Updated: Sep 24, 2019
By Ken Adams
This week I had the pleasure of visiting North Falmouth, Massachusetts. (Hence the photo.) I was there to do a “Drafting Clearer Contracts” seminar for the global contracts team of a multinational. But this post isn’t about the seminar. Instead, it’s about the fact that I couldn’t help occasionally thinking about the arrangement between the hotel and my host. “Ah, that
hotel representative referred to a rooming list!” “Hmm, I wonder whether they included a construction-or-renovation provision.” That’s because I’ve unexpectedly become intimately familiar with hotel agreements.
I’ve mentioned previously (starting here) that I’m an advisor to LegalSifter, the artificial-intelligence company that helps you review the other side’s draft. My tasks include helping to figure out what concepts we should look for in contracts and how those concepts are articulated. That allows the data scientists and natural-language-processing people to train the software.
A few weeks ago we decided to look at hotel agreements, so since then I’ve examined dozens of “group sales agreements” between hotels and groups looking to put on events. I sought advice from people who negotiate such agreements. I’ve decided what issues are worth creating “sifters” for. And I’ve created specifications for those sifters. This is the first time I’ve tackled a kind of contract in its entirety, instead of contributing to work already in progress.
The result is that anyone who “sifts” a hotel agreement will be told which of around fifty concepts—we haven’t yet decided how many—are addressed in the contract in some manner and which are not, and will be offered help text that I either wrote or edited. I’m confident that after we’ve put the sifters through their paces, the result will be an exceptionally useful resource.
To whom will it be available? Well, hotel agreements will be included as a document type in LegalSifter’s “Buyer” and “Supplier” packages, so customers who have subscribed to those packages will have access to it. And if you need to make sense of a hotel agreement just once, or sporadically, you could use the “Small Business” package.
The “hotel agreement” document type will be launched at the end of May, and we’ll add more Sifters to it in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, I encourage you to contact LegalSifter. Tell ’em Ken sent you.