Contract lawyers are legal specialists who can draft contracts and negotiate/litigate on behalf of clients, but not everyone needs this comprehensive (or expensive) a service from a contract lawyer. Many small and medium business owners, entrepreneurs, and creatives benefit from hiring a lawyer to review particular contracts and provide some guidance.
Here are three essential things a contract review lawyer can do for you.
1. Make Sure the Contract is Legally Binding
If a court determines that a contract is not binding, at least one of the parties will suffer some kind of loss. That's why it's crucial for the terms of a contract to be legally binding.
Contracts boil down to offers and acceptances, but every jurisdiction has particular rules that must be followed. These requirements are not so much about whether what the parties are getting is "worth it" but whether the contract would survive a court challenge. For example, you cannot enforce a contract for someone to do something illegal.
Both parties need to understand what they are signing, which usually involves getting independent legal advice. There are many contractual topics and details that have been defined in court cases, so legal expertise is often required to draft a good contract.
2. Prevent Misunderstandings Among Parties and Minimize Resulting Lawsuits
As much as people like to think that the most solid contracts are full of legal jargon and impressive-sounding phrases, the best contracts are written in clear language that allows the parties to understand what their rights and obligations are. For example, if the section outlining your obligations is ambiguous in any way, or can be interpreted in more than one way, you might be unknowingly setting yourself up to breach the contract.
There have been cases in which a party has unintentionally breached a term of a valid contract and has suffered legal penalties. When it comes to contract law, why you breached a term is less important than whether you breached it.
3. Protect Your Legal Rights and Interests
It is always a smart strategy, when presented with a contract to sign, to run the document past a contract review lawyer.
When a lawyer is asked to review a contract, they look over the entire document and can explain what the obligations of the different parties are. They can answer your questions and even note if there are sections that can be beefed up or revised to better protect your interests.
As part of this service or in addition to the contract review (depending on how the lawyer charges for services), the lawyer can "redline" the contract. This means editing the contract to correct issues they have found. These corrections are intended to make sure all legal requirements are fulfilled and your rights are protected. Note that it is also possible just to hire a lawyer to analyze a particular section or specific issue.
What Kind of Contracts Should You Have a Lawyer Review?
At the heart of it, what a contract review lawyer does is look after you by making sure that your legal rights and interests are properly protected. For businesses, this could mean looking at corporate start-up documents, partnership agreements, and/or any other contracts relating to corporate governance, investor or shareholder relations, and intellectual properties. For individuals, contract review lawyers can provide help with things like wills and separation agreements.
Savvy Esquires allows clients to retain lawyers for specific services at transparent prices. Everything is catered towards efficiency and providing the best value for the clients' money — for example, by using intake forms instead of requiring "free" initial consultations. Contact us today to find out how we can best help your business or endeavor succeed.