When drafting (writing) a contract the initial clauses, after listing the parties are typically referred to as recital or "whereas" clauses (because they often start with the word "Whereas"). These provisions set forth (hopefully in non-legal jargon) the key intent and goals of the parties (people involved in the contract). This can be an extremely beneficial method of setting the tone of the contract and quickly letting anyone reading it having an overview of what the transaction was about.
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