Reading Agreements Critically with a Contract Playbook

March 1st, 2010

Followers of this blog may be aware that I avoid reading contracts front-to-back as much as possible.  I find that breaking a contract into chunks lets me read more quickly, more effectively and more critically.

To do that, a client and I recently adopted a strategy that I have used informally for a long time, which is to develop a playbook of preferred terms that we incorporate in our form documents so that when I sit down to read a contract I know exactly what I am looking for.

I start my review by comparing the contract against my playbook and making notes on any differences.  After I finish that I usually have a good sense of how the contract is structured, and I can then read through to put the sections together.

On top of the contract-review benefits, having a formal playbook makes it easier to coordinate contract strategy with clients, and also to maintain consistency over time.  When we have a clear sense of what “normal” is, we can develop a set of arguments to support our preferred terms, and also keep track of which deals required us to deviate from our standards.

A contract playbook is a great tool to read difficult contracts quickly, carefully and comprehensively.  I recommend it to anyone who needs to review a lot of documents.

Tags: ,
  • Comments Off on Reading Agreements Critically with a Contract Playbook

Comments are closed.