Better than a Master Service Agreement Template: Bespoke MSAs Negotiated by AI

icon-contract

A Master Service Agreement (MSA) template can provide a solid foundation for establishing a business arrangement, but relying solely on a third-party template is risky. Since the MSA will determine all future work standards, tailoring the third-party agreement to conform to your specific business situation is imperative. Some legal departments choose to work with an alternative legal service provider (ALSP) to review and negotiate a bespoke agreement, but innovations in legal tech have enabled in-house legal departments to efficiently and effectively review and negotiate bespoke MSA agreements themselves. 

Parties review a master service agreement template

AI-powered legal contract review technology leverages machine learning and natural language processing to provide the attorney-quality review, markup, and insights that can automatically tailor third-party agreements to conform with your own negotiating playbook of business essential terms.

What To Look for in a Master Service Agreement Template

Since many MSA templates do not apply to specific business arrangements, they do not include job-specific provisions. Instead, these agreements establish the tone for future arrangements and govern the overarching terms for all future work.  

A sound Master Service Agreement template will attend to these fundamental components:

Financials

Legal Implications

Public Relations

Financial sections broadly cover the contract’s general services and standards of payment, as well as invoice management practices and due dates. Common clauses in this section include:

  • Payment terms
  • Warranties
  • Location

Relationships between business entities involve legal entanglements, whether those entanglements concern intellectual property, liability, labor arrangements, or other concerns. Standard clauses include:

  • IP ownership
  • Dispute resolution
  • Termination provisions  

Parties who work together often share a reputation. A solid MSA template includes clauses covering:

  • Business ethics
  • Corporate social responsibility 
  • Diversity statements 

 

The requirements of a specific MSA will depend on the nature of the business and the implications of the relationship. Having a legal department devote time and energy to reviewing these dense but lower-valued agreements is not efficient. For this reason, some legal departments choose to partner with an alternative legal service provider (ALSP) rather than self negotiate the third-party Master Service Agreement template. 

Using ALSPs To Create an MSA

MSAs are utilized across wide-ranging industries—from computer security service vendors to a midstream oil company working with a drilling firm. As a result, most Master Service Agreement templates will need to cater to a specific industry. ALSPs can provide a viable option for customizing an agreement for a particular sector. 

However, issues can arise when legal departments outsource their contract processes to ALSPs. While ALSPs will designate specialists to draft and review MSAs, this work takes time and can result in significant bottlenecks that impede progress. Additionally, ALSPs lack the client’s nuanced business sector understanding.  

Company-specific issues—like if an agreed-upon rate could result in a revenue loss—may not receive adequate attention during contract review and negotiation. This level of insight would have traditionally required an in-house corporate legal team. However, recent innovations in legal tech are enabling corporate legal departments and procurement teams to efficiently manage the contract review and negotiation process themselves.

Creating a Bespoke Master Service Agreement With AI

A Master Service Agreement template can become a bespoke agreement with the right AI-powered contract review and negotiation platform. By leveraging data from successful agreements and redlining contracts for a specific company’s needs, the AI combines machine learning, natural language processing, and data analytics to make decisions like a human attorney. 

While the technology is complex, the process is simple. A member of the legal or procurement team simply uploads or emails a contract for the AI to review. In a matter of minutes, the AI parses the language, redlines areas of concern, and performs textual insertions based on pre-established guidelines.  

AI not only accelerates the contract review and negotiation process, though. Since the AI is customized to address your areas of concern, it ensures that you are not only closing deals faster—but smarter.

Contact LexCheck to learn how an AI-powered contract negotiation platform can empower your in-house legal or procurement team to transition from Master Service Agreement templates to bespoke solutions. To experience the technology, request a demo or contact us at sales@lexcheck.com.

gary-sanghaGary Sangha | Founder & CEO

Gary Sangha is the Founder and CEO LexCheck. He's a serial entrepreneur and an academic. Gary previously founded Intelligize, a legal technology company that was acquired by LexisNexis. He's affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University and started his career as an attorney at Shearman & Sterling and White & Case.