Earlier this year, HTC Contract Con set the bar very high for legal conferences. The event was organized by How to Contract, Laura Frederick’s training platform dedicated to contract drafting and negotiation. With over 400 attendees, the conference was met with great success. The second edition, called “ContractsCon,” will take place in Miami and online on February 16-17, 2023.
Table of Contents
A Conference for Everyday Contracts
ContractsCon is for in-house counsel and all professionals who draft and negotiate commercial contracts “day in and day out”. It won’t teach you how to negotiate the most complex deals — those multimillion-dollar contracts with hundreds of pages and dozens of annexes. It will focus on the myriad smaller contracts companies enter into every day.
The team assembled by Laura Frederick will share solutions for managing risk and making difficult decisions with little time and information. Attendees of the 2023 edition will receive:
- practical advice to improve their contract drafting and negotiation skills “in the real world” and
- a playbook to “reach the best-negotiated deal you can” by knowing what to say, why, and how.
The event will clearly be of benefit to any business owner, including translators. While many steer clear of legal translation, we all have to negotiate terms with our clients. This is especially important when dealing with translation agencies, whose contracts may well be one of the main causes of headache in our profession.
In-Person First, Online Second?
Unlike the first How to Contract conference which took place entirely online, ContractsCon will be a hybrid event. The in-person conference will take place at the University of Miami Shalala Center.
In-person attendees stand to benefit the most from the new edition:
- All ticket holders will have access to twelve 30-minute training sessions.
- In-person attendees can join six one-hour interactive workshops in Miami with “small group tasks and facilitated discussions.”
- The conference will offer networking opportunities both during and outside the workshops.
Since the event was just unveiled, who knows what surprises could be announced in the coming months?
Online training sessions:
- Let’s Make a Deal!: contract documents, formation, order of priority, privity,
- Let’s Sign DPAs!: data protection agreements, what they include, how to review them,
- Let’s Get Paid!: terms, payment disputes, invoicing, late fees, credit options,
- Let’s Hit Our Numbers!: rev rec and Finance’s priorities,
- Let’s Keep Secrets!: confidentiality terms, trade secret management, drafting challenges,
- Let’s Limit Our Liability!: damage types, exclusions, supercaps, insurance crossover,
- Let’s Create Stuff!: intellectual property development, licenses, assignment,
- Let’s Buy Goods!: specifications, title and delivery, product warranty,
- Let’s Deal with Disasters!: force majeure definitions and terms, change in law,
- Let’s Buy Services!: statements of work, scope, compliance issues,
- Let’s Go International!: cross-border issues, payment, compliance, disputes, and
- Let’s Resolve Disputes!: required negotiation, arbitration, choice of venue, choice of law.
In-person interactive workshops:
- Data Problems Caused By Your Contracts: data, privacy, and security problems,
- SaaS Contracts in the Real World: development of a detailed playbook for working with SaaS contracts,
- Dissecting Indemnity Provisions: indemnity provisions for different scenarios and risks,
- Your Counterparty Breached. Now What?: steps to follow in case of contractual breach, from investigation to litigation,
- Conquer Your CLM and Contracting Chaos: contract lifecycle optimization, and
- Navigating Nightmare Negotiations: negotiation strategies to use when facing the most challenging situations.
Hosts and Speakers
How to Contract’s Chief Community and Growth Officer Flo Nicolas will host the online training sessions. Laura Frederick and Lisa Lang, General Counsel of Kentucky State University, will host the in-person event.
The in-person and online training sessions will be offered by:
- Nada Alnajafi, Founder of Contract Nerds,
- Min Cho, General Counsel of 1337 Capital,
- Jennifer Chung, Counsel at New Business Incubation Verizon,
- Cleve Glenn, Equity Member at Frost Brown Todd,
- Ross Guberman, Founder of Legal Writing Pro,
- Mary Hamaker, Deputy General Counsel of ServiceMax,
- Joe Jones, Attorney at D.J. Jones PLLC,
- Elena Kohn, Associate Regional Chief Learning Officer of AdventHealth,
- Gabe Meister, Co-Founder of Meister & Steiner,
- Amanda Merced, Partner at Ward&Berry,
- Marcia Narine Weldon, Director of the Transactional Skills Program at University of Miami School of Law, and
- Krista Russell, Deputy General Counsel of Airbus OneWeb Satellites.
The in-person workshops will be delivered by:
- Lucy Bassli, Founder and Principal of InnoLaw Group,
- Kwame Christian, Founder and CEO of the American Negotiation Institute and professor of negotiation for The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law,
- Marlene Eisenberg, Founder of Strategic GC,
- Jonathan Perkel, General Counsel of Qapital, and
- Jennifer Zador, Senior Vice-President of Heap.
Out of the 16 speakers, five spoke at the first edition.
In addition to access to the conference, all tickets to the 2023 edition include access to:
- a directory of Laura’s contract tips and cartoons, sorted by topic, available from the time of ticket purchase to March 31, 2023,
- the recordings of six 30-minute pre-conference training webinars (the live sessions will be free for everyone),
- a playbook — sent before the conference — that every speaker will use to present instead of traditional slides,
- a replay of the presentations available until March 31, 2023, with an option to extend access by a year, and
- a free annual plan (valued at $1,200) from contract market data platform and AI review solution TermScout.
Attorneys in the US can report Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits as they did last year — six hours with a virtual ticket or 12 hours with an in-person ticket.
Through Accredible’s credentials service, participants also get a digital badge that they can add to their email signature or share on social media:
Price and Registration
Given the conference’s hybrid format, there are different options available for attending the in-person event (limited to 300 attendees) and the virtual event.
A number of discounts are offered:
- Early bird prices are available until September 15, 2022.
- Discounts are offered to students and university, government or nonprofit employees… and translators!
- An annual membership to the How to Contract platform can also be bundled with a ticket to the conference (in-person or virtual).
- Groups of five or more can save 10%.
To learn more and register, go to the ContractsCon page on the How to Contract website.
The first How to Contract conference was a gold mine of information and I have high hopes for the second edition. While I will only attend the online training sessions, I would love to meet and interact online with other attendees! If you plan to attend, let me know on LinkedIn.
Added on February 17, 2023 and updated on March 1st, 2023:
ContractsCon was pretty intense and very different from HTC Contract Con! Laura Frederick and her team surprised us with geeky references and fictional situations that made the content easier to grasp. For instance:
Bruce Banner is in negotiations with Stark Enterprises. What does he need to know about dispute resolution?
Sony hired Ghostbusters Inc. to rid their Tokyo offices of ghosts. What issues are likely to arise in international negotiations?
William Shakespeare wants to hire his cousin Bob to help him finish Romeo and Juliet. What should the contract include?
After every presentation, TermScout shared relevant insights from their database of vendor forms, customer forms, and negotiated contracts. They showed how widespread some clauses are and highlighted vendors’ and customers’ priorities, much like they do on their blog and social media.
A Few Hiccups
Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan. First, the pace of the conference didn’t leave much time for taking notes, let alone looking at the playbook! Still, participants will be able to watch the recordings, look at the slides, and even read the transcripts — all in their own time.
On Zoom, constant chat notifications made it difficult to focus. The audience complained about everything, which didn’t set a great mood. If I remember correctly, the chat was disabled on the second day — for the best.
There might have been some miscommunication about the lunch feature, as people didn’t understand what was going on — two people discussing a contract no one could see! It was actually Law Insider’s Mike Whelan recording two episodes of his Contracts Teardown Show with guests.
Change Is Coming
Attentive to her audience’s feedback, Laura took some decisions that will affect her next events.
This was her first and last hybrid conference — too complex! She will keep organizing in-person events and virtual events, but not at the same time.
By popular demand, she will send the speakers’ slides ahead of a conference, even when a playbook is provided.
As the 30-minute sessions went “too quick and fast for a live event,” she will “stick to longer training sessions with more detail.”
Despite a few hiccups, I’m glad I was able to attend this conference and look forward to watching the recordings. While the virtual event wasn’t perfect, it filled a need for online conferences about contracts, as many people wouldn’t have been able to attend the physical event in Miami. Let’s hope there will be more!
Added on June 13, 2023:
ContractsCon 2024 Already Announced
ContractsCon’s next edition will take place on January 17-19, 2024 in Las Vegas and online — another hybrid event, after all!
Day 1 will focus on contract drafting fundamentals, some of the most common provisions (e.g. termination and intellectual property provisions), as well as contract tools and tech.
Day 2 will touch on more advanced topics, more complex provisions (e.g. indemnification and limitation of liability), and data provisions more specifically.
Day 3 will consist of a series of workshops on negotiation, which can only be attended in-person in Las Vegas.
An interesting agenda that should meet the needs of differents profiles, from newbies to experienced professionals.
As for me, I would have loved to attend the negotiation workshops, but I’m already thrilled that the first two days can be attended virtually.
Early-bird prices are available until June 30, 2023. You can save up to $700, so don’t wait to sign up!
As a language professional, I wear many hats, including legal translator, SEO content writer, and digital marketing coordinator. I use a combination of linguistic, legal, and IT skills to see my clients’ projects succeed. On this blog, I share thoughts and information on diverse topics at the crossroads of those fields.