How Ontra develops contract playbooks with investment firms

April 19, 2023

Ontra’s contract playbooks enable investment firms to optimize, outsource, and accelerate routine contract negotiations. We provide every prospective Contract Automation customer with a playbook based on market terms they can accept or customize, ensuring every firm is well-informed on market provisions while having the ability to prioritize its needs and preferences.

Whether we work with a private equity firm or investment bank, developing a contract playbook is a foundational element of our Contract Automation solution, which is appropriate for many routine agreements, including:

  • Buy-side NDAs
  • Sell-side NDAs
  • Joinders
  • Reliance letters
  • Non-reliance letters
  • Vendor contracts
  • Engagement letters

Through this playbook, every customer’s lawyer from Ontra’s Legal Network can efficiently negotiate NDAs and other routine contracts and, in many cases, dramatically reduce contract cycle times.

What is a contract playbook?

A contract playbook outlines a firm’s preferred contract language and fallback positions for a specific contract type. The firm’s in-house lawyers, business professionals, external counsel, or freelance lawyers rely on the playbook when negotiating that type of agreement.

Why contract playbooks matter

Contract playbooks streamline and speed up negotiations so lawyers can turn around revisions based on the firm’s preferred positions. In Ontra’s case, our legal network members turn each round of comments back in 24 hours or on an expedited basis. The parties can quickly finalize positions based on their preferred and fallback preferences, reducing the risk of contentious and lengthy negotiations.

Playbooks give firms the chance to standardize language across their agreements. More consistent language can lighten the internal burden of contract compliance throughout the life of the agreement by also standardizing compliance-related tasks.

Faster negotiations have the added benefit of freeing internal employees’ time to focus on strategic work. In-house lawyers and business professionals spend less time on routine agreements overall, and less time task switching between negotiations and their mission-critical work to the detriment of productivity.

Top 10 Terms in Private Equity NDAs

What is Ontra’s market playbook?

Ontra begins new Contract Automation relationships with a market standard playbook. We have particular expertise in buy- and sell-side agreements and have developed the Ontra market playbook based on contract data, market observations, and employee experience in the private markets.

Additionally, many of our Contract Automation team members previously practiced in the financial services industry or in BigLaw and have insight into what matters most to investment firms navigating these agreements.

Why Ontra’s market standard playbook matters

Private markets firms are becoming more sophisticated as the industry matures and are pushing toward market-standard provisions for routine agreements, like NDAs. There are several reasons for this, including speed and consistency.

Ontra provides prospective customers with insight into what is on and off market for routine contracts. Market standard provisions have the potential to drastically cut down on negotiations and reduce the number of turns routine contracts go through. With NDAs, in particular, that means firms are able to dive into due diligence and make data-driven investment decisions sooner — an essential benefit in a highly competitive environment.

Additionally, many firms are growing and realizing they benefit from similar contract language across their funds. By developing consistent contract provisions based on the market playbook, firms can standardize internal tasks and reduce the burden of obligation management and contract compliance.

What is Ontra’s playbook call?

Ontra’s playbook call takes place between a prospective customer and an Ontra pricing manager. It’s the transition from Ontra’s standard playbook to a customized playbook and an integral step in implementing Ontra’s Contract Automation solution.

Our team member guides the firm through our playbook provision by provision, listening closely to its preferences and adjusting for the firm’s preferred and fallback positions.

While this call doesn’t end with a final playbook, it creates a foundation for new customers and their account managers to finalize important details while matching the customer with appropriate on- or offshore legal network members.

Why the playbook call matters

To take full advantage of the efficiency built into Contract Automation, customers need a thorough playbook that adheres to their firm’s preferences yet takes market standards into account.

Prospects benefit from seeing what is market and hearing how other firms handle NDA or other routine contract provisions. Given Ontra’s proprietary contract data and our team members’ industry expertise, we offer unique insights that other legal outsourcing providers can’t. In some cases, firms adjust their positions closer to market standards to enable faster and more cost-effective negotiations.

See how Contract Automation by Ontra could work for you

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