Air New Zealand Takes Flight with Checkbox NDA Document Automation

Air New Zealand is the flag carrier airline of New Zealand. Incorporated in 1940, Air New Zealand operates a global network that provides passengers and cargo services to, from and within New Zealand to approximately 17 million passengers annually. 


For the Air New Zealand legal team, the process of creating non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) was a time-consuming yet necessary evil. While needed for confidentiality purposes, manually negotiating NDAs created frequent delays in issuing and impacted the team's ability to focus on more significant work. Aware of the problem, the team wanted to streamline the process. However, budget and resource restraints meant that finding the right tool that could do it all for less, would be difficult. 


NDA automation through the Checkbox no code automation platform, delivered by LawHawk, saw Air New Zealand fully automate their NDA process. This enabled the legal team to improve the experience of NDA processes for all parties while experiencing significant time and budget savings.  


NDAs were taking the team away from high-value work

Air NZ’s legal team are responsible for advising the business on an incredibly wide range of legal issues, from consumer law obligations, supplier arrangements airline and trade partnership agreements, property, litigation and finance and fleet transactions. The work is demanding, high volume and complex - driving the need to find an automated solution for less complex workstreams like NDAs. The goal was to free up counsel time for more core, high-value and strategic activities.  

Leading the charge and passionate about the project, Senior Legal Counsel Sam Bailey explains, "We regularly have pre-contractual discussions with potential suppliers, customers and partners for lots of different areas of the business. To protect the confidential nature of these discussions we need to enter into non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to protect both ourselves and the other party. However, we found that we were spending too much time as a team manually negotiating NDAs (when they're relatively standard documents) so we thought, there must be a better way."  

Having looked at a few options, it was proving difficult to find the right system which balanced the appropriate functionality and support with the budget and resource constraints of the airline. Sam explains, "We had been exploring a few options to try and get it right. The tool we were using prior did an okay job, but it wasn't where we needed it to be in terms of relationship management and budget." 

The team was at a crossroads; venture back to old manual processes or keep looking. Fortunately, LawHawk came onto their radar with the Checkbox solution, which offered the automation specifications, dedicated support, speed to market and budget requirements the legal team required. Sam explains, "We really liked the way that LawHawk operated and had been in discussions with them for months looking to find an automation project they could help us with. Then this opportunity came along, and it was the perfect fit." 

Speed, function and service all part of the LawHawk offering 

After discussing the specifications Air NZ’s legal team needed, LawHawk presented Checkbox as an option. Not only did it contain the functionality required but it offered a reasonable price -- at around half that of their current system 

Sam describes the solution and implementation provided by LawHawk as seamless, explaining that, "LawHawk facilitated the whole process, from finding the right solution, to organising consultations with the vendor and Air NZ’s IT team, designing the actual tool using the vender’s software, undertaking testing, and ensuring a smooth launch." Above that, Air NZ rated the service LawHawk provided as second to none. "They make sure the transition and whole system is set up really well," Sam says.   

The fact that LawHawk is a New Zealand-based provider was another huge drawcard for Sam. "It was important to us to have a local provider as part of the solution – first, to ensure we had a high level of responsiveness and secondly, to support local business,” he says. “As a New Zealand provider, LawHawk are available during the hours you need them and throughout the process, their response time was very impressive."

A quick 'take-off' saved the day

Speed, budget and functionality were all factors in the decision to go with the LawHawk team and Checkbox solution as they promised they could deliver, fast. 

Time was of the essence from the outset of this project, with only four weeks remaining until the company needed to renew their current system. The team needed something that could be deployed swiftly so they didn't have to go offline. Sam explains that the speed in which LawHawk and Checkbox were able to get the project done was really a testament to how easy they made the process. "The whole thing's just been incredibly seamless,” he says. “That’s not easy to achieve when you've got so many moving parts, especially within a large organisation like Air NZ where attention and resources are being dragged in every direction." 

Ease of functionality is also a big plus for the Air NZ team. "Checkbox is so simple to use,” says Sam. "The business access a page through our intranet, fill in a simple pop-up form with a few details and the tool will populate a standard NDA document in the back-end which will kick-off a workflow that sends that document around the parties for electronic signing. Once both parties have signed, Checkbox then begins a final workflow that will send finalised copies to both parties and our legal team for record keeping." 

The automation abilities of the Checkbox system have resulted in complete automation of the NDA process. Prior to having an automated tool, the legal team at Air NZ could spend up to half an hour to an hour for every NDA as they went back and forth between the parties. "Whilst we tried to work as efficiently as possible sometimes other things would take priority and we could be sitting on some NDAs for up to a week,” Sam explains. “Which is no good for anyone. The Checkbox system has really removed all the friction and created better outcomes for everyone involved." 

The results have reflected well on the legal team, with compliments flying in from all facets of the business.  

"Wow that is so much better than the last system,” one email reads.  

In all, Sam concludes that the automation of the Checkbox system paired with the dedicated service and consultation from the LawHawk team have allowed the legal team at Air New Zealand to focus more of their efforts on the larger strategic activities that make a difference.   

Preparing further automation journeys

Achieving such great results through the help of LawHawk, Sam shares that this is not the end of the automation journey for the Air New Zealand legal team. "We wanted to work with LawHawk because there are other things we want to do,” he says. “We know that they will try and get the most value for us when we do these things."  

Given the functionality and flexibility available through the Checkbox system, the Air NZ team are also keen to explore what other standard documents and legal workflows the tool can automate.  With plans already in discussion to streamline how the legal team and the customer care team work together, we look forward to seeing where this partnership will take the legal practice of Air New Zealand.   

To law firms and inhouse legal teams weighing up the value in automating their practice Sam says, "There will be an upfront cost, but it's so important to think about the time and resource you'll be saving in the long run. If it results in your team providing a better service to your business stakeholders,  then you should definitely take the opportunity." 

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Air New Zealand Case Study