Minimizing Legal Costs via Good Alignment

In the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, he spoke about the importance of aligning people with the mission of an organization.  He used the illustration of the company as being like a bus.  It is vital getting the right people on the bus and each one in the optimal seat (function) to match their talents with the needs of the company.

I just had the opportunity to observe this alignment process in my own business of law.

Two different parties asked me to draft a Project Development Agreement for them. They wanted to spare the expense of having two lawyers drafting, reviewing and editing the contract.

They were the two parties who were going actually to sign the agreement.  There were also three other people who, although not parties, essentially had veto power if they found problems with the agreement. Each one was going to perform some work in connection with the project.

I quickly discovered that one of those third parties was very good at communicating with all the other players.  I got her to agree to coordinate each one’s feedback on the draft of the agreement.  She was able to get everyone to concur on the edits that would be needed in order to flesh out the agreement. She then gave me the instructions to which everyone had agreed.

I was able to spare everyone the cost of my making multiple rounds of conflicting redlines.  It also spared me from having to act as a referee.  I was able to concentrate my time and expertise on the actual contract drafting. The total legal bill could easily have been doubled but for the work of the coordinator.

The moral of the story is that good business practices work in a wide range of business situations.  Look for opportunities to use a coordinator who can reduce friction and eliminate extra effort.

Michael Oswald

Please note: the above post contains educational information. It is not intended as legal advice. Engage an attorney who is licensed in your state to get advice on dealing with any specific legal issue.

© 2018 Michael S. Oswald



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