Drafting contracts

Step 2: Establishing a best practice group: a contracts and contracting commission

Contract automation and contracts commission. The best practice working group will manage the entire process of upgrading model contracts, implementing the Weagree Wizard and further developing the quality of the model contracts and model clauses.

In order to be effective and efficient, a best practice group (or groups) should be composed of:

  1. legal experts representing the legal cultures relevant for the company (e.g. common law, civil law, Arabic tradition) and important other jurisdictions (e.g. China, Brazil). The legal expert should not only have a good knowledge of the law, but also know what matters in the business. It may well be that the team of legal experts consists of different personalities: flexible and pragmatic persons as well as precise and formalistic individuals.
  2. a contract drafter, someone who is able to draft crisp contracts (note that legal experts are not necessarily excellent draftspersons). Contract drafting, or reviewing and marking up draft model contracts, is a service offered by Weagree.
  3. a contract template developer, someone who should have a basic understanding of and intuition for computers and computer programs (i.e. the future administrator of the Weagree Wizard). This is a function that Weagree can fulfil for you.
  4. a project manager who will monitor progress, coordinate meetings and is able to address disagreements. The project manager may well be someone from outside the legal department. Also, the required sense of urgency for developing and upgrading the model contracts is promulgated by the head of the legal department, in order for the project manager to be effective.

Of course, the above functions may well be combined in one or a few persons. Altogether, the composition of the working group should reflect the main businesses and geographic presence of the organisation. The level of seniority should be such that the end-result can be supported by the entire legal department.

Furthermore, the working group have should seek access to expertise in other corporate disciplines such as taxation, treasury, IP-departments, regulatory departments and business-specific expertise. It might be undesirable to have those disciplines represented in the best practice groups (although practice may prove that the contrary works better).