Due diligence in the contract management process is an important responsibility on legal teams’ shoulders. It is defined as “a reasonable investigation of a proposed investment deal and of the principals offering it before the transaction is finalized to check out an investment’s worthiness.”
Even the most thorough GCs are susceptible to mistakes. (You’re only human, after all.) Over the next few weeks, we’ll walk you through a mini survival guide for contract best practices when it comes to legal reviews, audits, and due diligence.
To get us started, here are five places to start when establishing your contract review process:
Understanding who your audience is will make your contract review much smoother. High-level roles like Vice Presidents and C-suites are typically the ones making specific requests for contract data. It is paramount that you respond quickly with the most relevant information.
“What” in this instance is any request about a specific customer contract. Sometimes this information is already covered in the purchase order, but other times it’s buried within legal contracts.
A younger company may not have issues scaling contract review requests, but as they grow, it becomes unmanageable. Expect requests anywhere between 10-15 times per year to start, with wiggle room for more if you’re at a large organization. If you haven’t considered implementing a tool to help you with these requests, this stage will become especially challenging.
You want to consider where you are storing your contracts. Do you have one single location where all of your contracts live? Are all of your contracts searchable? Can you automatically receive information for at-risk contracts?
As general counsel, your goal is to reduce risk from customers and improve overall company compliance. You also want to accelerate the sales cycle by improving your contract management process. Making contract reviews more efficient is a step in the right direction.
Managing contract reviews is nuanced and time-consuming. Contracts - like people - have individual needs, which can make streamlining and organizing a contract management process difficult. Next week, we’ll explore scenarios to help you prepare for unexpected contract review situations.
AI-powered Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions are available to help. If you’re interested in learning more about how LinkSquares can help you establish a seamless contract management process, request a demo today.