Collaborative Contracting: we’re in it together

Much of the contracting profession is about mitigating risk – and that’s what can make it a drawn-out process. But what if there is little or no risk involved in your project? Do we really need to get into a 30-page contract and endless minutiae?

There’s no hard and fast rule, but there are environments and circumstances where a short-form contract, or even a letter of agreement is sufficient. An experienced contracting professional will take the time to extract all relevant information from you, and advise you on the appropriate steps.

This will involve a discussion on the project, so the contracting professional gains the necessary understanding of what you are trying to achieve. They will also want to know what intellectual property you are bringing to the table and what rights you will want to exert over any intellectual property arising during the course of the project.

It is also vitally important for the contracting professional to understand your relationship with your contracting partners. Who contributes what to the project, and what are they looking to get out of it? Where is this documented? Is there any external funding involved, and if so, on what terms?

Once your contracting professional has a complete picture of the key information, they will be able to assess the situation and advise you on whether the agreement proposed is appropriate or, if you are being asked to prepare and agreement, what type of agreement would be suitable. Depending on the circumstances of your project, you and your partners may agree that a short form contract or letter of agreement is an acceptable alternative to a long form agreement.

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