Automation Services

If you are at all interested in what document automation (or document assembly) is, and why you should use it, this podcast by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell is excellent.  It sums up most of the reasons why lawyers should be using it, and also tries to identify why they aren't. 

They describe it as "the one legal technology that has always made the most sense for lawyers", but also say it "has always seemed like the neglected stepchild of legal technology.  It’s been around for a long time, it’s a relatively straight forward technology to implement, it makes a whole lot of sense, but there are still a lot of lawyers who won’t even try to take advantage of it."  Why?!!

One of the key factors they identify for why lawyers aren't already getting the major benefits they could from automation is that it can be hard to do it all yourself, and traditionally the set-up is not simple. "There’s always been lot of upfront time to do document assembly, and a lot of lawyers don’t want to take that time. It’s considered non-billable".  

In particular, they note:

“A lot of people who go into document assembly really would like to jump to the end, at the beginning. So they would love to have the document assembly application all set up and ready to go so that paralegals and others can generate documents but they would also like the paralegals and others to set up the application from the beginning and that’s actually the place where you have to have the lawyer involved to make good decisions because you can simplify documents, you can do all sorts of things - you can improve processes and make judgment calls on these things.  Sometimes document assembly projects really get slowed down because the lawyer sees it is going to involve more time than they ever expected.”

Enter LawHawk Custom Document Automation Services!

As document automation specialists, and former lawyers who have become experts in document automation coding, we address the core of this problem. 

We do a lot of custom document automation, where we work with customers to automate their own documents:

-  just for them

-  exactly how they want them - the way lawyers need them to work

-  very quickly and cost effectively

-  without the need to learn how to do it themselves

-  hosted for them on a secure website, with no IT systems to set up or manage

If the documents are already in very good shape, we can do this type of automation very quickly and cost effectively because we can focus on making the documents as fast and easy to complete as possible, with the options you have chosen to include. We have a lot of existing IP that we can build on to get a flying start, along with your own existing guidance and drafting notes. 

If you do want help with reviewing or improving the documents before we start, or while we are doing the automation, we are happy to do this.  We are always keen to understand how the documents fit into the wider business context, and as a result can often find other related documents that can be linked into the process, so they are also generated from a single questionnaire. We usually find opportunities for improvement in documents and/or processes, which is just part of the service we offer.  

We have yet to find something that was too complex to automate, at least to a material extent.  We love to be tested, so if you would like to know what might be possible, we are happy to review your documents without charge or obligation, and will provide you with our thoughts on what can be done, in what time frames and at what cost. 

Automation for Law Firms

If you are a law firm, we can automate your precedents for you so that you can offer your clients:

-   unbeatable value

-   with fixed fees and guaranteed turnarounds

-   knowing that the work will always be profitable. 

You can keep your automation in the back-office, and bill premium as you work quickly, or use it to attract more work by showing clients how much better you work than your competition. 

We can also work with you to automate documents for your clients, so that you can help them to do more work themselves, but in a way that you can seamlessly pick it up whenever they need help. 

You might be able to convert to a retainer arrangement. With your branding and guidance embedded in the interviews, they will always know who to call for the areas where you add most value. 

Clients are going to want automation one way or another - why not be the firm that brings it to them? 

If you are pitching for a new client, offering to automate their documents for them could be a great way to differentiate your offer and give yourself an edge over incumbents. We are doing this with law firms, and it really works. 

You don't need to start with a full plan already worked out.  We are happy to do a proof of concept in a key area where you are confident you will get benefits, and build with you from there. 

Automation for In-House Legal and Procurement Teams

You don't need to wait for your law firms to do automation for you.  We can work with you directly to help solve the severe under-resourcing many in-house legal and procurement teams have. 

We work with in-house legal and procurement teams to automate your precedents for you. 

You may already have good legal documents, but are they too complicated for people in the business to use them without help?  If everything points back to the legal team for review and re-writing, there are still bottle necks that cause stress and delays across the organisation. We can help solve this problem. 

With our automation services, we can set the legal team up to complete complex legal documents very quickly.  We have recently helped an in-house legal team to reduce time to prepare 3910 construction contracts from 4 hours down to 1 hour or less.  A single person can go from preparing 2 documents per day, at best, to 8 or more.  That will create real benefits for the wider organisation and the customers it serves. 

We can also help you to "teach the business to fish".  By working with you to design intuitive questionnaires with your non-lawyers in mind, we can make it easier for people in the business to complete the documents themselves, without needing to come to the legal team at all, or only for a quick review.

If you need to reduce the amount of external legal spend, automation can help to bring work back in-house.  With automation, even complex documents can be drafted by non-lawyers to partner or senior associate standards, by using the extensive guidance and compliance features that can be built into our interview questionnaires. 

Recent Work

We’re often asked about what we’ve been working on recently.  While we can’t always say who we’ve been working with, we can say what types of documents and processes we’ve been automating.  Here's some of our recent work.  In many cases, these solutions are reducing hours of work to minutes, with increased quality.  

Banking

-   packages of loan and security documents for complex lending transactions, including facility agreements, security documents, resolutions, waivers, opinions and ancillary letters.

Commercial

-   confidentiality agreements

-   variation agreement and RFP document

-   a customised version of the Government Model Contract for Services for a local authority

-   a master services agreement and associated statements of work, based on the Government Model Contract for Services, for a local authority

-   various other master services agreements for large corporates

-   subscription agreements for a fund manager

-   a package of commercial contracts for a law firm, to be used directly by the firm's clients.

Company Secretarial

-   a suite of documents (notices (NZX and ASX), cover letters, emails, checklists) for a new securities issue for a listed company

-   a suite of 15+ documents for on-boarding new directors of a listed company.

Construction

-   5 versions of 3910 construction contract (design and build, civil works measure and value, civil works lump sum, construct only, and construct only - remedial works)

-   a long form consultancy agreement, based on CCCS

-   a short form consultancy agreement, designed with the legal team for use in the wider business.

Corporate/M&A

-   a complex share purchase agreement, with options for single or multiple buyers, sellers, target companies, guarantors, and restrained employees

-   shareholders’ agreement and constitution for a law firm

-   buy sell agreements.

Employment

-   an employment agreement for a large employer, allowing them to prepare 3-5 employment agreements each week, with 100% accuracy, in minutes each time

-   an employment agreement precedent for a New Zealand law firm, and a tailored version of that agreement for the firm's client

-   an independent contractor agreement precedent for a New Zealand law firm.

Family Law

-   contracting out and separation agreements for a law firm.

Property

-   a deed of renewal of lease and rent review, a deed of surrender of lease, and a deed of assignment of lease for a large corporate.

Wills and Trusts

-   a package of wills (simple and complex), enduring powers of attorney, enduring powers of guardianship, letters and other documents for an Australian law firm

-   a suite of estate planning and trust documents for a New Zealand law firm.

Other

-   an automated agreement for a Government agency, allowing them to generate up to 800 customised versions of the agreement almost at the push of a button, drawing on a spreadsheet database with over 150 columns of optional data, and with each version of the agreement being automatically saved in a specified folder using a designated name format

-   a set of documents (generated at the same time) for use by a barrister at the outset of a matter, including a retainer letter, fixed price quote, initial consultation letter, list of action points, and proposed time frames.

What does it cost and how long does it take? 

We generally charge a fixed fee for our custom automation, which we agree with you up-front before we begin, and only charge on successful delivery. 

To do this, we need to see the documents (ideally all of them, from beginning to end of the process) to understand how everything fits together and so we can work out how to build the questionnaire in the most efficient and easy to use way.  We will then provide you with our proposal, seeing out what we can do, anything we can't do, and what our time frames and costs will be. 

All of the jobs above have been able to be delivered within days or weeks (even the complex packages) for costs that will surprise you. You do not need to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a lot of automation and a very strong return on investment.  Our existing IP and legal experience, combined with the world's leading document automation software, allow us to deliver very high quality automation, quickly. 

If you would like to find our some more about how we might be able to help you, and to get an idea of possible costs and time frames, it's very easy to get started.  Just click the button below and we can have a chat.