Our LegalTech Soapbox series is where we put the spotlight on #LegalTech vendors that are benefiting the legal fraternity and the broader network with their game-changing Legal Technology.
Under the spotlight in this episode is LightHub, a contract management portal. We speak to CEOs, Paul Waugh and Justin Cornish, who share the story behind LightHub and how they think the use of Technology will change in the next 10 years. Let’s dive in…
1. Hi Justin and Paul, tell us the story behind LightHub.
LightHub was developed by a team of lawyers who annually handle thousands of contracts across a wide range of clients in multiple jurisdictions and industries. The team has had to distil processes to create efficiencies and consistency in client contract landscapes.
These processes have been included into a single system – LightHub – after grappling with how to create an online system that is capable of handling the range of legal requirements involved in drafting and managing contracts. Based on our extensive experience and expertise, LightHub understands the needs of those who are responsible for managing contracts.
LightHub was originally created using third party technology. The processes were mapped as far as possible onto this technology and tested and refined in our client space. In early 2021, LightHub was created as its own proprietary software, incorporating the processes and know how into a system designed specifically for contract management. This software has been successfully rolled out to our clients and has transformed their contracting process.
2. What are the services/products that LightHub provides?
The contract lifecycle management process covers the creation of a contract request, automatic generation of the standard documents, negotiation, signature and storage of the contract. This process is done in the system allowing users to collaborate together to review the documents.
Data and reporting within LightHub has become a very powerful tool for decision makers in organisations to understand their contract landscape. As all the contracts in an organisation are being pushed through the system, it becomes the single source of truth for data relating to the contract landscape.
LightHub includes a built-in knowledge base where any person involved in the contracting process can access both the internal resources and contracting and negotiating content. It has proved extremely useful in the negotiation of contracts, as well as to train contracting teams and new joiners.
3. How does it help optimise the daily operations of an in-house legal team?
LightHub takes the contracting process to new levels of efficiency, visibility, certainty and collaboration. It reduces the need for external legal counsel while managing the risk associated with managing contracts in-house as well as allows in-house legal teams to spend more time on strategic, value add activities rather than repetitive and time-consuming tasks. It achieves this through the following:
- Streamlines the intake process: All new matters are created using an intake process. This is customised depending on the type of contract required, asks questions relevant to that type of contract, and captures the relevant background documentation. This reduces the amount of email traffic around a new instruction and ensures that all the information is captured in one place.
- Standardises contract drafting: Contract templates can be automated or the latest version can be available to contract drafters so that the correct up to date template is always used. This also has the potential for business users to generate their own contracts without the need for legal support.
- Enables collaboration throughout a negotiation: Negotiation is handled and tracked in the system. Workflow allows the users to know where in the process their contract is and who is currently responsible.
- Single point of contract storage: The final signed contracts are stored on the system with the relevant notifications for expiry or renewal so users don’t miss those important dates.
LightHub is designed to handle the demands of a large contracting team and is customisable to meet the individual needs of every organisation.
4. What do you believe will be the most significant change in how in-house legal teams use technology in the next 10 years?
Legal teams are usually slow adopters of change given their role to minimise risk in an organisation. However, we have found that legal teams are constantly and increasingly under enormous pressure to have oversight over more contracts with less budget for resources. This inevitably means that they will need to rely on technology to do so. We are of the view that lawyers and in-house legal teams will not (at least in the short term!) be completely replaced by AI and technology as the application of a legal mind to a specific set of circumstances embodied in a contract is not close to being replaced. However, technology will be able to do the following for in-house legal teams:
- Distinguish which matters do not require in-house legal’s input, from a complexity, value and risk perspective, and allow the business to close those contracts on their own.
- The way that in-house legal teams will interact with the business will fundamentally change to be handled on single, secure, online platforms. There will be a significant move away from email, including sending drafts over email and systems will handle all communication and management of contracts.
- Automation will become the norm. The application of in-house legal will only be required later in the process of contract creation as the first few drafts can be automated and created by the business stakeholder. This includes automating first reviews and risk analyses through language recognition software.
- There may be a move to increase the standardisation of contracts. The OneNDA movement is an attempt to standardise NDA’s so that they do not need to be negotiated. This is likely to happen in other areas too, although it will always require buy in from industry players. This will result in a significant reduction in the amount of time in-house legal will spend on the battle of the forms.
- Augmented Intelligence (AI) will allow for an increasing proportion of negotiation, red-lining and risk review to be automated.
Interested? Check out their website to find out more about their services.
KorumLegal is a boutique legal consultancy committed to providing value innovation in legal service delivery. The legal services industry is continuing to change with ‘NewLaw’ – and clients are seeking more innovative and cost-effective solutions without compromise on experience and quality.