SD Worx is an international HR and payroll services provider, focusing on wage calculation and administration, social legislation and taxation compliance, and specialised software provision. The company is active in more than 150 countries and employs over 4.600 people worldwide, making it one of the largest HR services providers in Europe.
A core function of SD Worx’s corporate legal department is the drafting and negotiating of complex, bespoke agreements. A persistent issue that SD Worx experienced with this task was the centralised management and updating of relevant (fallback) clauses. SD Worx initially sought its solution in a specialised knowledge management platform, but this venture was not successful. After having witnessed ClauseBase in action, SD Worx realised it needed a central platform for both managing and deploying clauses and templates.
Anneleen Calliauw, senior legal counsel at the company, said: "We previously managed our clause structure in Excel files and template documents in MS Word. This method of knowledge management caused the typical problems of those tools: the Excel files quickly became enormous, unwieldy collections of clauses and the MS Word files did little to speed up the drafting process and caused further problems with version management."
SD Worx trained two of its legal counsels in the advanced use of the ClauseBase software. Soon, the legal department had inventoried its entire range of company standard clauses, alternatives, fallbacks and optional clauses and was set to start producing these documents at increased efficiency.
Fabienne Lallemand, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer said: “ClauseBase allows our in-house lawyers to centrally manage contracts and make them available in an intelligent, user-friendly way to colleagues who need them. In this way we streamline the operation between the legal department and the rest of the company and increase the quality of our documents.”
By training its own lawyers to automate documents with ClauseBase, SD Worx gave them the tools to identify other opportunities for improvement in the relationship between the legal department and the rest of the business. Before long, these in-house counsels had automated such documents as NDAs and settlement agreements in a Q&A-format, outsourcing document creation to business users while still ensuring quality and compliance with company policy.
With the help of ClauseBase, SD Worx has succeeded in centrally managing and deploying its contract knowledge and has given its lawyers room to identify and tackle new opportunities for better service delivery to its business users. In this way, the legal department has improved its internal efficiency and increased its status as a strategic partner to the different business units.
Wanted Law is a regional Belgian law firm with two geographically separated offices. The firm currently employs over 17 people, including 12 lawyers and specialises in such domains of law as family law, contract law, and property law.
As an ambitious regional firm, Wanted Law wants to offer its clients the advantage of scale without diminishing its capacity to offer affordable access to justice in the way that only a small firm can.
To meet this challenge, the firm started to focus on the opportunities offered by technological innovation. Hence, the idea of a web shop, where clients could access its services online, was born. In addition to easily accessible “speed dates” with lawyers, the firm wanted to provide intelligent and frequently drafted legal documents online in a flexible manner. The hunt for a strategic partner began.
Joachim Vanspeybrouck, partner at Wanted Law had the following to say: "We wanted to give our clients an easy way to get bespoke legal documents for matters that have a real impact in their lives. We quickly realised that making static Word documents available in a “fill-in-the-blanks” format was not the way to go. Not only because drafting legal documents is more than filling in a few fields, but more importantly because different clients have different needs and we wanted to be able to accommodate those needs. That’s why we realised very early on that we would need specialised document automation software."
After an initial struggle to find a suitable provider, Wanted Law found ClauseBase after attending a document automation workshop. After testing the software for a few days, it became clear that ClauseBase was the right partner to help Wanted Law achieve its document automation goals.
Pieter Pauwels, partner at Wanted Law, said: "The breadth of options available for inserting different legal nuances into a document made us that much more capable of achieving our initial intention of accommodating our clients’ needs. Furthermore, we are a Belgian law firm which means that we are occasionally required to work in three different languages. Having ClauseBase’s grammatical, multi-lingual support built into our documents allows us to service an even larger market."
The adoption of ClauseBase has created a completely new avenue by which the firm can deliver its services. Automating high-volume documents, such as lease and settlement agreements in an intelligent manner has allowed the firm to provide them at fixed prices in its web shop and decreased the barrier to access for legal services.
Sarah Verbeke, growth manager at Wanted Law, said: "Even before there was any official communication surrounding the launch of the web shop, we had already received numerous downloads from clients who had found their own way to the site. In our view, this is indicative of the fact that a true need exists for frictionless legal service delivery. We are intent on exploring further opportunities in this vein to provide the best possible service to our clients."
The journey of Wanted Law is an outstanding example of how technological innovation is not the exclusive domain of the legal industry’s giants. A firm does not require an enormous innovation and investment budget to adopt new technologies but can successfully transform and modernize its business by careful planning and a clear commitment to improvement.