Consulting Agreement Pitfalls

A dispute settlement clause generally provides that the parties must discuss the dispute in order to reach an economically viable solution. The next step might be to continue mediation. Your agreement should be as expected: 3. Protect your academic rights. Does the consulting agreement confirm rights to your future IP address and, if so, is that a reasonable statement? Almost all biomedical companies claim IP rights in consulting contracts. In general, these rights should be limited to inventions you have made in the course of your advisory activities, and your institution should probably require such a restriction in its guidelines. The licenses for inventions in your university laboratory must be negotiated separately by your institution. The interest of companies in your IP is understandable and, if the conditions are reasonable and well written, quite appropriate. One of the keys is to ensure that the company`s IP rights are in line with your academic obligations and that it is important to preserve the integrity (and commercial potential) of your academic research. For more information about consulting agreements, please provide Murphy and Company at (604) 360-7014 or email In any case, there is no reason for you to sign an agreement that violates the rules of your institution. There is nothing to gain, and much to lose. How can you avoid such problems? Read the contract, check your institution`s policies and ask the company to change whether they are necessary.

Before signing a consulting contract, we advise professional legal advice or at least advice from a colleague with long consulting experience. Few people try to design their own way and many don`t even file tax returns without the help of a professional. It is naturally assumed that the signed consulting agreement is a legally binding and enforceable agreement. No matter if you hire an expert, the burden is to understand what you are signing. Before you start consulting, make sure you have a thorough advice agreement to regulate your relationship with clients. This will ensure that you are properly paid and will help reduce the risk of litigation on the road. Your advice agreement should include: Similarly, you should determine whether the company expects you to share confidential studies of your laboratory or clinical trial results for which you are the primary reviewer or advisor to the sponsor of the study. Recent headlines (including the indictment last year of a Columbia University scientist accused of disclosing confidential clinical trial results to a hedge fund in violation of his consulting contract with the experimental sponsor) show the risk of disclosing confidential information to an outside company, particularly if information relating to insider trading could be used.

The above list is just a summary of some of the common errors I have noticed in standard advisory agreements that are not meant to be exhaustive. There are a number of other issues that are not included in the above list and which are also important and should be dealt with properly, such as the duration of the agreement, termination rights, expenses, confidentiality, full agreement, independent contractor status, etc. If you are thinking of joining the consultation club, let me be the first to congratulate you.