Outsourcing contract review means this legal team can now focus on strategic business and product development projects

It’s a common story. An efficient legal team at a large international business finds their time is being increasingly taken up with compliance and strategic projects. Which would be fine, but it is affecting their core task: providing contractual support to the business units. With insufficient demand to justify hiring a fourth FTE, they found the answer with our Contract Review as a Service solution.

From general contract support…
The company, a leader in its field with thousands of employees and operations in over 30 countries, has a three-person legal team: a legal counsel and general counsel, plus a paralegal. The legal and general counsels mostly provided contractual support to the businesses (sales, marketing, procurement, HR, finance and so on), while the paralegal looked after corporate housekeeping and supported the GC in certain compliance projects.

…to more compliance and strategic projects
The demands made of the team began to change after private equity investors came on board. Factor in regulatory changes that affected the businesses and, bit by bit, the legal and general counsels saw their time being increasingly occupied with compliance requirements and strategic projects. Projects related to privacy issues, sanction screening, product development, pension schemes and the like. Result: with the paralegal already fully occupied, the team’s ability to provide contractual support was being squeezed out by the more important compliance and strategic projects.

Not enough work for a fourth FTE
Their first thought was to hire someone to look after contract reviews. But analysis showed there wasn’t enough contract review work to justify a full-time role. A project to empower the businesses to handle standard NDAs and sales agreements didn’t work out. Even with templates to follow, the businesses had so many questions for the legal team that there was no meaningful reduction in workload.

Another way: Contract Review as a Service
Enter Legadex’s Contract Review as a Service. The legal team knew us from other work we had done for them. When they mentioned the problem they had, we pitched the idea of our contact review service as a solution. They saw the potential fit at once.

Defining wording clause by clause
The next step was the all-important intake meeting. Ahead of this, the team sent us their NDA and sales agreement template and some markups. This enabled us to draft a preliminary playbook for these agreements. With a basis to work from, we agreed the final playbook during the intake. This included our client’s preferred wording and fallback wording per clause and was based on our standard intake form.

Easing the legal team’s workload
When it came to process, we agreed that Legadex would raise any questions about NDA scope or sales-related delivery terms with the business owner directly. The business owners would send any questions they had about NDAs and sales agreements directly to Legadex. We also agreed that all completed reviews would be returned to the business owners. They would route them for counterparty agreement, arrange signatures and archive the signed contracts in the company’s CMS (contract management system). Once a month, we would send a report to the general counsel detailing the contracts reviewed.

Time gained = more value adding projects
Has it made a difference? Absolutely. Partnering with Legadex has reduced the time the legal and general counsel spend on contract review to about 70% of what it was before. This in turn gives them far more opportunity to focus on value added agreements and strategic business projects that support the growth of the business. For example, since we came on board, the general counsel has been able to accelerate a number of compliance projects, including ones related to privacy and the protection and storage of confidential information. The legal counsel is now spending more time on product development and cutting the time to market for new products.

Discuss your unique needs?
Would you like to know more about what we could do for you? Contact Peter Schepens to see what Legadex can do for you.

Peter Schepens
T: +31 (0)6 5478 1568