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Business man and business women walk among large screens displaying information. These screens forming a labyrinth.Most large legal departments handle hundreds to thousands (or even tens of thousands) of contracts each year, ranging from non-disclosure agreements and service contracts to employment agreements and leases. Each contract must be reviewed and edited before it can be executed, which is labor-intensive manual work—in other words, expensive and inefficient. Traditionally, lawyers go through the process of carefully reviewing relevant clauses and then passing documents back and forth electronically until both parties agree on the terms.

In addition to this historically inefficient process is the elephant in the room: In many cases, attorneys are essentially doing the same work—over and over. In fact, Global 2000 organizations spend $35 billion annually on high-volume contract review, $26 billion of which is spent on reviewing and marking up contract language that is semantically similar enough that most edits can be automated. Furthermore, an estimated $7 billion is spent on verbatim work on pre-execution contract negotiation—exact work that has already been done on similar contracts. In addition to this massive waste, the work is repetitive and tiring, which means the potential for error or oversight is high. While other phases of the contract lifecycle management (CLM) process have recently become more efficient with the application of advanced technologies, pre-execution contract review has largely been overlooked.

 

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