5 Signs You Need to Hire a Contracts Lawyer

Proper contracts and agreements become increasingly important as your business or organization grows. While template agreements found online may have sufficed in the early stages, there are signs your legal needs have outgrown the simple templates. At Froese Law, we want to help businesses stay protected as they scale up. Here are five signs it may be time to hire a contracts lawyer.

You’re Relying on Templates for Complex Deals

Template agreements work well for basic transactions but need more complex deals. The legal risks increase substantially as a business takes on more prominent clients, offers new services, or expands operations. Generic templates likely need to address the specific issues or allocate risks properly.

Complex commercial relationships require custom agreements tailored to the transaction. A contracts lawyer can identify and address potential issues before they become problems. They’ll ensure important business terms are clearly defined and risks are allocated appropriately between the parties. Are they taking on a large client? Developing a new product? Entering a strategic partnership? It’s time to move beyond templates.

You’re Not Sure What Clauses to Include

Standard agreement templates typically include essential clauses but omit many important ones. A contracts lawyer knows which key clauses should be in any contract based on the business relationship.

For example, non-disclosure agreements would typically contain confidentiality and non-use clauses. Employment contracts often include non-compete, non-solicitation, and intellectual property assignment provisions. Commercial contracts may require force majeure, termination, warranties, limitations of liability and indemnity clauses.

A lawyer can advise you on additional protective clauses that may be prudent, given your specific circumstances. They’ll also ensure that all-important business terms and risk allocations are properly documented.

Agreements Lack Consistency

Inconsistent agreements can create compliance headaches and legal risks down the road. Maintaining consistent agreements becomes vital as a business takes on more counterparties and transaction types.

A contracts lawyer provides templates tailored to your business needs and ensures consistency across agreement types. All vendor, client and partnership contracts would use standardized terms, clauses and formatting.

This centralized approach simplifies record-keeping and monitoring compliance. It also establishes predictable terms that business partners can rely on. Inconsistencies open the door for disputes later on. A lawyer centralizes control over agreements.

You’re Unsure How to Negotiate

Strong negotiators secure their side’s best terms within legal and ethical parameters. However, negotiating complex contracts requires specialized skills.

An experienced contracts lawyer advises on key bargaining positions and fallback terms. They’ll identify one-sided clauses or risk exposures to push back on. The lawyer drafts counter-proposals and negotiates disputed terms on your behalf.

Laypeople often miss opportunities in negotiations or make concessions too early. Lawyers are trained in tactics like finding compromise positions, drafting alternate proposals and securing side deals. They know when to stand firm or make strategic withdrawals.

Contracts Lack Proper Review

Even the most straightforward contracts deserve compliance and risk reviews. Template agreements rarely receive this critical analysis.

Contract lawyers review all legal agreements for your business. They’ll check terms to ensure they align with your business objectives, identify potentially problematic clauses, and flag regulatory compliance issues. The review may spot liability, indemnification or jurisdictional risks warranting revision.

Reviews catch issues before contracts are signed. Lawyers also periodically audit existing agreements for continued compliance. As business needs or laws change, they’ll advise on renegotiation or termination if necessary. Proper review and counsel are essential as reliance on agreements grows over time.

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