Streamlining commercial contracts

For many types of business, maintaining a strong sales performance is absolutely critical. (Subscription services, for example, and software providers, consultants, and many others.) These businesses must continuously turn leads into customers by negotiating and agreeing contracts with them. So how quickly and smoothly that process works has a real impact on the bottom line.

Unfortunately, lawyers can often pull things in the wrong direction. By being totally focused on minimising risk and avoiding unanticipated problems, they slow things up and sometimes even stop a deal from happening at all.

At LCN Legal we take a more commercially-minded approach, which includes more than just legal advice. We apply our skills and experience to help businesses to improve their commercial ‘sales to contract’ processes, and to remove unnecessary legal blockages. Exactly how we do this varies from client to client, of course, but we start by looking at six fundamental areas.


1 – The existing sales cycle

How does the lead generation process begin? What are the legal or negotiating blockages? Do the same problems happen over and over again?

2 – The big opportunities to speed up the sales cycle and increase the conversion rate

For example, dramatic improvements can be achieved simply by ensuring that the client uses its own documents as a starting point, rather than working with legal agreements produced by its customers’ lawyers. Similarly, cutting out just one round of drafts can help to close a sale significantly faster. We’ll also work out how much it would be worth to the business financially to make these changes.

3 – The legal issues that are most important

What are the risks that the business must pass on to its customers? Which risks is it happy to accept? And then delving more deeply: what does the business’s claims history look like? What does it cover with insurance, and could this be changed? What are its competitors doing in relation to these issues? How can we take an approach to legal risk that creates a competitive advantage to the business?


4 – The current suite of template documents

The form and style of legal documents matters. Are the existing ones simple and in plain English or lengthy and commercially out of date? If not, we’ll create a suite of first stage documents that will work. Then we’ll look at the second stage documents (supply contracts, for example). They must be tough on the issues where that’s essential, but as fair and reasonable as possible on the rest. They also need to accurately reflect the transaction they are supporting.


5 – The sales team’s commercial and legal awareness

Do the sales people understand the way that the legal documents work, and how sales decisions can impact the cost of delivery and the risk of future loss? Do they push the business’s own documents out as a starting point rather than inviting the customer to propose its own terms? Can they tell when legal input is required? If not, more training is required.


6 – Systems for regular feedback, review and training

An organisation can’t improve unless it knows what’s happening now. It’s important to involve all relevant parts of the business, including the sales team and the delivery team, because decisions made in the sales process can have a significant impact on the cost of delivery or the associated risks. The results of these reviews can suggest all sorts of improvements, such as producing and refining FAQ documents for internal or external use, creating deal summaries and flow charts showing when and how issues should be escalated, and developing sales training programmes.

We’ve done this for dozens of clients, including international groups and household names. And if your company or business unit has sales of around USD50 million or more, we could do it for you.

Why work with us?


We are the world-leading experts and educators in intercompany agreements and related corporate structures.

Global and

We liaise with all the stakeholders involved, not just in tax, to ensure that the intercompany agreements and legal structures we maintain support all of the group’s objective.

Ongoing support
to maintain

We provide an outsourced management service for multinational groups, to ensure that their intercompany agreements are maintained in a tax-audit ready central archive.

LCN take a pragmatic approach to intercompany agreements: documents are written to include the necessary terms but are not overly complex or lengthy for no good reason. The team turn things round quickly and are priced competitively.

Alex Williams, Chief Financial Officer
Axis Spine Technologies Ltd

I worked with Paul Sutton for many years whilst he was at McGrigors / Pinsent Masons, in my role as Group Tax Manager of Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems (Europe) Ltd (SEWS-E Ltd), and also for a period as SEWS-E Ltd Company Secretary. In this time I had extremely valuable assistance and advice from Paul, not only as regards general corporate law matters, but also particularly across a wide spectrum of legal aspects of SEWS-E Ltd group transfer pricing policies, implementation, inter-group agreements and legal compliance.

Martin L Kinsey, Group Tax Manager
Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems (Europe) Limited

I have worked with Paul and his team in structuring significant Corporate Debt and have found his approach to be commercial, pragmatic and measured. I would have no hesitation working with Paul again, as we value his commercial and responsive approach.

Joanne Luce, Director
Acqua Trust Company Limited, Jersey

All-Fill Inc, a US based manufacturer of packaging machinery, has had the distinct pleasure of working with Ivan Hanna and the LCN Legal team in relation to our overseas acquisition projects. Ivan has displayed patience and intricate knowledge of English law as it applies to us as a foreign company. Ivan’s counsel has been calculated and sound, together we tailored an approach that is telling of our company’s aggressive nature. I was most impressed at Ivan’s willingness to dig deep into the details and investigate any way to give our side a competitive advantage while negotiating. Ivan has been our guiding light since our initial engagement.

Ryan Edginton, President & CEO
All-Fill Inc

I have been working with Ivan Hanna over the past year on various corporate matters including a group share restructuring project and intercompany agreements for our transfer pricing compliance. Compared to other corporate law firms I have worked with, Ivan took the time to understand our business, our stakeholders and my needs. He was incredibly responsive and went above and beyond to manage our various stakeholders and turn around a big piece of work in a short amount of time. I have no hesitation in recommending Ivan or LCN Legal – they are what all solicitors should be!

Becky Karver, CFO
Deallus Consulting

It is my privilege to recommend Ivan. He is able to process requirements quickly and formulate an effective strategy that protects one’s commercial interests. He is very personable and exceeds expectations. A great lawyer!

Roop Singh Sood, Executive Producer
AKA Filmworks

Free Guide: Effective Intercompany Agreements for TP Compliance