adjectival clause?

To you laypeople out there, it may grind your gears, but to a happy counsel it is rhythm. It is pointilliste: a percussive refrain; a syncopated rim-shot in the great jungle beat of the law.

In your face

If any, like “or any part thereof”, is a neat exclamation point if you want to get the last word in a round of “most anal lawyer” in the room. Appending that comment, by itself, to a sheaf in 5.5pt font and faxing it back an hour before the deal is due to close entitles one to a swept-back wing knee-slide. But, really, that is a cheap thrill — inserting late-breaking trifles is shooting fish in a barrel. It brings no inner peace. Not much, anyway.

No; true ninja legal eagle points only accrue to the curmudgeonly sod on the other side — the JC likes to think it would be someone like him — who, with poker face and jaw set coolly against the ticking clock, regards your facile markup and rails against its tyrannous anal paradox. He strikes that piffling amendment, citing the sacred interest of elegant prose, saying this will not do. His priapic sales colleagues, seeing a fiscal bedding slipping away from them as surely as sand drains from the hourglass, can only gape.

ISDA’s crack drafting squad™ show you how to do it

Rejoice in this recently-minted example of an “if any” infestation from those excellent folk in the elite derivative forces of ISDA’s crack drafting squad™:

1(b) Scope of this Annex and the Other CSA: The only Transactions which will be relevant for the purposes of determining “Exposure” under this Annex will be the Covered Transactions specified in Paragraph 11. Each Other CSA, if any, is hereby amended such that the Transactions that will be relevant for purposes of determining “Exposure” thereunder, if any, will exclude the Covered Transactions and the Transaction constituted by this Annex. Except as provided in Paragraph 9(h), nothing in this Annex will affect the rights and obligations, if any, of either party with respect to “independent amounts” or initial margin under each Other CSA, if any, with respect to Transactions that are Covered Transactions.

See also