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BENEFITS OF A CONTRACT REVIEW WITH YOUR LAWYER

BENEFITS OF A CONTRACT REVIEW WITH YOUR LAWYER

Contracts are an essential part of doing business. We all know this; however, most business owners are not exactly racing to grab a pen and review each line of every contract they deal with.

Yet it is vital that all contracts are checked thoroughly so you don’t fall prey to the “curse of the fine print” and end up in a legal mess that costs a fortune in legal fees and lost opportunities.

Therefore, a contract review service can be extremely useful for businesses who are entering into a contract, such as a loan agreement, business sale agreement, joint venture agreement, employment agreement, or a partnership agreement.

What exactly is a contract review?

Contract reviews are designed to ensure that the terms of the contract are reflective of the purpose to which it is intended to serve; and that it sets out the key terms of your agreement or transaction.

The scope of a contract review, and how much a contract can be negotiated depends on the type of agreement or transaction and the power balance of the parties involved. Sometimes, it may be that a contract review will help alert you to certain key clauses that should be included to ensure you are properly protected under the contract. Other times, a lawyer may identify clauses that could be changed to give you a better legal position.

You should note that a contract review is not designed to highlight every possible thing that could go wrong with a contract. Rather, a lawyer will balance the legal and commercial aspects of the contract and point out key clauses for your attention.

Benefits of contract review by a lawyer

Rather than risk just going alone, by engaging a lawyer who specialises in the types of contracts you are engaging in, you can have a higher level of support and reassurance that everything is as it should be in legal terms.

During a contract review, a lawyer may examine several aspects of the contract, including:

1. Identifying the appropriate agreement for your type of transaction

Different types of transactions may require different types of agreements, such as a sales agreement for a business sale, a service agreement for someone providing professional services, or a lease agreement between a lessor and lessee for a premise.

A contract lawyer can clarify which contract would be best for your transaction in each situation.

2. Ensuring your contract is compliant with the law

Okay, so no-one wants to find they have somehow entered into an arrangement that is non-compliant with the law, so it is essential that you review any contract, and a contract lawyer will have a better understanding of the relevant laws.

We can help mitigate against common legal risks, help you avoid disputes and litigation, and provide legal advice and guidance.

3. Identifying errors

If a contract lacks clarity or uses convoluted jargon, this can lead to ambiguities regarding your obligations under the contract.

An experienced contract lawyer with a skilled eye should be able to identify such clauses and then advise you on any required amendments to the agreement.

4. Protecting your rights and interests

A lawyer can ensure that the contract protects your rights and interests, such as by ensuring that the terms are favourable to you and that you have appropriate remedies in case of breach or default by the other party. However, the extent to which a party can achieve this will depend on its relative bargaining position.

5. Negotiating better terms

A lawyer can help you negotiate better terms, such as identifying contractual clauses that are incorrect or overly onerous on you, then suggesting changes to the contract or drafting additional provisions that better protect your interests.

6. Preparing a legal document that is ready to be executed by the parties

Once the documents have been reviewed and all parties are in agreement, all necessary signature blocks and witness lines need to be included. We can finalise the document and prepare it for execution.

Overall, a contract review by a lawyer can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected, and that you enter into a contract with a clear understanding of the risks and benefits involved.

What to expect – and what not to expect – from a contract review

Reviewing a contract can be a simple or complex legal task.

The level of the task will depend on the quality and the size of the document that needs to be reviewed.

You should expect a standard contract review to:

  • Highlight unusual or risky clauses
  • Provide you with suggested amendments for certain clauses
  • Check the contract’s compliance with relevant laws and legislation
  • Provide answers to your questions about the contract

A contract review can be a valuable tool to assess the legal implications and potential risks of a contract, but there are some limitations to what it can accomplish.

Here are some things that a contract review cannot do:

  • Provide business or financial advice
  • Rewrite the contract – a contract review can provide feedback and suggested revisions
  • Change the law
  • Predict the future

When asking a lawyer to review a contract, it is important to be clear about your expectations. It might help to outline the outcome you are seeking from the review.

How to get the most out of a contract review service?

In some instances, a good contract lawyer can also review any contracts you are currently bound by, not to make changes now, but to help you review and prepare for when the contract is up for renewal. We’ll check all of the matters discussed above and help get you in a good position to potentially negotiate better terms next time. 

Which contracts are you currently negotiating?

Let us help you get the best outcomes. We provide contract review, contract drafting, and contract negotiation services.

At West Perth Legal, our Commercial Lawyers are experienced in a broad range of commercial contracts. We pride ourselves on being detailed, pragmatic and approachable.

We offer fixed fee and quick turnaround.

Phone: (08) 9321 9395 Email: info@westperthlegal.com.au

Disclaimer: the content of this article is provided as general information only and does not constitute legal or other advice on any specific matter and should not be relied upon as such. If you are seeking or require legal advice, please contact our lawyers.