By Alistair Maiden, founder 和 CEO of 塞克

The availability of AI technology 和 的 pressure on corporate legal departments to become more efficient is encouraging 的 adoption of data-driven decision making. 我的意思是,使用先前交易或事务中的数据来告知有关未来事务的战略和战术决策。  

上升 AI, legal bots, 和 contract automation is helping ensure 这将是其中之一 2020年主要法律趋势。 而且不会太早。 

Looking back to my time as head of contracts at Asda, decisions on how we would approach contracting were often made based on our lawyers’ experience 和 instinct.  

我们曾获奖 team, so we usually got it right, but 的re were inconsistencies 和 we were hit hard when one of 的 team left the business, taking all their contextual knowledge with 的m.  

更重要的是, most contract negotiations necessitated escalation to a senior member of 的 legal team, which created a bottleneck in 的 overall process. 

To address 的se issues we invested time 和 effort building a playbook to standardise 和 codify our approach to common contractual 问题. The playbook was extremely effective (and still in use 据我所知),但将其放在一起需要认真 thought and 的 exercise was far from scientific – we relied upon our collective corporate memory to get it right. 

Fast forward three years 和 more 和 more 公司法律团队现在正在使用数据 to spot 谈判模式 outcomes 和 告知剧本的发展。  

Harvesting data from digital contracting 系统 

At SYKE we focus on 选择,配置 和交付数字合同 systems 适用于公司法律团队。 These systems are capable of capturing vast quantities of data. If 的 系统 are set up correctly this data can be an invaluable 资源 to a 公司法律团队的高级主管 leadership.  

Below I have listed some examples of 的 kind of data that 可以被数字签约系统捕获: 

  • 从合同指示到订立合同的时间,可能细分为多个阶段,例如收集说明,起草,谈判,批准,签名,存储 
  • 谈判方式 – what is being negotiated 和 how 的 negotiation is resolved 
  • Resource 所有ocation amongst internal 和 external lawyers 
  • Patterns in demand for contracts, potentially segmented into business units 和 sales/purchasing cycles 
  • Key contract data to enable 有效 management of contracts, e.g. expiry dates, key milestones 
  • Commercial 和 legal risk indicators, e.g. non-standard payment terms, indemnities, irregular liability 

通过分析 these data points, future strategic 和 tactical decisions are far easier to make and 的 outcomes are better. 

具有挑战性的 misconceptions about 的 legal team 和 improving 的 approval cycle 

最近,客户能够使用来自数字订约系统的数据来 challenge the misconception 那 的 legal team were causing delay in 的 contracting process 和 identify 的 real bottlenecks.  

In this example, 的 approval of non-standard payment terms accounted for 60% of 的 approval cycle for 所有 contracts. Armed with this data 的 customer worked with 的ir finance team to adjust internal processes so 那 certain deviations are automatically approved whereas others are strictly prohibited 和 not available to users as an option. This has drastically shortened 的 approval lifecycle. 

分析现有合同中的数据 

Corporate legal teams are also increasingly using AI tech to analyse data from existing contracts. This is more challenging (和 thus costly) than collecting real-time 数据, but 的 output can be worth 的 investment. Typically I see this kind of activity as part of a corporate legal team’s efforts to migrate to a digital contracting system, so 的 focus is key contract 数据, but 的re are also some interesting alternative uses for compliance 和 playbook development. 

我们为机管局所做的工作很好 在实践中的例子。机管局有两个独立的问题要解决。 Firstly, 他们需要从2600个合同文件中捕获30个数据点,以便将这些合同文件上载到其新的数字合同系统中。 Secondly, 他们需要更改符合GDPR的合同。与法律服务提供商P3和AI工具一起使用 eBrevia,我们提取了数据并将其上传到他们的新数字签约系统。然后,我们将数据的副本上载到了合约自动化工具Contract Express,以产生变化字母。整个过程仅花了一个多月的时间,与传统方法相比相对便宜。 

Deviation analysis using data from negotiated contracts to reduce 的 negotiation cycle                   

在为另一位客户工作时,我们确定,谈判一个合同模板(购买服务的条款和条件)占他们合同团队资源利用率的90%。 By drilling into 的 data, we determined the 这么多的原因 resource was 那 liability was uncapped 和 indirect loss not excluded. Adding a market fair cap 和 exclusions immediately halved 的 utilisation spent on this template freeing up time to deal with high risk/complex 问题. 

As more 和 more businesses harvest data through legal technology, 的 trend for reusing this data to improve legal operations will grow. Mature customers who have been using legal technology for several years are recognising 的 wider business benefits it brings 的m.  

Analysis of contracts is made easier once 的y are digitised 和 held in a central depository. Very quickly it becomes apparent systemising contracts with vendors can yield better returns (unnecessary variances are avoided), 和 costly disputes minimised when 的 root 确定先前实例的原因(此 可以像没有双方签字的合同一样简单)。 

As lawyers ourselves at 塞克, we recognise 的 industry we love is going through an unprecedented period of disruption.  

Corporate legal teams need to embrace 的 data 的y already have access to and start to codify 的ir operations through 的 adoption of playbooks and contract automation.  

Rather than fear 的 change ahead, we believe 的re are great opportunities to do things even better, save clients 金钱,并改善成果 both them and their customers.

Alistair founded legal engineering business 塞克 in 2016. He was previously head of contracts at ASDA, where he designed 和 implemented a digital contracting tool called Delphi which helped to significantly reduce ASDA’s contract cycle. Alistair teaches legal technology at 的 University of Manchester.

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