• Brief Advice: Negotiating Strategic Alliance Agreements
  • September 8, 2008 | Author: Samuel W. Apicelli
  • Law Firm: Duane Morris LLP - Philadelphia Office
  • LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell posed the following question to provide a variety of views on this important topic:

     

    What are the most effective ways to negotiate strategic alliance agreements in complex commercial transactions?

     

    The most successful types of strategic alliances are the ones that benefit both sides equally. However, achieving that type of balance requires a great deal of planning, and in-house counsel must consider many factors during negotiations. Even the most well structured agreements may not work out, so planning for changes or even the dissolution of the agreement should be part of those initial negotiations.

     

    Response:

    There is a saying in Southeast Asia that when the elephants dance, the mice step aside. That can seem particularly true when small companies form strategic alliance agreements with much larger companies. There are two things that small companies should remember.  First, although a large company may look like an elephant, it’s really a big school of small fish. You need to find the smaller portion of the company where your product meets that group’s goal.  Secondly, you need to find the person in the larger company who can be your internal champion.