Welcome back to this three part series looking at the key considerations and benefits of implementing a legal technology solution into your contract management workflow. Part I looked at each stage of the workflow and where legal technology can play a role. In this part of the series, I will be analysing the drafting, reviewing and negotiation stages; looking at the benefits and key considerations to think about when choosing the right technology.
Different software applications are available to assist with drafting. Often these applications start with an interactive questionnaire. The responses to that questionnaire are used to generate the relevant document(s). As no one size fits all, different applications are designed to assist in different use cases.
There are three key considerations when evaluating the different applications: (1) how complicated are the documents that you draft and can the application handle that level of complexity; (2) what are the integration possibilities with applications that you already use (such as entity management systems, document management systems or e-signature platforms); and (3) what is the expected return on investment and can it provide you with sufficient data to report on these figures.
The three main benefits of investing in legal technology that assists with drafting are time savings of up to 90%, increased compliance and quality assurance.
Reviewing and negotiating
Whereas creating first drafts or execution forms of contracts is often an activity suitable for standardisation, the reviewing and negotiation of contracts often need to take place on a case by case basis. However, there are plenty of examples of contracts for which the reviewing and negotiation activities are similar every time, with non-disclosure agreements probably being the best example.
Technologies such as Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) can assist with these activities. Often the AI tool is trained or the RPA tool is configured to identify key provisions in the document received, match these against your set parameters and either accept the provision, triage to the responsible team or even come up with a counter-proposal.
This is very much an area where legal technology is still in development and the three key considerations are, therefore: (1) what is the volume of contracts that require a time-intensive review and/or negotiation; (2) how standard are these negotiations; and (3) what is the expected return on investment and can it provide me with sufficient data to report on these figures.
The three main benefits are similar to those at the drafting stage, being time savings, quality assurance and reducing the need for human involvement in menial tasks.