Contract Review

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What Is Contract Review?

Contract review is a process of reading and understanding a written agreement, often on a line-by-line basis. When a lawyer reviews a contract, they deeply analyze whether a contract is fair. They also look for loopholes to make sure you are protected once you sign the contract. A lawyer reviewing a contract may complete a few different key tasks, including:

  • Examining the contract
  • Explaining the contract to you
  • Suggesting changes that would be in your best interest

Do You Need to Get a Contract Reviewed?

Contract review is an important component of any agreement made using a contract. This includes both business and personal contracts. All in all, if you're making a decision using a contract, you want to make sure you do not have a legal issue later on by having a lawyer review that contract before you sign it. Reasons to obtain a legal review of any contract include:

  • Guaranteeing legality: You want to know your contract will stand up in court if necessary. A contract review will make sure all the terms used in the contract are indeed lawful and legal.
  • Preventing misunderstandings: Having a lawyer review your contract will help ensure that all terms in the contract are clear. That in turn prevents parties to the agreement from misunderstanding what they sign.
  • Minimizing legal problems: By ensuring all terms in a contract are both legally binding and understood by the parties signing the agreement, a contract review makes it less likely that future legal issues will arise.

What Is the Contract Review Process Like?

A contract review lawyer works with contracts, doing everything from creating and revising the document to helping you negotiate a contract's terms with the other parties. Contract review follows four general steps:

  1. Drafting the contract: A specific contract is created either by using a template or by having a lawyer write it.
  2. Reviewing the contract: A lawyer reviews the initial draft of the contract.
  3. Negotiating the contract: Once you have a contract draft you can work with, you can negotiate any changes you may want with the other parties (and vice versa).
  4. Signing the contract: After all parties to the agreement understand the terms of the contract and agree, everyone will sign the contract.

You can work with a lawyer to have a contract reviewed no matter which side of the process you are on. In other words, if you need to write a contract, a contract lawyer can be a big help. Likewise, if you are about to sign a big contract, you can first have that contract reviewed by a lawyer so you understand all terms and receive advice about any revisions you might need to request.

A contract review can highlight clauses or terms for you that are unclear or might cause problems in case of a dispute. The lawyer reviewing your contract can also show you clauses or terms that put you at a disadvantage or otherwise restrict your rights.

Once you understand your contract's legal consequences following an initial contract review, the contract lawyer can advise you on the best next step to take. Typical courses of action after a contract review include:

  • Signing the contract as it is written
  • Asking the other party to make minor modifications
  • Asking for major changes to the contract
  • Drafting an entirely new contract and then sending it to the other party
  • Renegotiating the entire deal

What Types of Contracts Should Be Reviewed?

It's a good idea to have any type of contract reviewed before you sign it. Some common kinds of legal documents that require review include:


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Employment Contracts

Employment contracts involving hiring someone to begin a new job or position. Key details of these contracts include:

  • Benefits
  • Compensation
  • Exclusivity
  • Intellectual property
  • Job description
  • Job security
  • Non-compete clauses
  • Non-solicitation clauses
  • Start and end date
  • Termination cause

Here is an article about employment contracts.

Freelancing Contracts

Freelancers may want to review larger contracts or contracts they plan to use frequently. Details reviewed will include:

  • Deadlines
  • Ownership of work
  • Payment amounts
  • Revisions
  • Scope of work
  • Termination

Real Estate Contracts

Many documents are involved with the selling, purchasing, or leasing of property. Examples include:

  • Bills of sale
  • Deeds
  • Legal descriptions of property
  • Mortgage loan documents
  • Plot of land surveys
  • Titles
  • Title insurance

Here is an article about real estate contracts.

Purchase Agreements

Purchase agreements are contracts that transfer property such as vehicles, real estate, or other tangible assets from one party to another. Purchase agreements may involve many of the documents listed under real estate contracts as well.

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What Lawyers Look for During a Contract Review

A lawyer will look for many key details when reviewing a contract. This includes:

  • Deadlines: If a task or tangible asset is due at a certain point, the contract should make this clear.
  • Dispute resolution: A contract should clearly explain how parties can resolve disagreements that might arise over the course of the agreement.
  • Blank spaces: A contract review will ensure you have not left any blanks unfilled in the contract. Though that may seem obvious, checking that all blanks have been filled in is very important. If you leave a space blank, someone could go back in and fill in something you would not otherwise agree to.
  • Indemnification: Most contracts should have mutual language when it comes to indemnification. If a contract review reviews that only one party to the agreement is indemnifying, a lawyer will usually recommend you have that clause removed unless indemnification can be made mutual. Mutual language is important to include even in cases when one party could not be the cause of liability.
  • Renewals: If a contract could be renewed automatically, the contract should specify whether or not you agree to automatic renewals.
  • Representation: A contract should not give or accept any information that you do not know to be true.
  • Responsibilities and rights: A contract should clearly explain what each party is entitled to as well as the obligations each party must fulfill.
  • Risk allocation: A contract should detail how risk is allocated. Otherwise, you could run into a financial problem or another type of problem without clear guidance about who is at fault and how to fix the issue.
  • Parties involved: A contract should use complete names to avoid confusion and list everyone involved in the agreement.
  • Termination: A contract should specify possible causes for termination, detailing when, how, and under what specific terms a contract may end. A contract review will make sure the document contains appropriate language that defines the terms and process for breaking that contract.
  • Terms: A contract is only a starting point, opening the possibility for further negotiation. You can negotiate terms you are not satisfied with. A lawyer reviewing the contract can point out terms that are not in your best interest. A lawyer will also check that all business terms used in the contract are accurate and legal.
  • Warranties: Likewise, warranty terms should be clear in the final contract.

Whether you need to draft a contract or have received a contract to sign, you want to make sure you completely understand the terms and that the contract protects you legally. This is true of both business and personal contracts. Working with an experienced contract lawyer to review your contract will help you create a contract that does its job.

Meet some of our Contract Review Lawyers

Rosario A. on ContractsCounsel
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5.0 (1)
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August 24, 2020

Rosario A.

Trademark Attorney
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Seattle, WA
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in WA
University of Washington

I'm a Washington-licensed lawyer specializing in trademark practice and with an extensive trademark education and academic background. I currently work with domestic and international businesses seeking trademark protection in the U.S. by conducting trademark searches, providing legal advice, submitting USPTO applications, and preparing responses to office actions. I'm passionate about trademark law and always looking forward to helping small and medium businesses promote their value by having a registered federal trademark. If you have questions or concerns about trademark/copyright/IP licensing and require legal advice, feel free to contact me so we can have a first chat.

Ashley H. on ContractsCounsel
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5.0 (24)
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August 24, 2020

Ashley H.

Attorney at Law
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Los Angeles, CA
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
St. Louis University School of Law

I have 10 years experience providing general counsel, in the form practical and timely legal advice, under strict deadlines to individuals and various business unit stakeholders, balancing commercial needs with legal concerns at large corporations and start-ups. I am skilled at reviewing, analyzing, drafting and negotiating commercial and government contracts globally for the procurement and sale of services and goods. I also help clients ensure compliance with regulations (including data privacy), laws and contractual obligations and protect, enforce and exploit intellectual property rights and support in the development of IP strategy. I am a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) licensed by the IAPP - International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Anatalia S. on ContractsCounsel
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4.8 (5)
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August 26, 2020
Blake L. on ContractsCounsel
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4.8 (2)
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September 22, 2020

Blake L.

Attorney
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Farmington Hills, MI
28 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MI
Wayne State University Law School

I am a sole practitioner who has been in practice for over 25 years. I have represented many small businesses during this time. Let me bring my expertise to your business.

Diane D. on ContractsCounsel
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4.7 (2)
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August 25, 2020

Diane D.

Contract Attorney
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Fort Lauderdale, FL
20 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
Nova Southeastern University

Over 15 year experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts both as in-house counsel and in law firms, including my own law firm.

Jeffrey P. on ContractsCounsel
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August 24, 2020

Jeffrey P.

Member
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Deerfield Beach, FL
14 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL, NY
Florida State University College of Law

Mr. Pomeranz serves as the principal of Pomeranz Law PLLC, a boutique law firm representing clients across myriad industries and verticals. Before founding the firm, Mr. Pomeranz served as Senior Vice President, Legal & Compliance and General Counsel of Mortgage Connect, LP in 2017. Mr. Pomeranz also served as Counsel, Transactions for Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (NASDAQ: ASPS) beginning in 2013, and was based in the company’s C-Suite in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Mr. Pomeranz began his career with Mainline Information Systems, Inc. as an in-house attorney.

Rinky P. on ContractsCounsel
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August 25, 2020

Rinky P.

Managing Attorney
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Tampa, FL
30 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, FL, TX
University of Minnesota

Rinky S. Parwani began her career practicing law in Beverly Hills, California handling high profile complex litigation and entertainment law matters. Later, her practice turned transactional to Lake Tahoe, California with a focus on business startups, trademarks, real estate resort development and government law. After leaving California, she also served as in-house counsel for a major lending corporation headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa as well as a Senior Vice President of Compliance for a fortune 500 mortgage operation in Dallas, Texas prior to opening Parwani Law, P.A. in Tampa, Florida. She has represented various sophisticated individual, government and corporate clients and counseled in a variety of litigation and corporate matters throughout her career. Ms. Parwani also has prior experience with state and federal consumer lending laws for unsecured credit cards, revolving credit, secured loans, retail credit, sales finance and mortgage loans. She also has served as a special magistrate and legal counsel for numerous Florida County Value Adjustment Boards. Her practice varies significantly from unique federal and state litigation cases to transactional matters. Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Ms. Parwani worked in private accounting for several years prior to law school. Her background includes a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate from Iowa (currently the license is inactive) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation (currently the designation is inactive). Ms. Parwani or the firm is currently a member of the following organizations: Hillsborough County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. Ms. Parwani is a frequent volunteer for Fox Channel 13 Tampa Bay Ask-A-Lawyer. She has published an article entitled "Advising Your Client in Foreclosure" in the Stetson Law Review, Volume 41, No. 3, Spring 2012 Foreclosure Symposium Edition. She is a frequent continuing legal education speaker and has also taught bankruptcy seminars for the American Bar Association and Amstar Litigation. She was commissioned by the Governor of Kentucky as a Kentucky Colonel. In addition, she teaches Immigration Law, Bankruptcy Law and Legal Research and Writing as an adjunct faculty instructor at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor campus in the paralegal studies program.

Nicole R. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
September 2, 2020

Nicole R.

Attorney / Owner
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Mount Dora, FL
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
University of Miami School of Law

Full-service boutique law firm providing personalized services in business law, trademarks, and real estate closings/title work.

Maury B. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
September 2, 2020

Maury B.

Senior Counsel
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Minneapolis, MN
32 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MN, WI
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Respected, driven, ethical, and high energy legal and business professional with strong focus on litigation, contracts and compliance issues. Critical management experience includes client development, developing core initiatives, and forecasting risk in major corporations. Strong legal research, analytical and problem solving skills with demonstrated adaptability in a multifaceted legal practice including delivering high value results in a Fortune 10 environment. Core competencies include: Tactical and strategic legal direction and support to clients which includes contract negotiation, drafting and review, business planning, and a passion for relationship management. Excellent legal research, writing, analytical and problem solving skills including legal training and compliance with regulatory requirements and corporate policies. Coordinates with in-house legal and business resources for team building with excellent verbal communication skills, coaching, and leadership.

Diana M. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
September 22, 2020

Diana M.

Patent Attorney
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Boca Raton, FL
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
Florida Coastal School of Law

Diana is a registered patent attorney and licensed to practice law in Florida and in federal courts in Florida and in Texas. For nearly a decade, Diana has been known as the go-to brand builder, business protector, and rights negotiator. Diana works with individual inventors, startups, and small to medium-sized closely held business entities to build, protect, and leverage a robust intellectual property portfolio comprising patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade dress, and trade secrets.

Brandon L. on ContractsCounsel
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October 1, 2020

Brandon L.

Managing Partner, Attorney
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Dallas-Fort Worth
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
Juris Doctor – Pepperdine University School of Law – Malibu, California

Brandon is a Texas Super Lawyer®, meaning he is among the top 2.5% of attorneys in his state. He has designed his practice to provide a unique ecosystem of legal support services to business and entrepreneurs, derived from his background as a federal district law clerk, published biochemist, and industry lecturer. Brandon is fluent in Spanish, an Eagle Scout, and actively involved with the youth in his community. He loves advocating for his clients and thinks he may never choose to retire.

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