Recession—A Good Time or Bad Time for Overhauling Your Contract Process?

In my writings and during my speaking engagements, I talk up the benefits of overhauling your contract process, templates and all. In the past few weeks, I’ve been wondering if given the current travails—whether you call it a recession or something else—I should adjust my recommendations.

Anyone looking to start something new has likely been doing some soul searching. For example, you can find on the blogosphere different takes on whether now is a good time or a bad time for startup ventures. (Click here for one take on this.)

But considerations that come into play with startups have little to do with overhauling your contract process. Startups are about creating a new source of profits; overhauling your contract process is about saving time and money and reducing risk. With a startup, the upfront investment is significant and the returns uncertain; with overhauling your contract process, the upfront investment is modest or not so modest, depending on your ambitions, but the returns kick in immediately and accrue over time, providing a speedy and measurable return on your investment.

If anything, a recession should provide a greater incentive for a company to do something about the considerable amounts of time and money that it’s wasting due to its mediocre templates and primitive contract process. In that regard, I noted with interest this item stating that Pangea3, a leading provider of legal-process-outsourcing services, expects to see a big jump in demand for its services—LPO too is all about reducing expenses.

So your company does a high volume of contracts and you haven’t yet explored overhauling both the language and process of your contracts? Well, the reasons for doing so, and for overcoming the dead hand of inertia, have only gotten better.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.