Many small businesses and individuals gaining some form of recognition in their industry often find the prospect of getting investors offering them deals exciting, so much so that they can become overwhelmed by it. This can cause them to overlook the fine print of any contract they are presented with.
The consequences of this can be deleterious in such cases as they may unwittingly agree to unfavorable terms contained in the contract therein. Most times, these terms are not bare-facedly stated but buried in legalese clauses that may be confusing to non-legal professionals.
It’s no surprise, then, that most large corporations enlist the services of contract attorneys. These contract lawyers not only review the fine print of these contracts but also interpret and may be actively involved in the drafting and redlining of a contract document.
But contract lawyers do more than just these, and in this article, you will explore the different things a contract lawyer can do. But first, who is a contract lawyer?
Who is a contract lawyer?
A contract lawyer is a legal expert who specializes in the laws and regulations governing contracts. They play an essential role in ensuring that contracts are legally binding and meet the needs of all parties involved.
They are specialists who are involved in the drafting and review of contracts as they are expected to be well-grounded in the format and elements of a contract that makes it legally enforceable.
A significant percentage of businesses have been embroiled in one form of contract-related dispute or the other, thus emphasizing the need for the legal counsel and assistance of a contract lawyer in their business engagements.
What can a contract lawyer do for you?
Contracts are the backbone of any business engagement. They contain descriptive details on how the business relationship would work, including who is expected to do what and what obligations or responsibilities either party should accept.
A contract lawyer is the best professional that can articulate these terms clearly as they have the legal training and expertise to comprehend the nuances of a business contract and include specific details or clauses that will prevent exploitation in contract dispute-related cases.
Some of the things a contract lawyer can do include:
1. Drafting and review of contracts
When drafting and reviewing contracts, contract lawyers meticulously review every detail to ensure that the contract is legally binding and clearly outlines the obligations of each party. No law mandates a lawyer to draft a contract, as that can be done by anyone. However, it would be best if a contract attorney does.
They bring their analytical and critical thinking abilities to bear in reviewing contracts or drafting one as it enables them to identify potential issues and develop strategies to address them.
Additionally, a good contract lawyer will have a deep understanding of business and industry norms, as well as strong legal research skills needed to deliver quality contracts that leave no loopholes that can be exploited.
2. Negotiation of the terms of the contract
Contract lawyers can also work with their clients to negotiate contractual terms. While contracts are supposed to be ironclad, the terms of a contract can be flexible before they are signed and sealed by the agreeing parties.
This is usually what happens when a contract attorney redlines a contract. They make changes to the terms and/or responsibilities outlined in the contract and keep track of these changes. These alterations are usually done in the protection of their client’s interests as they see to it that the contract meets their needs.
However, before a final endorsement of the contract, all parties involved in the contract are expected to come to a mutual agreement by negotiation on what the contract terms should entail.
3. Provision of legal support
Contract lawyers equally provide legal support to their clients before, during, and after the process of signing a contract. This support can come in the form of legal advice and counseling. It can also be in the interpretation of certain terms or clauses, helping their clients navigate the complex legal landscape of contracts.
These contract lawyers can also advise clients on issues such as contract disputes, liability, and compliance with relevant laws and regulations. In some cases, a contract lawyer will be expected to research the other party going into the contractual agreement with their client.
4. Legal representation during litigious processes
If a dispute arises, either due to material or anticipatory breach of contract, contract lawyers are responsible for handling the dispute resolution process. This may involve negotiating a settlement or, if necessary, litigating the dispute in court.
In either case, contract lawyers represent their clients either in the negotiation bid or in court, especially since they are the foremost witnesses to the proceedings of the contract process. Basically, contract lawyers work tirelessly to ensure that their client’s interests are protected and that the dispute is resolved in a timely and cost-effective manner.
5. Contract renewal and document management
Depending on the kind of business relationship the contracting parties go into, there may be a need to renew the contract. Contracts come with time limits, after which all parties are no longer held by the terms of that contract. If, however, they see a need to preserve their business relationship, there will be a need for contract renewal.
This renewal may require some modifications to the already agreed-upon terms of the contract, or the renewal may be presented as it was the first time. Whatever the case may be, a contract lawyer is well disposed to assume the responsibility of renewing the contract.
Furthermore, contracts are legal documents that will need to be properly filed and managed to ensure they are readily accessible when needed for reference purposes. A contract lawyer is charged with ensuring the successful and effective management of the contract document.
Contract lawyers are gatekeepers of legal knowledge, using their expertise to protect their clients from potential legal pitfalls and financial losses. They play a critical role in the business world today.
From drafting and reviewing contracts to handling dispute resolution and litigation, these legal professionals ensure that transactions are conducted effectively and efficiently.