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Contracts and bills of sale have evolved considerably since the days when terms between two parties were laboriously etched in ancient stone and pressed into clay tablets, or written by dedicated scribes on brittle papyrus scrolls. Nevertheless, the medium and method of contract negotiation has remained uncomfortably static for decades. The advent of office applications such as WordPerfect and Microsoft Word brought the legal industry into the digital age, but the usual contract negotiation process…
In the annals of contract drafting blunders, one that stands out prominently is the dispute over whether BP Plc was covered by certain insurance policies for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. The story illuminates what can go wrong with unstructured contract processes. After oil had spewed uncontrollably into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days in the worst offshore spill in U.S. history, seriously damaging coastal businesses, wildlife and the environment, BP naturally…
Over the past two decades, cloud technologies have completely transformed how we work. Expensive client-server applications such as CRM, ERP, Project Management, Collaboration, and many others gave way to nimble web-based apps with per-user pricing models and low or no up-front costs. So why is it that in the age of social and mobile web applications, we still negotiate contracts like it’s 1996? We still draft contracts in MS Word, email them to relevant stakeholders,…
Over the past two decades, cloud technologies have completely transformed how we work. Expensive client-server applications such as CRM, ERP, Project Management, Collaboration, and many others gave way to nimble web-based apps with per-user pricing models and low or no up-front costs. So why is it that in the age of social and mobile web applications, we still negotiate contracts like it’s 1996? We still draft contracts in MS Word, email them to relevant stakeholders,…
CEOs see their in-house counsel as advisors who should support business objectives. Yet legal departments are under increasing pressure to justify their value, increase efficiency and control costs. Those were some of the findings of the Chief Legal Officer survey, released the consulting firm Altman Weil. The survey, based on responses from 336 law departments nationwide, showed that legal budgets are increasing. But legal departments are still stretched thin as lawyers contend with an…
Intellectually, we all know that email security is a problem. After all, earlier this year, it was reported that information from 550 million Yahoo accounts was stolen in 2014. Yet the vast majority of companies continue to trust email and use it as a primary tool in contract negotiation. What gets emailed? Strategies, business plans, financial information and comments to specific contractual clauses. When there’s an email security breach, this confidential data can become public…