Contract Review Services: How to make them work best for you
When an associate dentist and a dental practice start working together, they often agree on a written contract. Of course, it is possible to have a verbal agreement, but we advise that it is best to have a written contract in place. That way, everyone knows what is expected of them and their rights under the agreement.
Dental contract reviewing services
A range of contract reviewing services is available, including the BDA’s contract reviewing service for associates. It is essential to appreciate that this contract review is deemed as legal advice and, as such, benefits from legal privilege.
What is Legal Privilege?
Legal privilege protects confidential communications between a client and their professional legal advisor from being reviewed by another party. There are two categories of legal privilege, litigation privilege and legal advice privilege. Contract reviewing services attract legal advice privilege. This means that if you use a contract reviewing service, your communications with your legal advisor are protected when they are for the sole or dominant purpose of you obtaining legal advice on your rights or liabilities.
When your communications are protected by legal privilege, it means that you will not have to subsequently disclose those communications. This means you can have frank discussions with your legal advisor, and they can provide you with honest advice without the fear of the other side seeing that advice.
How do you lose privilege?
We have noticed an increase in associate dentists disclosing the contents of their contract review advice to the practices with whom they are negotiating their contracts with.
By sending the advice you received directly to the practice, you may waive the privilege attached to the communications between you and the advisor who reviewed the contract.
If you have waived privilege, those communications can now be disclosed to and inspected by other parties, as well as any other advice you may have received regarding the dental contract review.
Privilege is important in commercial negotiations as it ensures you have some privacy over the communications between you and your legal advisor, which means you can get the best and most accurate advice. However, if you were to waive privilege, the advice you would have received during your contract review could be disclosed to other parties. This could have the effect of weakening your negotiating position.
It is important to understand how to use the advice received so that privilege is not waived and your negotiating position is unaffected.
When you receive a contract, you should:
- Seek legal advice on the terms – you could unwittingly be agreeing to something you did not intend;
- Agree on a written contract – verbal contracts are much harder to enforce in a court if a dispute arises;
- Be careful with the information you disclose to the other side. If you are unsure, ask your legal advisor;
- If you do not feel comfortable negotiating the terms, you can instruct your lawyer to assist with this.
If you would like help with a contract review, please call the team on 0207 388 1658 or email at email@example.com.
Katherine Hughes, Paralegal
Please note that the information contained in this article was correct at the time of writing. There may have been updates to the law since the article was written which may affect the information and advice given therein.