Lexion, an AI-powered contract management system that Wilson Sonsini has invested in, has launched Lexion Workflow, a new module that accelerates the in-house legal contracting process ‘where stakeholders can work with it entirely via email, eliminating the need for complex configuration and training’.
With the addition of Workflow to Lexion’s AI-powered Repository, Lexion now offers an end-to-end contract management solution for in-house legal teams that helps them capture key metrics and accelerate deals while using AI and automation to help them scale, the company added.
That sounded intriguing, especially the focus on email when others are trying to get out of using this form of communication. Artificial Lawyer asked CEO, Gaurav Oberoi (pictured), if he could tell us some more about it.
– Many in the legal world say they’d like to move away from email – (although it remains the dominant form of communication) – is this a case of meeting the clients where they are?
We agree 100%, legal teams can’t scale via email alone. Giant and separate email threads to run the entire process make it hard to know simple things like: current status, context, latest draft, and approvals.
Meanwhile, business users and external parties/counsel don’t want to learn a new system. With Lexion it’s a win-win: Legal gets away from email to manage the process, while the rest of the business, external parties, and outside-counsel can stay in it.
Our approach moves the legal team away from email:
- They get a dashboard that clearly shows tasks in progress and their status.
- Clicking into a task shows the latest draft, discussion thread, and approvals.
- Performance metrics are automatically tracked, and insights are a click away.
But, it allows their internal clients to remain within email. Legal gets a fantastic platform to do their work outside of email, but we support email as an interface to the platform so their customers don’t have to learn it. This means no training and change management, and ultimately, rapid adoption so they can realise their goals of scaling legal and accelerating deals.
– And, why did you decide a kind of Slack / virtual platform environment was not the way to go?
We already support Slack, Teams, and Salesforce as other interfaces to Lexion for accessing the repository (finding and reporting on contracts).
In the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out tighter integrations for Workflow with Salesforce: so sales teams can initiate and interact with the entire process without leaving Salesforce. This has been the next highest requested interface to Lexion, and it makes sense: for many in-house legal teams, supporting Sales is a key priority.
We’ll also be rolling out light Workflow integrations to Slack/Teams, but customers tell us that these channels are mostly used for quick status checks or minor questions. The majority of intake, approvals, and negotiations still happen in email. So we’ll be layering in support for these sorts of status checking activities in Slack/Teams, saving legal teams even more time where they won’t be answering ‘is it done yet?’ questions multiple times in a given period.
– How much more efficient will the platform be with this capability?
Customers see contract reviews happen in as little as half the time when compared to how they do things today, (long email chains, all in an inbox).
They also eliminate hours spent each week on updating their internal customers on status, sending reminders for approvals, and addressing confusion on where the latest draft can be found, or whether a particular approval was received.
This paired with AI-powered automatic analysis and filing of contracts adds up to substantial time savings for the legal team. Moreover, they tell us that the performance reporting we automatically generate helps them stay on top of deadlines and SLAs, and brings fantastic visibility to their team’s work so they can better justify adding spend to legal for new hires, outside counsel spend, or more technology.
In addition, David Wang, Chief Innovation Officer at Wilson Sonsini, said in a statement: ‘Many of our clients are interested in improving the contracting process. However, they are wary of the cost of implementation, and the difficulty of getting the entire organisation to adopt elaborate systems.
‘Lexion’s novel, email-centric approach, is a game changer in that it addresses the chief barriers to adoption and dramatically increases the chance that the business will realise the benefits of the system.’
So, there you go. Email is not dead, nor looks likely to shuffle off its mortal coil anytime soon.