Contracts are the cornerstone of commercial law. As well drafted contracts and agreements are the cornerstone of business relationships and business growth, much of a commercial law firm’s work will centre around assisting clients with contracts and other legal documents. It is essential that commercial contracts are properly drafted to ensure contract terms are legally enforceable, binding, and admissible in court should dispute arise.
Contract lawyers specialise in the end-to-end management of contracts, and other legal documents. They are skilled in drawing up and negotiating contracts to best represent the client’s commercial and legal interests. Contract lawyers understand the importance of a bulletproof document that protects their client’s specific interests, and limit the client’s liability.
There are a lot of responsibilities when handling a contract. The role of a contract lawyer includes:
• drafting contracts
• reviewing contracts
• making amendments to existing contracts
• renewal of contracts when the contract term expires
• providing advice to clients regarding contracts – including regarding contract breaches or where a client may wish to terminate a contract
• communication with other parties entering the contract to ensure it is properly signed and executed
• driving negotiations between clients and other parties – negotiation may be relevant both at the stage of drafting and entering the contract, as well as in the case of a dispute
• handling litigation or other alternative dispute resolution
• conducting research on case law and legislation to ensure contract terms are legal, enforceable and binding
In addition, technology law can be a very complex area. Contracts and legal documents for businesses in the technology sector often deals with very technical concepts and products. In addition, the types of contracts and legal documents that are required for technology-based companies may vary wildly from those needed for companies in non-technology based sectors. This includes software licence agreements, software development and services agreements, agreements for the escrow of software, software distribution and reseller agreements, cloud computing agreements, API access agreements, intellectual property agreements, land access agreements, Master Services Agreements and various other legal documents specific to tech-based companies. This requires lawyers to understand technical terms, agreements and the technical needs of businesses to ensure the contract provides sufficient protection of clients’ interests.
In today’s increasingly technical and digital world, laws regulating the technology sector are constantly changing.IT contract lawyers are also across the complex technology law and policy landscape, to ensure contracts and legal documents are compliant with legislative and regulatory obligations.
As such, contract law goes beyond the drafting and reviewing of the contract. It is important to understand the full breadth of the roles and responsibilities of a contract lawyer. Moreover, where the contract relates to technical businesses or products, it is further important to acquire a contract lawyer who specialises in technology law. As legal documents are the bread and butter of commercial law, having a specialist technology contract lawyer who is skilled and experienced in the end-to-end management of contracts dealing with technology can greatly enhance a client’s experience with the firm.