In the disruptive model of the economy — where technology changes formats of doing business or else — the legal industry is at risk of falling behind. More than ever, it is critical to make contract language fit and anticipate the new approaches in cutting age construction agreements. Take for example the fact some hospitals insist that all drawings of record are now electronic, or the design concept recently gaining traction of “Model of Record.” No, that is not a runway model, but a 3D model of a project, including its electronic data, that serves as the core design document and building recipe.
These new models of doing business require new “boilerplate”, new “special conditions”, and a hearty talk with the Board and risk managers. Still, the old, basic contract risk terms will remain. Now, I find myself going to Google first for contract language to fit, before the law books (which of course are on my computer). Why? It’s amazing the contracts published on the web that reveal deep thinking and raw negotiations on big projects — Wynn’s $1 Billion Las Vegas building, or the Princeton University Law Library Project — hundreds of pages of detailed terms on defining cost, time, and quality in very project and bargain specific ways.