Why review contracts?
Contract review checklist
- The General Data Protection Regulations come into force in May 2018. These regulations will impact how you retain and use personal data. Have you considered how this will impact your contractual arrangements? The fines for breach of the GDPR can be large. Now, not May 2018, is the time to thinking about how you can adapt to meet these new requirements.
- Brexit is going to impact everyone. If you contract with businesses in the EU, rely on EU laws and regulations or are subject to an EU regulatory regime then Brexit will be of particular significance. Whilst the government intends to transpose existing EU law into domestic law at the time of Brexit, the enforcement and regulatory regimes will change from EU to domestic regimes. Are your contracts capable of adapting to Brexit? Do they need amendments? Again the time to consider these issues is before, not after.
- Commercial transactions carry risk. How confident are you that your contracts minimise your risk? Properly drafted contracts help reduce the risks your business face. For example, appropriate exclusion clauses can exclude your risk entirely, limitation of liability clauses can reduce your potential liability to manageable limits, entire agreement clauses help ensure certainty and effective payment terms will ensure payment is made on time (and if not that interest can be payable by late payers). How are your contracts mitigating risk to your business and do you need to review what’s included to increase protection?
- In the event something does go wrong, how does your contract help you deal with any disputes effectively? Contracts can require that parties follow agreed dispute resolution procedure rather than running off to court. Negotiation, commercial mediation, arbitration can all be incorporated into agreements. This can help reduce the costs of disputes (and keep them private if reputation is an issue). Disputes have a cost in time and expense, even if you win. Appropriate contractual provisions can help reduce these costs. How are your contracts helping you and what do you need to include here if this is not already covered?
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