Can Technology Replace Professionals in Contracts Management

Apr 22, 2021

Start Date : Thursday, Apr 22, 2021

End Date : Thursday, Apr 22, 2021

Time (IST) : 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Time (UTC) : 09:30 PM - 10:30 PM

Services Offered : Business Services,

Speaker(s) : Kartik Nagarajan, Alpana Shirgaonkar

Alpana Shirgaonkar - Senior Executive Director, Business Process Management, Nexdigm, began the webinar by introducing the benefits that Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) solutions in India, offer.

After the introduction, the panel was asked to share their insights on how technology has enabled law firms to function more efficiently by cutting costs and saving time on laborious work.

A question was then posed to Mark Furze, asking him to point out any possible low-hanging fruits that technology-driven LPOs could quickly enjoy.

To this, Mark Furze (Ex-Bayer) highlighted the many benefits that companies using manual processes could reap by using technology in their operations. Subsequently, Mark mentioned that one such low-hanging fruit where technology can be used right away is Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). Its several sections are universal, and digitization could help save efforts.

The next question was regarding technology's role in the current era of legal outsourcing. Kartik Nagarajan - Managing Director, Business Consulting, Nexdigm pointed out the three most strenuous activities law firms traditionally undertake. These include contract management, legal translation, and secretarial work. He mentioned that digitization helps improve the workflow and reduces the time and costs associated with the aforementioned tasks.

Adding to the above point, he stated, "Technology is here not to do what lawyers are doing; rather, technology is here to do what lawyers should not be doing."

Kartik then added more weight to his statements by sharing his experience of LPO solutions for law firms, stating that LPOs have:

  • Helped save costs by 40-50%;
  • Helped save time;
  • Helped look for past records more accurately.

The panel was then asked to talk about the possible risks that law firms may face when using technology in their operations. Mark highlighted that technology advancement does come with its risks. Those being, a lack of audit processes could lead to errors in data, approving workflows could cause complexities, and unsegmented access rights could lead to data leakages.

Speaking of how technology, directly and indirectly, affects operations, Mark shared that technology aids operations by highlighting contract negotiations that are due, it alerts on near pending renewals and makes the entire documentation process much more efficient. He further added that the costs and time that technology saves daily add up to a significant amount in the long run.

The panelists touched upon the roles that require professional intervention and cannot be fully tech-driven. In their view, Law professionals add value by understanding the result of negotiation and developing clauses and points within a contract. This requires decrypting the subtle messaging within contracts, an ability that comes with years of experience. Here, the value is determined by how the law professionals use their expertise and judgment.

In essence, technology can help the law professionals process a greater deal of contracts, but the core operations, which are to strategize and follow sound judgment, require professional intervention

The panel added that professional intervention is crucial because situations in the real world are subject to rapid change. Using professional intervention adds real value when dealing with and taking advantage of these changes.

The ideal scenario would be when law professionals leverage technology to reduce the cost per contract while simultaneously increasing speed.

Kartik concluded the webinar by explaining how Nexdigm helps walk its customers through the process of change management. He elucidated that Nexdigm does this by enabling technology adoption for the customer and the supplier and integrating the unique processes within Nexdigm. He further added that Nexdigm assists its clients with process standardization, simplification, and even some parts of the template harmonization.

In conclusion, technology-driven LPOs help law firms focus on the core functions which add value to their clients while the routine and manual work is taken care of in the backend. Law professionals can find a particular clause with the click of a button, saving a great deal of time and effort.

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