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Contract review is a crucial contract management stage for corporate legal teams to oversee. But unfortunately, far too many organizations tend to overlook this process or leverage out-of-date methods. Tragically, contract evaluation process oversight can result in:
• Missed key dates and obligations.
• Overlooked opportunities.
• Contract language and clause mistakes.
Thankfully, today, with the latest leading contract management software we can establish a contract review checklist and manage the life of a contract. Let’s get started.
Contract review is the process of authoring, negotiating, and signing a contract. The process involves multiple stakeholders collaborating to establish a complete understanding of the terms and conditions of a contract. The contractual review helps all parties understand what is expected from a contract.
What else can be reviewed?
There are quite a few fundamental facets of a contract document that the parties involved can review:
▪ The parties making the contract
▪ Respective legal teams from both sides
▪ Contract review lawyer(s), or 3rd party law firms involved.
▪ Any and all changes made during contract negotiation stage (a party cannot reference an aspect of a contract removed during contract drafting!)
▪ Subject matter of a contract (which the concerned parties need to fully understand, line-by-line).
▪ Legally binding obligations which – if not fulfilled in the specified duration of time – can lead to a breach of contract.
▪ Making sure the contract has no blank spaces before signing (as per contract law best practices).
▪ Contract clauses (for instance, renewal, force majeure, dispute resolution) How Can LegalTech Simplify Contract Reviews?
Whether an organization is a small business, a big business, private or public business, AI based legal technology, such as contract lifecycle management (CLM) software, can help review contract documents. Helpful CLM tools can assist organizations in understanding every part of the contract.
Contract Counterparty Management
As mentioned above, contract counterparty and stakeholder information are important for contract review. Contract software can make it easy to oversee important counterparty information. Most leading CLM software offers user-defined fields to easily capture key counterparty information like:
• Company Name
• Company Address
• Company Email Address & Phone Number
• Company ID number (Automatically Assigned by CLM Software)
• Point of Contact
Like other fields, the above fields, along with others can be merged into placeholders within a contract document for even easier contract review.
Robust Contract Negotiation
For better contract review, tools within any top CLM software can make it easy to confirm changes agreed upon during contract negotiation.
Dynamic contract authoring within CLM software can allow teams to merge individual field values with clauses from their approved library. Thus, timely, compliant, and accurate documents can be prepared for collaboration with counterparties in contract negotiation and review. CLM users can also use pre-defined templates for contracts if needed. Individual line items can also be included in contract templates. Contracts can also be easily exported as standard file formats such as MS Word and PDFs.
Document Collaboration & Version Control
Document collaboration and version control can make contract review significantly easier. Say, you download the document “XYZ Consulting Agreement” from your CLM software. Then, another employee makes changes to the document. He then reattaches that document with the changes he’s made and tracked. In this case, user-friendly contract software automatically creates an audit trail complete with version numbers. This feature helps counterparties and stakeholders stay completely aware about the most up to-date version of a contract.
Contract Clause Ownership
A good contract management system can even offer contract clause ownership for individual clauses in a contract. This helps eliminate contract review confusion as well. Top CLM software allows you to assign something called a “clause owner.” If anybody changes a contract clause or section, the assigned “clause owner” is notified. The clause owner can also be added to the approval process so that no unapproved changes get past clause owners.
E-Approvals & E-Signatures for Contracts
Contract signatures can include internal stakeholders and contract counterparties. Automated signatures can make the contract review process much simpler in the age of legal ops digital transformation. Electronic signature software can integrate with contract management software. Now, organizations no longer need a physical copy of a contract to sign. Contract signature delays can put obligations, compliance, and contract execution in jeopardy. As such, a faster way is needed for streamlined contract review and execution. Luckily, electronic signatures can cut send-to-sign time up to twenty percent!
In today’s day and age, there’s no need to waste any more time with manual contract review processes. Rather, streamline your contract review processes with leading-edge CLM software like Beveron’s Smart Legal Counsel, for instance. Its Smart Contract Management module is one of the leading Contract Management solutions across Dubai, wider UAE and the GCC Region.