Business Contracts

Experienced Chicago Contract Attorneys Helping Illinois business owners craft comprehensive business deals

Contracts and agreements are the foundation of business. But when transactions are complex, it is all too easy for situations to arise that neither party anticipated during contract negotiations. A thorough contract drafted by an experienced Chicago vendor contract lawyer establishes guidelines for resolving these types of disputes, allowing both parties to avoid unnecessary delays and expenses and to continue doing business. With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, the Chicago contract attorneys of the Clinton Law Firm understand the realities of the business world. We help our clients draft practical and thorough contracts to address all their business needs.

Why Well-drafted Contracts are Good for Business

Having a well-drafted contract from the start makes it much less likely a business will need a Chicago breach of contract attorney later. Thorough and clear contracts help business transactions go smoothly and ensure both parties understand their rights and obligations. An experienced Chicago sales contract attorney strives to understand the goals and expectations of each side as well as their former business dealings and the norms and customs of their trade when drafting a variety of agreements:

  • Sales contracts
  • Commercial leases
  • Distribution agreements
  • Licensing agreements
  • Franchise agreements
  • Supply agreements
  • Construction contracts
  • Real estate contracts

Entrusting agreements to a professional and conscientious Chicago business contract lawyer helps businesses clearly establish their expectations, avoid costly delays and misunderstandings, and preserve beneficial business relationships.

When you are confronted with a contract, it may be wise to consult us to discuss the terms of the contract. You should consider the following questions:

  1. What are my expectations?
  2. What happens if the other party cannot deliver or perform?
  3. What if I need to cancel the contract or terminate the lease?
  4. Is it a good idea to have an option to extend the contract?
  5. What are the obligations of the other party if he or she terminates the contract?
  6. What are my obligations if I terminate the contract?
  7. Am I liable if the other party takes my goods or my advice and makes a mistake?
  8. Should I request indemnification from the other party?
  9. If there is a dispute, how will it be resolved?
  10. Should we include an arbitration clause requiring any dispute to go to arbitration?
  11. Should we have a provision allowing the parties to mediate any dispute informally?

Remember always that contract law does not generally penalize a breach of contract. Every party to a contract has the right to perform or breach and pay damages. You can draft clauses that deal with this risk, but do not overreach or the clause may be disallowed by a court.

For further information on contract law and contract claims, please see our Breach of Contract webpage.

Also please review these articles in our blog:

Thorough and Clear Employment Contracts

For key employees, it is crucial to utilize a Chicago business contract attorney to develop contracts that clearly and completely establish rights and duties. In addition to covering important issues such as job duties, compensation and benefits; contracts must also address concerns, which include termination, disclosure of trade secrets and competition after severance. An experienced Chicago employment lawyer from the Clinton Law Firm can ensure the relationship between employer and employee is clearly established upfront through a comprehensive employment contract.

If an employee is highly valuable to your business, you should strongly consider an employment contract with a non-solicitation clause and a non-competition clause. These two clauses are designed to protect the business and its relationships with employees and customers after an employee quits or departs to join a competitor.

A non-solicitation clause prohibits the employee from soliciting any of your other employees to quit and join a competitor. A non-competition clause prohibits the employee from competing with your business for a set period of time after he or she leaves and joins a competitor. The non-competition clause may also set a limitation on where the employee can engage in business. Some such clauses will prohibit the employee from engaging in a competing business within 5 or 10 miles of your main location for a period of 12 or 24 months. These clauses, which limit the ability of an employee to pursue his career choice are disfavored in Illinois and must be reasonable.

For more information on litigation involving employment contracts, non-competition cluases and non-solicitation clauses, please visit our Employment Contract and Non-Competition Litigation page.

Employees Should Consider Retaining a Lawyer to Review an Employment Contract

We have also represented employees, such as Doctors and other professionals, in reviewing and negotiating the terms of employment contracts. The important thing to remember is to consult a lawyer either (a) before signing the contract or (b) before you consider accepting a job with a potential competitor. We can often help if you consult us in time. It may be possible to negotiate with the current employer to modify the contract’s terms. It may also be possible to ask the prospective employer to make certain concessions to you.

Remember if you sign a contract that is unfair to you, it can damage your abilty to earn income and negotiate with your employer.

More than 50 Years of Combined Experience Serving Chicago Businesses

The Clinton Law Firm has built a strong reputation serving the Chicago small business community for two decades. Business owners trust and rely on our business contract attorneys in Chicago to protect their rights and interests through thorough drafting, review and negotiation of contracts. Ed Clinton, Sr. began practicing law in 1953. Ed Clinton, Jr. has been practicing in private practice since 1992. They both understand that it is always best to avoid litigation and that the best way to avoid litigation is to carefully consider and negotiate the written contract before the parties’ relationship starts or before the employee accepts a new position with your firm. You should recognize that reducing a relationship to writing can prevent some trouble from occurring and can help you evaluate the risks of a particular business relationship before you are in too deep.

To schedule a consultation and discuss your case with a knowledgeable Chicago business law attorney, call us at 312.357.1515 or contact us online today.

Contact The Clinton Law Firm free case review
Contact form