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Using Exception Tables in Negotiations

In some industries, such as Oil & Gas, operators require that markups to their form of contract must be delivered in a table instead of a traditional Word document with track changes. DocJuris takes the redlines and converts them into a table of changes to meet the client’s requests.

Using Exception Tables in Negotiations
Written by
Insights Team

Using Exception Tables to Outline Amendments

We often think of contract amendments as Word documents that are redlined using the “track changes” feature. The amendments are formatted as markups in the document, which must be carefully reviewed and approved by both parties before the contract is signed.

However, not every industry follows the same format of using Word documents. Instead, some industries use exception tables to outline amendments and changes to the contract for additional clarity and efficiency.

However, exception tables are not always easy to create. They present their own challenges when it comes to accuracy and delivery.

Why Do Some Companies Use Exception Tables?

The oil and gas industry is an example of a sector that relies on exception tables. Here, operators require that contract markups be delivered as a table instead of a traditional document with track changes.

In general, there are four columns outlined in an exception table:

  • Section number
  • Original language
  • Revised language
  • Status / negotiation column

These columns keep the edits organized and focused.

There are a few reasons some industries and companies prefer to work with a table instead of a document. First, using a table instead of a Word document is more concise. Instead of reviewing an entire Word document with redlines randomly sprinkled throughout, the operator can simply scan a specific table of edits.

Next, redlines on a Word document can be missed inadvertently. It’s relatively easy to accidentally skip over a section of a document without realizing it. In contrast, it’s hard to miss a row on a table when you’re going through it line by line.

Finally, going through long documents is incredibly time-consuming. Large companies, in particular, don’t want to deal with a sea of redlines and markups. They instead want to control the negotiation process up-front by creating a register of changes on a table.

This move forces the smaller company they are negotiating with to focus their edits, which takes longer. This gives the larger company more leverage and often creates wasted time for the smaller company they are negotiating with.

Challenges with Creating Exception Tables

Looking at an exception table can be more convenient than looking through a long Word document full of track changes. However, creating an exception table is often a tedious and time-consuming process.

First, the contractor has to spend a significant amount of time finding, copying, and pasting relevant paragraphs into the “original language” column on the table.

Then, the contractor needs to paste another version of those paragraphs into the “revised language” column. Of course, this involves turning on track changes and making markups to the original content.

In addition, the company will have to maintain a separate markup before signing the contract that the exception table refers to.

So, essentially, you need to convert the exception table to a redline and then back again. This means that whoever is responsible for redlining the contract is doing the work twice, which, obviously, takes double the amount of time.

How DocJuris Solves the Exception Table Challenge

As we’ve described them, exception tables work well for the end-user but are a pain for whoever creates them.

At least, that’s the traditional impact of exception tables.

DocJuris has solved the challenge of creating exception tables by taking redlines and converting them into a table of change that meet the client’s request. This means you don’t have to round-trip because the changes are already in the table!

What does this mean for you? Most importantly, it means that whoever is in charge of making an exception table can save a significant amount of time and effort copying and pasting when they make the first draft of the exception table.

Other Uses Cases for Exception Tables

Large companies aren’t the only ones that can benefit from using exception tables instead of redlined documents. Additionally, exception tables can be used for more purposes than during negotiations with another party.

For example, exception tables can be used as an executive summary of changes. This allows an executive to quickly review to understand what changed in the contract without reading through the entire document. Instead of looking through a 50-page contract with markups, the executive can see a compressed table of changes.

Using exception tables in this way can benefit companies of all sizes. Executives of small companies are just as short on time as those of larger firms. Therefore, it may be even more important to deliver information in this concise manner when working with a smaller team of executives who already have a lot on their plate.

Stop wasting time amending your contracts, whether through track changes or an exception table. Instead, let your contract review software work for you with DocJuris.

Schedule a demo to see how DocJuris can simplify every aspect of your contract review and negotiation process, including creating exception tables.

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