Using a Massachusetts Business Lawyer to Facilitate Your Contract Negotiation

Most contracts are negotiated by lawyers with input from their clients. Sometimes, the clients negotiate the big dollar points themselves and then leave all the rest to their lawyers. If you will be having an ongoing business relationship with the other party to a contract, though, you might consider having a Massachusetts business lawyer facilitate the negotiation. It can be especially helpful if there are more than two parties to the agreement.

Contract facilitation is similar to mediation, but with a few twists. The parties hire someone who is completely neutral to advise them of the major points that should go in the contract and the range of options others use to address these points. The facilitator also helps structure the discussion so the parties can have direct conversations about difficult matters in ways that actually build a working relationship. If the parties wish, a facilitator who is also a business attorney can help write a term sheet or even a draft agreement.

The process is particularly useful with partnerships but can also work with strategic relationships and other kinds of contracts in which the parties will be interacting in the future.

The process starts by working with the parties to define their goals. For instance, is there one specific term that is giving them difficulty or are the parties more interested in overall organizational development to make sure their roles, rights and obligations are clear? Each situation then evolves in a slightly different way depending on the parties, the type of process they are seeking and what they want to accomplish.

Discuss your options with a trained dispute resolution professional who is also a business lawyer to see if facilitated contract negotiation is right for your situation.