Contract Drafting, Review and Negotiation
Regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur starting a new business or the owner of an established business, having well-drafted contracts and agreements is fundamental to your success. While a firm handshake may have been sufficient in the past to seal a business deal, today’s competitive market and complex legal landscape mandates that all transactions – no matter how big or small – be confirmed and governed by thorough written agreements and contracts. Having a seasoned business attorney participate in the drafting, review and negotiation of your business contracts and agreements will result in a tremendous benefit to your company and may even help minimize the risk of costly and time-consuming lawsuits and other disputes.
The attorneys at Weisberg & Weisberg, based in Newport News, are prepared to assist you with all aspects of contract drafting, review, and negotiation. When you retain our firm, you will have experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive attorneys on your side to help ensure that your contracts and agreements provide advantages and protections to your company in a wide variety of business dealings.
As business litigators with years of collective experience, the attorneys at Weisberg & Weisberg have the unique benefit of being intimately familiar with the problems faced by companies and individuals who fail to spend the time and resources necessary to perfect their contracts before entering into a transaction, and then pay the price when a lawsuit or dispute arises. Once litigation commences, many business owners find that their contracts are not as clear or advantageous as they believed them to be, which leads to increased costs and the risk of poor results. Thus, even if you have written agreements that you have used for years, it is worthwhile to have an experienced lawyer review them to identify areas for improvement and to make sure that their terms are in line with the current state of the law.
Moreover, many companies – large and small – often try to pressure other parties to a transaction by presenting contracts (undoubtedly prepared by those companies’ respective attorneys) on a non-negotiable, “take it or leave it,” basis. In reality, very few contracts are truly non-negotiable, and businesses should be wary of signing any agreement without first consulting with an attorney to ensure that the proposed terms are fair and reasonable. Involving an attorney at the negotiation stage has the added benefit of signaling to the other parties to the transaction that you are paying close attention and that you will not be bullied or tricked into accepting unfair, hidden or unlawful terms.
While there are various websites and companies that purport to offer budget “do-it-yourself” contract drafting services, nothing can compare to the personalized attention of a seasoned business attorney. Unlike these impersonal websites and companies, we strive to establish long-term relationships with our clients and take a personal interest in their continued success.
Weisberg & Weisberg is equipped to advise you in connection with the preparation, review, and negotiation of just about any type of contract or agreement, including but not limited to:
- Public and private construction contracts
- Commercial and residential leases
- Employment contracts
- Employee non-compete agreements
- Stock and asset purchase agreements
- Shareholder agreements
- Purchase and sale contracts
- Service contracts
- Security agreements, guaranty agreements, and surety agreements
In the course of their respective practices, our attorneys have come across, and often litigated, just about every possible term or condition that can appear in an agreement. Below are just a few of the common issues that are critical to address, with the aid of an experienced attorney, as part of any written agreement or contract:
- In the event of a lawsuit, will each side pay their own attorneys’ fees, or will the prevailing party be entitled to recover attorneys’ fees from the losing party?
- Will a potential lawsuit over the contract take place in a court that is close to your place of business, or will you be forced to travel to another jurisdiction, resulting in increased expenses and a potential “home field advantage” for your adversary?
- Will the contract be governed by Virginia law or the law of another state, and what effects will that have on the parties’ rights and obligations?
- If you believe that the contract has been breached, but decide to delay taking action in the hopes that the conflict might be resolved, will that negatively affect your rights to enforce the contract in future?
- Does the contract provide for reasonable and effective procedures for notifying a party that the contract has been breached?
- Is it appropriate to include a provision allowing for liquidated damages (defined as a specific sum of money expressly agreed by the parties as the amount of damages to be recovered from a breach of contract) and, if so, how must the provision be drafted in order for it to be enforceable?
- Would it be beneficial to require the parties to seek alternative, cost-effective, and confidential methods of dispute resolution – such as mediation or arbitration – before proceeding to court?
- Should the contract include indemnity provisions, which may hold one or more parties responsible for the harm caused by another party or parties?
Savvy and successful business owners will come to the negotiating table equipped to address issues like those discussed above after thorough and careful consultation with an experienced business attorney. Contact Weisberg & Weisberg in Newport News, VA, to discuss how we can support all of your contract drafting, review, and negotiation needs with our experience and track record of demonstrated success.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOREGOING IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE, NOR SHOULD IT BE INTERPRETED AS CONSTITUTING, LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY TO DISCUSS ISSUES REGARDING THE DRAFTING, REVIEW, AND NEGOTIATION OF CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS.