How a law department handles contract drafting and reviewing has undeniable importance. Importance, but not all-determinative because you need to look at what happens regarding contracts before they reach the law department as well as after the law department finishes its stint.
At the starting point, some clients use master agreements and addenda. Others use purchase orders. Still others negotiate most of the terms themselves or make due with simple agreements. Every policy and practice from the client’s end reverberates through the law department.
At the other end, after the law department has sprinkled fairy dust on a contract, wide variation exists in how contracts are executed, stored, tracked, and retrieved (See my posts in 2006 of May 5 with its several links; June 7 on Billiton and its policy; June 19 on GE and DuPont; and June 16 on Cisco.). To look at the final steps of a contract’s lifecycle is to do an end-to-end efficiency study.