To be a good corporate lawyer, it is not just important to know the law, and it is also imperative that lawyers know how to do the clerical work such as drafting. It may not always be possible that the lawyer has an underling to draft the contract for them. In situations like these – when the expectations of the seniors are looming large -, lives will be saved if these points are kept in mind.
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The contracts that will be enumerated below are very basic in nature. Knowing these is the preliminary step to becoming a successful corporate lawyer. If you think that you’re not aware of even one of them, and are a current or aspiring corporate lawyer, it is time to pull up your socks and start learning!
The first of these is what is generally known as the employment agreement. To run any business, a workforce is required. This workforce cannot be taken on board without transacting with them, a contract, that is used as a proof of employment. It usually contains certain terms and conditions that the employer and the employee mutually satisfy to ensure that the employee works for the employer. This is known as the employment agreement. It is vital for any workplace to sustain. In such cases, corporate lawyers who know how to draft agreements like these become an asset to any company.
The second contract in the list is a joint-venture agreement. Generally, joint ventures are collaborative arrangements where parties involved agree to share costs, management, and profits.
A well-drafted joint venture contract can result in successful entrepreneurial businesses like Starbucks India and McDonald’s (although McDonald’s had its share of problems last year), but a loosely drafted JV can result in collapses like the one Walmart and Bharti Ltd entered into. Thus, in a case like this, a corporate lawyer who has drafting techniques on the tip of his fingers becomes quite valuable to a firm.
A Terms and Conditions Agreement
A Terms and Conditions Agreement is not alien to anyone. In fact, it is so common that it is encountered every time one opens a new app or buys a commodity from the market. Keeping that in mind, and the sheer nature of its demand, undoubtedly, competent lawyers are required to draft it, each time a new product enters the market.
Supply and Purchase Agreement
More common than a terms and conditions agreement, are the agreements related to supply and purchase in the corporate world. They are the sustenance of the business transaction and are drafted in order to make sure that the buyer and seller follow through with their promises. In the event of a breach, either party can sue the party who did not comply with the terms of the contract.
The difference between this agreement and the one related to terms and conditions is that the latter may be supplemented with the former but not vice versa.
Franchise Agreement, as the name suggests, is an agreement that helps in franchising. It is not uncommon to see multiple outlets of the same brand throughout a city. These outlets are known as franchises. They help in expanding the product to different sections of society and assists in marketing. In this sense, it becomes the norm to follow. Any lawyer that assists in drafting such agreements gets paid very handsomely.
A shareholders’ agreement forms the basis of the working of any private organization. It attracts investors who then pool in the capital in order to expand the resources of the company. These agreements are long and tiresome to draft, and any lawyer who knows how to draft one is considered as an asset and definitely receives brownie points!
Rent and Lease Agreement
Rent and Lease Agreements related to housing and property matters are essential knowledge for any practicing lawyer – especially corporate lawyers. Real estate forms a vital part of any corporate law firm. While rental agreements are usually short term, lease agreements are longer. For both, it is imperative that the lawyer knows how to draft them. As rental agreements may require renewal from time to time, a lawyer needs to be up to date with the parties to the agreement. If s/he has not drafted it on his/her own, then renewing it will prove to be a mammoth task.
Term Loan Agreement
Term loans are a cheap and easy source of income for any organization. Drafting the same hardly takes any time, and also protects the lender from being taken undue advantage of. They mention the time before which the borrower has to return the money with interest.
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These are the 8 major contracts which any corporate lawyer is expected to know how to draft. Knowing these will reduce the time by half and increase productivity and efficiency by double. Ample knowledge of such contracts is important for a lawyer, as they are basic in nature and are used on a day-to-day basis. The ability that a lawyer demonstrates with such knowledge proves impressive to a client and to the law firm in general.