When to Bring In a Lawyer for a Deal
My client “Steve,” the owner of a bakery, recently found himself in a bit of a cash flow dilemma. He had been engaging in discussions about a distribution deal with a commercial kitchen. However, negotiations quickly turned tricky, leaving him uncertain about the way forward.
That's when Steve approached me with this question: "Would it be more cost-effective if the other party drafted the contract first, allowing me to negotiate the terms and then have my lawyer review the final version before signing?"
Steve's question raises a critical point: the immense advantage of involving a business lawyer in the early stages of a deal.
By offering the other party the opportunity to draft the initial contract, he would let them become the architect of the deal's foundation, setting the parameters and establishing a psychological anchor for all future negotiations.
As a business person, Steve had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve in a deal, but he realized that crafting that vision into a well-structured, legally sound contract is an entirely different ballgame.
Let's face it, many business owners have a love-hate relationship with contracts. They know contracts are vital for their business, yet they can be overwhelming and complex. This is precisely the kind of task that should be delegated to a professional with the experience and education to get it done right.
So, when someone suggests letting the other side write the first draft of your contract, remember Steve’s story and think twice. Empower yourself by taking control of the drafting process early on, together with your favorite business lawyer, and you'll be better positioned to achieve your business goals while safeguarding your interests every step of the way.