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Document automation is legal rocket fuel

Posted on Feb 2, 2014

Document automation lets users answer questions to generate a tailored contract. Radiant Law actively uses it with clients and has found it particularly valuable to help close high volumes of commercial contracts, faster. Here’s why it’s like rocket fuel:

Go faster

Document automation speeds up the initial contract creation, even compared to working with a template. In addition, by producing more relevant and shorter contracts that are tailored to the particular situation, negotiations are more focused and overall times to signature are reduced.

We have found that document automation is one of the biggest contributors to allowing us reduce average contracting times from weeks to days.

Focus on the right thing

Document automation is the perfect way to start freeing up legal resources. Rather than a multi-step process, first to capture the end user’s requirements and then draft, get the business users to produce their own tailored document. The first drafts often don’t need legal review before being issued (completely removing legal from the critical path), because the output is controlled. And even where legal input is needed, it takes less time as it can be focused on just the particular areas of concern.

In this age of “more for less”, aren’t there better things that you could be doing than tailoring first drafts of commercial agreements?

Create better contracts

There is always a tension between completeness and brevity with contracts. We all know that brevity has tended to lose out over the years, as contracts tend to accrete terms to deal with every situation that has ever come up. Contract automation can help avoid this tension by allowing the contract to only include the terms that are actually relevant. At the same time, it adds rigour by making sure that issues are always considered (rather than just those that were included in the last draft to hand). This leads to shorter yet more complete contracts.

Finally, because it is so easy to issue a new template version with document automation, it allows you to create an environment of continual optimisation. Drafts can be tweaked to take account of changes in products and learning points from negotiations. The rewards of these improved contracts of course extend beyond signature – they lead to more relevant and usable agreements that help deliver more from the parties’ relationship.

Document automation is a highly effective way for legal to create demonstrable real value for the business.