What’s In A Contract?
To state the obvious, a contract is a legal document, which sets out the rights and obligations of the parties. From your point of view the main purpose of the document is to:
- set out your rights and responsibilities;
- set out the other party’s rights and responsibilities;
- minimise your risk; and
- maximise your rights.
However, in most commercial dealings the contract should also strike a balance between the parties. It becomes a far more useful document if it sets out ‘ground rules’ that are commercially realistic, easily understood and actively agreed to by everyone (instead of signed off without being read, then disputed later).
Useful, Not Daunting
Contract terms can be made easier to digest and understand by using plain English. We can also work with you to make the contract blend seamlessly with your sales procedures to make them ‘invisible’ so that they don’t get in the way of doing business. For example, the contract terms can be integrated into client proposals or pre-printed booklets, and drafted to suit the wording of your other materials.
The terms must be concise without compromising legal certainty. However, in our experience the readability of a document is more important than the page count. That is, a four or five page easy document is easier to accept than even one page of tiny-print legalese!
Whichever way the terms are presented, it forms an integral part of the entire suite of legal documentation used by your business. We strive to ensure legal consistency across your entire operations.
Flexible And Reusable
Legal documentation can be designed to be re-used over and over without having to edit the terms. This makes it easy to use and means you apply the same terms consistently (which in turn makes it easier to train staff, develop your services into a product, etc).
Ease Of Use By Staff
We believe that contracts should exist for people to read and understand. The document should therefore be well understood by your staff members who are on the front lines. They’re the ones who might be called upon to explain how contracts work, or how internal policies operate.
In addition to merely drafting a legal document, we can also provide a set of guidelines (like a ‘user’s guide’ for your staff) as to when to use the document, how to complete and execute the document, and an explanation of the terms and how they operate.
Having a well structured and easy to understand document and guide, significantly reduces the administration burden for staff members.