Commercial transactional work can hardly be deemed glamorous. Indeed, not many lawyers actually recognize the challenges involved in the accurate, intensive, scrutiny of preexisting and newly-drafted agreements. Derek Brett understands these challenges, enjoying the competitive nature and complexity of such work. His litigation background complements the ability to carefully negotiate and review documents, and identify aspects that could prove later problematic, setting up the potential for litigation. Indeed, complex litigation skills should be prized in a negotiation room, as well as later on during the formation and review of written agreements.
One thing that Brett has noted over the past decade is (1) the failure of transactional lawyers to understand documents in a comprehensive fashion — both within a single documents, as well as the relationship of that one document with other related documents. After all, a contract is a jigsaw puzzle: without the perspective of seeing the impact of certain provisions or language on other provisions and documents and relationships, then the transactional lawyer could very well be setting up the client for later courtroom action. Derek Brett possesses the necessary critical thinking skills, and attention for detail required to maximize avoidance of such pitfalls.
In modern society, written contracts should be deemed mandatory by any serious business owner. The days of the contract off a handshake are long gone — if a potential business partner, contractor, etc., takes offence to putting the terms of an agreement in writing, then I would suggest becoming more suspect of having any such relationship. The contract is designed to safeguard the interests of both parties and, hopefully, with each side is negotiating from a roughly equal position.
Derek Brett possesses deep experience and expertise in reviewing, commenting upon, negotiating and drafting transactional agreements. These skills transcend the type of document, whether a shareholder agreement; research development agreement; procurement contract; development agreement; royalty agreement; joint venture contract, an e-commerce document (e.g., a website terms of service); affiliate or franchise agreement; commercial leases, etc. Brett compares this work to being no different that the careful process of crafting an effective, detailed, complex motion in a litigation matter. The principles remain the same.
Quote from Derek Brett: “I am not the type of lawyer to automatically blurt out that everyone needs to retain a lawyer for anything. However, in a commercial/business context, I believe it critical to retain effective counsel — to work alongside the client; to expose issues; to mitigate potential harm; and to strengthen contractual protections.”