Today's General Counsel, June 2021

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the most efficient processes, and don’t necessarily have the time to understand the short and long-term goals that come with the contracts we are reviewing. Automated tools free us to focus on these more strategic aspects, rather than routine language.

be captured. The advantages of AI have their greatest impact on certain types of common, repetitive contracts: services agreements, purchase orders, software as a service (SaaS) agreements, NDAs, licensing agreements, and sales and construction contracts. Consider that some large corporations require at least two members of the legal team to review every contract, even ones that are similar to countless deals the company has closed before. When automated tools are used in the early round of reviews, you eliminate the need for the first set of eyes. This saves time and allows the human reviewer to start with a more consistent document. • Reduce contract errors and oversights. Automated tools introduce a layer of consistency that humans simply cannot maintain across multiple contracts. Although AI cannot match the ability of an experienced attorney to make meaningful edits, it can



treat routine provisions and language far more consistently. In the words of one general counsel involved with the contract review process, “If I knew I was making a mistake, I wouldn’t make it.” As lawyers, when we don’t know what errors we are making, we don’t know what risks we are exposing the company to. Automated software provides insights into inconsistencies in the approach to risk. It allows the company to examine risk tolerance to design a review process that is far more consistent and aligns more closely with the company’s business objectives.

For lawyers who are often averse to risk — by profession — deploying automated tools in the contracting process can provide guardrails that minimize potential liabilities and help manage performance obligations. As businesses continue to operate in an uncertain environment, buyers are particularly purposeful. By improving deal velocity, the legal department not only accelerates revenue capture but it helps the organization earn a reputation as easy to do business with. And that leads to more opportunities and more revenue.

Dan Broderick is the CEO and co-founder of BlackBoiler, an AI-powered contract review company that uses proprietary deep learning and natural language processing to speed up the process of high-volume contract review for AmLaw 50 law firms and Global 1000 companies.

•  Lead to stronger relationships with clients. Using automated tools in the contract review process also helps on the business side. As lawyers, we focus on what we know — the legal aspects. We don’t always appreciate the challenges faced by our colleagues in business and sales. We are also often more interested in creating BACK TO CONTENTS