Leading Swiss law firm Meyerlustenberger Lachenal (MLL) has joined global professional services giant PwC in selling automated contract templates via PartnerVine in a move that shows the ‘industrialisation’ of the legal sector is now truly speeding up.
Last month Artificial Lawyer revealed the news about PwC Switzerland becoming the first legal business to sell automated contract templates on PartnerVine, an online market place where companies, or other law firms, can buy quality legal templates that have been partially automated using the Exari system.
Now, MLL, which is one of Switzerland’s leading law firms, has also joined the market place, becoming the first traditional law firm to do so. So far it has added a variety of automated templates, covering a wide range of corporate and commercial needs, including merger agreements.
The Swiss venture is the brainchild of Jordan Urstadt, who previously worked as a general counsel and earlier in his career as an associate at White & Case. The automated contract templates are reasonably priced, with an automated employment agreement for CHF 219 ($223) and an automated NDA for use during M&A priced at CHF 99 ($100).
Such prices are highly competitive compared to what most commercial law firms would charge a client. Meanwhile, because the documents have been partially automated to help guide their completion with legal knowledge from MLL and PwC, this also reduces the need for legal advice. Yet, at the same time, inhouse lawyers can have confidence that they are buying templates from very well known and respected lawyers, not from some anonymous or less well known source.
In short, this is a quality ‘manufacturing’ style approach that seeks to tap technology to crystallise legal knowledge and then sell this to the market. It also may help drive standardisation, something the legal market has been sorely missing. Overall, this is an important step forward in the much-needed industrialisation of the legal sector.
Urstadt told Artificial Lawyer previously that he believed this was the best way for legal tech to ‘add value’ to the work of inhouse legal teams, i.e. to make the completion of standard contracts, faster, cheaper and more efficient.
In a statement, MLL said: ‘The legal industry is being transformed by technology…MLL sees this as an opportunity and has launched an ambitious document automating project that will both streamline internal work flows and allow them to provide off-the-shelf legal documents in line with new client expectations.’
Lukas Bühlmann, Partner and MLL’s Head Digital, Data Privacy & E-Commerce, added: ‘In a time where the ‘death of the law firm’ has been announced, MLL is taking concrete measures to lead the way in expanding its business model.’
The firm also noted that MLL is offering their legal templates in both English and German, with French in the pipeline. MLL will provide around 40 templates by the end of the year, with more to follow, it added.