A survey of has found that three quarters of general counsels use 'cut and paste' templates when writing contracts. The findings by software provider Exari demonstrate common corner cutting techniques among GCs. Of the 90 lawyers interviewed, 75 per cent said they use templates in contract drafting and 60 per cent said they felt the contracting process was too slow.
Bill Hewitt, CEO of Exari, told Inside Counsel: 'The risks can be significant. If rogue contracting occurs, any company could be exposed to obligations far beyond the revenue associated with the contract.' The danger is that if a mistake features in an early draft by an in-house lawyer, it will be repeated with each repetition of the contract. 'I recently heard from one company that the limitations of liability clause had been inadvertently deleted and this particular ‘copy’ of the contract had been used hundreds of times,' he added.
Legal software providers like Exari have much to gain from promoting the idea that traditional drafting methods and contract mangement habits are out of date and disorganised. In 2014, the legal market in the US for compliance, data discovery and outsourcing was worth US$11.7bn, according to an estimate by the Legal Transformation Institute. Sources: Inside Counsel; Legal Transformation Institute