SER Blog  Customer Stories & Use Cases

5 ways digitalization benefits legal teams

Julia Pedak

While documents and data are increasing in number, in-house legal teams and legal counsel are not. So how do you manage your contracts, patents and other legal documents more efficiently with the same size staff without compromising the security of sensitive information when working with people outside of your company?

Legal teams are five times busier today than they were 20 years ago, as the Bucerius Law School discovered. Business relationships are growing and becoming increasingly complex. When it comes to drafting and negotiating contracts, providing legal counsel to subsidiaries and operative units or handling litigation – more and more documents and processes are required every day. The administrative steps involved are increasingly time-consuming and prone to error when carried out manually. Documents accidentally filed incorrectly under time pressure or missed contract deadlines, however, are simply not an option. Any errors could jeopardize the company’s ability to conclude or continue successful business relationships. What can be done about this? Legal departments are looking for solutions that relieve them of repetitive, routine tasks and help them to keep track of contracts more easily. This is precisely where enterprise content management (ECM) comes in. It helps legal teams to achieve transparency in all documents and processes and to work more efficiently. Here are the top five reasons why your legal team should digitize.

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1. More time for content-related questions

Whether patent law, corporate law, or labor law: expertise is in demand. However, you need time to get to grips with legal matters. And time is precisely what many legal teams don't have because, as the volume of documents increases, so does the administrative effort. The Doxis ECM platform relieves you of this administrative work, such as filing and archiving. Doxis automatically assigns new emails and documents to the right files and ensures that retention periods are fulfilled. Besides managing contracts, you also manage other legal processes automatically, such as coordinating and reviewing documents for court dates. If management or business partners have any questions about the status of a case, you can provide immediate information: with ECM, all process steps are documented and the progress clearly displayed. 

2. Clear overview of all legal documents

A good third of all legal teams lack the solutions and technological expertise required for digital workflows. This means that they organize tasks and documents with file directories and emails, often even with paper files and floating files, which all takes time. Instead of waiting a long time for paper or searching electronically in complex folder structures, you can find and manage documents with ECM in a matter of seconds. In Doxis, for example, eFiles bundle documents on contracts, M&A or negotiations with business partners. This gives you an overview of all information that is relevant in the respective context. You can access this information at any time in parallel with other colleagues – even if you are, for example, out of the office at meetings in other subsidiaries. Doxis stores every version of a document, which ensures that nobody works with outdated information and avoids potentially costly contractual mistakes. You can see at a glance which is the latest version, who worked on it, and when.

3. Streamlined contract management

Drafting and finalizing contracts often involves multiple templates or monster templates containing countless clauses and a long string of emails with attached documents: It’s easy to make mistakes here. Doxis streamlines contract management for you. The benefits are wide-ranging. You consistently manage contract templates and text modules for clauses and keep them up to date at all times. For example, if a license agreement is about to expire, ECM reminds you to renew it in good time and provides all the necessary information for this. You also manage contract review and approval with Doxis. The software suggests who has the necessary qualifications and spare capacity. At the same time, Doxis selects whether a document needs to be checked according to the principle of dual control or not, depending on the type of contract, so that you can fulfill internal compliance requirements more easily. Another advantage of digital processes is that you can always see who is currently checking a contract, where approvals are still outstanding, and by when these need to be issued. Doxis also reminds you of the deadline and informs you if it is likely to be exceeded. This enables you to create contracts faster and avoid business-critical errors.

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4. Verifiable protection for sensitive information

Information on the content of contracts, joint ventures or patents must not fall into the wrong hands. Within your organization, Doxis protects your documents against unauthorized access, tampering and accidental deletion, and logs all these actions. Yet how do you make documents available to external lawyers and business partners without taking any risks? Not only are emails or file sharing solutions not secure, they also make it difficult to keep track of all documents and their processing status. Take contracts, for example, which are sent back and forth, filed and renamed (i.e. “contract_V12.5-final”). In contrast, Doxis iRoom offers a secure way of exchanging documents, data and also tasks. Using this solution, information can only be accessed by selected persons, documents are only stored once, and all changes are versioned transparently. This enables you to manage processes with external parties just as consistently and efficiently as with internal employees. All decisions are documented clearly so that you can immediately provide all evidence in case of litigation.

5. Convenient self-service for employees

In your company, you are the contact person for all legal issues. If employees call you and want help with a tender or with customer data, this takes time. It is easier for everyone involved to provide internal policies for data protection and all valid templates centrally. To do this, you link Doxis to the intranet, for example: when you update documents, the new version is immediately available to all employees. This not only accelerates processes throughout the entire company, it also prevents compliance violations

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