A lot of talk on the IACCM Europe Conference was about technology (this post is not publicity; I have no commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned):

  • Virtual assistants “Alexa-like” to work on contracts with a demo by APPTUS;
  • Smart / self-executing contracts;
  • Shredding contracts to data with AI (artificial intelligence) with a demo by Exari;
  • Negotiation between AI machines taking some “bad” human characteristics out of the equation and seeking for an optimized result for both parties.

Many of these things will undoubtedly make our future. But, when the problems are still quite basic – as can be seen in my previous posts on negotiation and risk management – solutions should also be very pragmatic for immediate use by most companies.

One solution that I can immediately see implemented in many organizations, from small law firms to the sales & legal departments of multinationals, is “ClauseBase”. This recent start-up (www.clausebase.com) provides a handy tool to build up a contract from a set of clauses that form the bricks. The tool automatically corrects grammar, references etc. to avoid the annoying work of making a consistent contract out of separate clauses. Let’s admit it, that is usually time consuming and a source of errors. ClauseBase is also integrated with DeepL for translation and currently covers English, French and Dutch. What I find particularly interesting is that companies can make a template with optional clauses to adapt to the reality of a specific project and still guarantee consistency. In my opinion, this can also be suitable for medium size companies that do not have a permanent legal department. They are better off preparing standard documents with a library of clauses available to their sales department for adaptation to each specific project. Specific adapted user roles can be chosen. The monthly fees vary accordingly (from 29 to 99 Euro/month, if I remember well). It is also possible to send a link via email to have a third party or a sales rep, without a license, fill out a pre-formatted contract with data while selecting certain options. I’ve even been told that it can even be used on a website to create options for customers when doing online business with you. That’s smart!    

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AfiTaC.com is the blog on commercial and contractual subjects for the Project Businesses (Construction, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Power & Renewable, Water Supply & Sanitation, etc). Its objective is to stimulate reflection, learning, convergence to balanced contracts and positive dispute resolution. You can subscribe to our newsletter by writing to “newsletter@afitac.com”. You can also connect to our LinkedIn page. Engagement with the readers is what keeps us going. So, don’t hesitate to exchange with us by commenting here below, liking our publication on LinkedIn and writing to us “advice@afitac.com”. 

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