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Hours upon hours spent in drafting, negotiating terms, reading, and rereading documents, sending documents back and forth, managing changes in different versions of contracts; these are some of the realities for contract managers and legal executives. Most large energy companies execute thousands of contracts each year, resulting in millions of pages of documents. As it is, the legal profession has been slow to embrace digitalization and technology. LegalTech solutions are now helping professionals better understand, maintain, and manage contracts. Technology has made life easier for lawyers and contract managers by reducing the time spent on the time-consuming logistic tasks in contract management, freeing up professionals to focus on the actual matter at hand. Manual contract analysis is not only cumbersome and time-consuming but also prone to human-errors. As contracts are primarily text documents, advanced systems are now capable of extracting legal terminology and key data from long contracts, in a matter of seconds. Software tools can do in seconds what traditionally took lawyers or contract managers several hours or days of pouring over clauses.
How can legal software help?
The use of data analytics is helping organizations identify the type of contracts they execute most frequently and optimize their processes to become more efficient, saving time and resources being spent on “reinventing the wheel” each time contracts of similar nature are negotiated, drafted, and executed. Legal tech is enabling organizations to keep processes standardized, collaborate across resources and clients, cut costs through automation, and keep track of deliverables. Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) tools are now able to use the results of previously executed contracts to optimize contract terms and terms. As with any form of Machine Learning, the more the number of samples of contracts and information and results attached to them made available to the system, the better the system could become in automating parts of the process. As contract management becomes increasingly digitalized, the question of security is one of the first to arise. Corporate contracts often contain highly sensitive information, which must not be compromised at any cost. How do you ensure that the information in your contracts is not compromised? Encryption, secure logins, access controls all work well until they are compromised; security systems need to constantly innovate and update to keep up with the evolving world of cyber attacks
Why should corporates digitize their contracts?
The wealth of information in the form of contracts that are stored away in repositories is huge, and so are the benefits of subjecting these data to analytics. Analyzing all this stored information to derive actionable insights, including the factors that contribute to successful contracts and the factors that contribute to an unsuccessful one, would help decision-makers in organizations make informed decisions. By using LegalTech in your in-house legal department, employees can leverage the risk mitigating motive of contracts whilst limiting the unintentional yet unavoidable human error that can sometimes accompany lawyer involvement. Contract solutions in these circumstances can offer support to a lawyer by providing a helping hand and ensuring easily missed aspects, such as information in small print, do not fall through the cracks. Furthermore, by freeing up the mind of the lawyer from mundane tasks, they can focus on their legal duties with minimal hindrance, thus minimizing risk for the business. Investing in legal technology could be paramount in getting better time value. This is because providing support to a legal team will inevitably lead to lawyers spending less time on low value tasks and more time on higher-value tasks. This will then allow lawyers to play integral roles in the business as well as being able to offer commercial advice. LegalTech platforms like Beveron’s Smart Legal Counsel for instance, offer end-to-end contract management solutions for corporates in Dubai and wider UAE, along with other GCC countries.
It becomes clearer as LegalTech is adopted that innovation in the form of technology is replacing the current incumbent culture. By leveraging the role of the lawyer with assistive rather than replacive tools, these solutions can add immeasurable value to your business. It’s as simple as finding the right one for your team depending on their needs. And Smart Legal Counsel’s Contract Management solution could be the platform that works for you.