Types of Contract Review
KNowing who to hire
the contract review process and pricing
Before signing a contract, it is important to have it reviewed by an experienced attorney to ensure that your rights and interests are adequately protected. Even if you are knowledgeable about the subject matter, there are specific contract terms that lawyers are trained to decipher and interpret to help negate the long-term effects of poorly written or one-sided contracts.
If you are reading this blog post, chances are you already know you need to hire an attorney to review your contract. But what should you expect when hiring an attorney to review a contract? This blog post will cover the process of hiring an attorney to review a contract, the different types of contract review, and how to make sure that you get the most out of the contract review.
Before you make the decision to hire an attorney to review your contract, it's essential to do your research and ensure that the attorney has experience in the field they are being asked to review. Not all attorneys are created equal, and certain attorneys specialize in different areas of law. For instance, here at C. Handy Law, we specialize in entertainment and intellectual property law. More specifically, we have experience reviewing and negotiating contracts in the industries of influencer marketing, podcasting, public/corporate speaking, on-air and digital talent hosting, book publishing, and music.
When researching potential attorneys, it is important to look at their past experience and how much experience they have in the industry you are seeking legal advice for. It is always beneficial to hire an attorney with specific expertise in your particular field of business, as they will be able to provide the best advice for your situation. Furthermore, having an attorney with experience in the industry can help avoid any legal surprises down the line.
Additionally, finding out what other clients have said about the attorney can also help narrow down the search for a suitable candidate. Reading reviews and talking to other clients about their experiences with a particular lawyer can help make sure that you are comfortable with the person you choose to work with. Taking the time to do research and getting to know the attorney can make all the difference when it comes to signing an agreement and building a relationship with that attorney for future agreements.
Now that you have an idea of who to hire for your contract review, it is important to know the different types of contract review that are available. The four most common types of contract review are issue-specific contract review, basic contract review, basic contract review with edits, and contract review with negotiation.
Issue-Specific Contract Review:
Issue-specific contract review focuses on a specific aspect of the contract. The attorney will not review the entire contract but instead will focus on one specific area of the contract with which you have questions.
Here are examples of common provisions or questions you can have the attorney review:
- Can I terminate this contract early if I don't like how things are going?
- Who will own the intellectual property for what's created?
- What options do I have if the other party doesn't pay on time?
- What does this usage clause mean within the scope of this contract?
- How can my image and likeness be used under this contract?
- Can I work with a similar brand if I sign this contract?
Basic Contract Review:
In a basic contract review, the attorney will look over the contract as a whole and provide a general assessment. The attorney will consider all aspects of the contract, from contractual terms and conditions to underlying legal principles, in order to provide an opinion as to whether the contract adequately protects your interests. The attorney will also answer specific questions, like those mentioned above, and note any areas of the contract that require more attention or revision.
Basic Contract Review with Edits:
As the name suggests, this type of contract review goes a step further than the previous two types. This type of review involves the attorney looking over the entire document and providing specific edits and revisions in order to better protect your interests. This editing process is known as contract redlining and can be extremely beneficial in speeding up the overall agreement process. Additionally, contract redlining helps to ensure you have the proper legal wording to make your contract legally enforceable.
Contract Review with Negotiation:
In this type of review, the attorney will not only review and make edits but will also engage in negotiations with the other party or parties to the agreement. The attorney will work with both sides to reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties involved. Having an attorney with experience negotiating the type of contract you need to be reviewed is invaluable. Attorneys with industry experience typically negotiate deals with the same brands and parties all the time. Meaning, they have a unique advantage in understanding what the other party may or may not agree to. If you have a significant contract that deals in an industry you aren't familiar with, it may be in your best interest to go with this type of contract review.
It is important to understand that attorneys cannot guarantee success when negotiating a contract; they can simply provide guidance and advice during the negotiation process. While attorneys can advise you on how best to proceed, ultimately, it is up to you to decide how you want to move forward.
Every attorney will have a different process and pricing structure for reviewing contracts. This will largely depend on the type of contract review you are seeking and the complexity of the contract you need to be reviewed. It is important that you not only understand the attorney's process (including timelines) but that you also understand how you will be charged for the contract review.
The most common pricing types for contract review are hourly and flat fee.
Hourly pricing is a traditional pricing structure some lawyers use for contract review. Under this structure, the attorney will charge their hourly rate (typically $150-$400) to review your contract. As you can imagine, this type of payment structure can get costly and largely unpredictable. As an alternative, flat fee legal fees are becoming more popular as they provide certainty of cost and eliminate the possibility of unexpected or large legal fees. Flat-fee legal services are ideal for those who need legal services in a specific area, such as contract review, but do not have the budget or the time for lengthy negotiations.
At C. Handy Law, our flat fees for contract review are competitive and reflect the expertise and quality of our services. Our flat fees are all-inclusive, which means they cover the scope of the contract review service you choose. You can contact us at email@example.com to learn more about our contract review services.