A commercial lawyer must possess knowledge about all the regulatory laws and procedures besides providing guidance on matters ranging from business risks to compliance regulations.
Contracts and agreements are an indispensable part of working for any commercial organization with one or the other required for formalizing a transaction or a deal. Most corporate law firms in India are on the lookout for professionals who can help in to frame watertight agreements for their clients. A list of the most important contracts that all corporate lawyers in India must know about is being presented for their benefit.
1. Joint Venture Agreement
Joint ventures are increasingly becoming the strategy of choice for most corporates looking to strengthen their position in an existing market or trying to enter a new one. A corporate lawyer must be well equipped to devise a series of contracts which together constitute the joint venture agreement.
Besides mentioning the specific purpose and the time frame for which the agreement will be in place, it is important to secure the client’s interests by including clauses related to the division of costs and expenses incurred and protection of intellectual property assets. While it is elementary that a division of profits and losses will also be specified, the lawyer must also plan and include a viable exit strategy for the client in the agreement.
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2. Shareholders Agreement
Every legal professional associated with any corporate law firm in India must know how to draft a shareholders agreement which is between a company and its shareholders and describes all the rights and obligations of any such person.
The main content of an agreement of this kind is the proportion of shares allotted to each investor, the specified process of decision- making, rules for transfer for shares and the exit strategy for any investor.
These documents are important as they hold the key for resolution in the eventuality of any dispute between the company and shareholder which makes corporates rely on the lawyers engaged by them to devise watertight agreements which will be helpful in all possible situations.
3. Employment Contracts
Another vital document that business organizations require on a regular basis is employee agreements or contracts for full- time, part- time or short- term contractual hiring. Any corporate lawyer must possess the requisite know-how of drafting a suitable contract that is used by companies to engage people to work with it.
A commercial firm runs not only with a staff of full-time workers but also uses the services of consultants, independent contractors as well as people hired for a specified period of time.
The document required to formalize their engagement with the enterprise needs to mention all these details apart from the monetary cost to the company in addition to listing their duties and liabilities. These contracts/ agreements also need to be carefully worded to minimize any chances of employment litigation in the future.
4. Supply And Purchase Agreement
An agreement between a supplier and a purchaser listing all the terms and conditions governing the supply or a purchase of an item is also a very important document which needs careful drafting.
Any commercial transaction comes with possibilities of disputes and therefore supply and purchase agreements are signed between both parties which try to list all possible disputes and the methods for their resolution. These agreements may be needed for long-term supply commitments and include the payment structure as well as the pricing mechanism agreed upon by both parties.
The nature of every such transaction is different and one size fits all approach would not be correct which necessitates the presence of a legal professional for drafting such documents.
5. Franchise Agreement
Franchising is a business model which has become increasingly popular and with many large enterprises using this method to expand their operations, it becomes necessary for all corporate lawyers in India to possess complete information about the contents of the agreement between the franchisor and the franchise for opening and running a franchise unit.
The terms of fee, deposit, royalties etc. and the method of their payment apart from the details of business operations necessary for the functioning of the unit are present in the document. A lawyer must negotiate on behalf of a franchise for removal or inclusion of any clause that removes ambiguity on an issue provides ample legal protection to the client.
Similarly, while drafting the agreement for a franchisor, the legal professional must include all necessary clauses that affirm the client’s ownership of the business model and minimizes the scope for dispute.
6. Terms & Conditions For A Product/ Service
Most of us are aware of these clauses present on the packing of every physical product or visible when installing a virtual product like software. A person is expected to agree on the terms and conditions specified for the use of a product or service before starting to do so.
7. Lease And Rental Agreements
The last entry on this list may sound like a job for any independent legal professional but corporate lawyers must be well versed in property laws and other associated regulations as they have to deal with company leases regularly.
A commercial organization will require the services of a professional when looking to rent or lease a property for use as an office, warehouse or as a residence for its personnel. Lawyers will be needed for drafting also in case of a company looking to rent/ lease out a property owned by it.
In order to prevent any unfortunate incident like squatting, misuse of property or eviction notice, it is essential to sign a faultless agreement beforehand.
Companies depend upon legal professionals for devising agreements that will help them in running their operations smoothly and in the event of any dispute will assist them in presenting a strong case. All corporate lawyers in India must possess the skill and knowledge to draft all the essential contracts that are listed here as they are vital for the trouble-free functioning of any enterprise.