Since moving in house from PP I’ve been astounded at how often business folks want to set up a zoom call to walk through contracts and rewrite language on the fly. Not only is it terribly inefficient, it leaves virtually no time to actually think through things, especially when dealing with long, complicated contracts for things like software purchases. Just wondering if anyone has any good tips for how to politely point out to people how bad of a process that is, assuming others face the same?

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Very common for your internal clients to try to do this. In general it’s because business people and engineers are often more used to working in a collaborative way than attorneys.

Put together a high level “process” for contract review and then enforce it. My process is that I take the first pass of the contract alone, then send out internal comments flagging action items for specific people. Then, have a call a few days later to walk through the edits and close up outstanding points. That way you both get a compromise in working styles (calls and independent drafting).

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Really like this approach! I try to meet for 30 mins or so for the politics and handholding (and to grill them a bit to avoid surprises) but always ask to take stuff away to think further before finalizing. Never had anyone push back much on that

I actually do this all the time and find that it’s much more efficient. Otherwise I’m asking for a call with the business to get context, then finding time to do my review and then drafting an email back to the business people with follow up questions and comments to help the business understand my edits. Then sometimes the business asks for a call to talk through my edits or an answer my follow up questions and a mere four weeks later we get a draft back to the other party.

Or I can just get on an hour call and do 80% of the edits in real time all while getting valuable context and answers to my questions.

Now I do have the benefit of working on our paper for the majority of our contracts which really helps. I know the templates very well and generally know which sections we’ll discuss in detail which edits I’ll accept.

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You may not have success in canceling the call entirely, but I can usually get myself extra time to craft language or review a draft. I don’t deal regularly with contracts, but when something complex comes up I set expectations at the beginning of the call (if they still want to have it) that I will not have a final product ready for them until I have some time to think about it.

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