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Nine tips to negotiate a contract efficiently

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Ronald D. Richards Jr.
BRIEFS
June 2013

Much of my practice involves negotiating contracts, mostly by swapping contract proposals via e-mail. Here are some easy and straightforward practices that make negotiating contracts via e-mail more efficient. If you have ever negotiated a contract with a lawyer who does not follow these practices, you know about the inefficiencies and frustrating delays that result.

  1. Use Track Changes in MS Word
  2. Accept (blackline) proposed revisions that are acceptable
  3. Use Comments
  4. Work only off the most recent proposed contract version
  5. Work with Word versions
  6. Minimize the number of contract revisers
  7. Become friends with Shauna Kelly
  8. Treat contract amendments just like original contracts
  9. When negotiations via e-mail bog down, pick up the phone.

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