A contract amendment is a modification of the terms and conditions of a contract or subcontract.
Though we will explore contract amendments more in-depth, it is worth noting that changing the structure, duties, obligations, or rights of a contract requires increased oversight.
To that end, let's explore contract amendments and how disparate, important, and sensitive information can be managed, and contract amendments can be executed smoothly for effective contract management.
A contract amendment occurs when a contract party desires to change the terms of an existing agreement. An amendment can entail a clarification, modification, or deletion within an original agreement. An amendment leaves the existing contract intact. However, parties get the chance to clarify details.
Use Cases for a Contract Amendment
There are many use cases for a contract amendment.
Extension: One reason for an amendment would be that a contract contains a mutually agreed-upon expiration date, but one party may wish to extend the time frame agreed on in the initial contract.
Changes in Relationship: Another reason for an amendment may simply be the evolution of a business relationship. If a business relationship changes to the point of deviating from the contents of an original contract, the terms of a contract should be amended accordingly to reflect this development.
The Unpredictable: Contract amendments can also be implemented when facets of contract performance do not appear to be working out for various reasons - leaving parties unable to reach legally binding terms agreed on in the original document.
Signatures Are Needed
It is worth noting that signatures are required to execute the amendment process. Amendments made to a contract that are not executed with the signatures of involved parties will be null. An amendment takes effect when contract parties sign the amended contract. Parties are then bound by the amended terms and the unchanged facets of the contract executed after the initial contract review and signatures.
"Amendments" & "Addendums" Are Different!
Sometimes people confuse contract amendments with similar-sounding contract addendums. It must be noted that these amendments and addendums are vastly different. Let's explore how.
Contract amendments are modifications, deletions, or clarifications to a contract. Nothing is added to a contract. Rather, an alteration is made to the original terms and conditions of the agreement.
Contract addendums, meanwhile, add something new to a contract. Addendums add terms or obligations that were absent from the original contract or become necessary in light of something that has occurred since the original agreement has been signed.
Managing Amendments With Contract Management Software
Let's explore how to manage amendments with leading contract management software tools, such as:
- metadata details pages for contracts and subcontracts.
- attachments, documents, and data on a secure contract repository.
- secure user permissions for sensitive amendment information.
- quick electronic signatures for amended contracts.
Organizations can use contract lifecycle management (CLM) software to easily configure contract details pages with user-configured sub tables to track amendments for each contract in their system. Each contract can have amendments, metadata, and attachments stored in the same location within the CLM system.
Organizations can easily search for amendment documents, attachments, and metadata within a secure contract repository that allows them to search down to the term, word string, or even word level with search history, "did you mean" functionality, and saved search terms.
Contract management software users can configure user permissions so that only assigned individuals can access amendments for management or edits. Changes made can be logged as versions for audit trail tracking - complete with timestamps, redlines, and who made changes.
Contract managers, general counsel, law firms, and other professionals engaging in legal operations and legal services can centralize amendment management for various types of contracts. When ready, amendments can be centrally signed with the ability to quickly sign documents online - thanks to electronic signature software integration!
Overseeing Contract Amendments & More
Now that you have learned about contract amendments and how to go about managing them, it is time to consider the contract management software platform that offers the tools mentioned above and more for effective amendment management. That solution is CobbleStone Contract Insight®.
CobbleStone® is an award-winning contract management software solution that has received nearly-universal acclaim from third-party analysts, legal professionals, and many others.
CobbleStone users can successfully oversee amendments and other key elements of a contract with comprehensive contract lifecycle management. With a secure and centralized contract database, user permissions oversight, easy searching, electronic signatures, and more, your organization can manage the contract lifecycle and exceed contract management KPIs.
CobbleStone– as a provider – boasts a litany of success stories from organizations around the globe, of ranging industries in both the public and private sectors. It’s no wonder why CobbleStone is named the CLM leader in the SPARK Matrix™ Report of 2022.
Book a free demo with a CobbleStone expert to centrally and easily manage contract amendments and more on one unified platform. Ready to try out CobbleStone for yourself? Enjoy a free trial of CobbleStone Software today!*
*Legal Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. The content of this article is for educational purposes only. The information on this website may not present the most up-to-date legal information. Readers should contact their attorneys for legal advice regarding any particular legal matter.