How to avoid legal discovery nightmares

Katie Cook

ContractRoom

by Katie Cook

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Imagine as a General Counsel you’ve had a busy day fielding legal requests from HR, production and accounting and finance, reviewing a multitude of documents for an upcoming acquisition and drafting status reports on the multiple live cases for which you are responsible.  It’s now 4:55pm and you decide to have a quick look at your email and find your company has been served with a legal hold notice for a number of documents including the following:


  • Written communications between your own company and the counterparty company for negotiations about specific agreement;
  • Written communications between the sales and production departments of you company and the counterparty company that relates to work performed under that same agreement; and
  • Written communications between your company and any third party vendors that were contracted to supply goods and/or services relating to the same agreement.

Would your initial reaction be a calm one knowing that you can confidently and quickly ask your team to identify all these requested documents for this legal discovery request? Or, would it rather be one of panic while trying to configure a plan on how to direct them to assemble the material which you know will be found across a number of many and varied tools your company’s uses for its contracting process?


If the later is your reaction, your current contract management system may look something like this:


  • MS Word for drafting contractual text
  • Outlook or Lotus Notes email for communicating with your colleagues and/or counterparts
  • Sharepoint for saving and storing contracts that have been signed in the past
  • Docusign or Echosign for signing the final version of electronically stored contracts
  • MS Excel for storing financial information related to the contracting process

Why not avoid this nightmare by investing in a complete end-to-end contract lifecycle management system which will store all the indexed metadata associated with the communications, drafts, finalized contracts, collaboration and details of execution relating to all your contracts in one place?  With a modern contract lifecycle management system the discovery of these requested documents for all the related communications and details of negotiations (for all agreements in a given “parent/child” relationship) is just a click away.  


Efficient contract lifecycle management systems also provide functionality to make the entire contracting process more efficient - multi-party drafting and collaboration tools are a core competency (see this blog for more details, http://ow.ly/YDbbF) as well as analytics capabilities to leverage past data for Predictive AgreementTM - check out this blog for how the procurement process can be improved with analytics, http://ow.ly/YDbAm.  


Also, with a cloud-based contract management system you can have access to all your contract data from anywhere, and it’s stored in a highly secure environment.  Read this blog more details on cloud security, http://blog.contractroom.com/is-the-cloud-secure .


ContractRoom is an excellent choice for streamlining all your contract management needs and is the home of #PredictiveAgreement - to learn more about how you too can “negotiate less, agree more” schedule a live demo by clicking here: Request Demo

 

About the author

Katie Cook

Katie Cook

Katie Cook is the Director of Marketing, Communications and Legal Standards at ContractRoom. Originally from the east coast of Australia, she has a background as an Attorney having practiced in both public and private practice in Brisbane and Melbourne. While working as an Attorney Katie completed studies in journalism and is now combining her legal and writing skill sets in her role at ContractRoom.

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