Claustack, the community-based standardisation project, is launching a new model contract, a Data Processing Agreement (DPA), in collaboration with the NewLaw arm of Big Four firm, PwC, and CLM company ContractPodAi. The new standardised document will be called the oneDPA.
Claustack, which launched recently, has grown out of the oneNDA project, and is headed by Electra Japonas and Roisin Noonan. They are also the CEO and COO respectively of The Law Boutique.
oneDPA is described as ‘the natural progression of the oneNDA initiative and shares similar characteristics as both forms lend themselves well to standardisation’.
‘Regulatory requirements largely drive the content of DPAs, yet agreements vary dramatically, making oneDPA the perfect next step. This is important considering upcoming changes to the law following Brexit, Schrems II, and the recent announcement on the potential for a new Privacy Shield.
‘With all these potential regulatory changes, the Data Protection landscape is becoming more and more difficult to navigate. Standardisation in this area is set to reduce the enormous amount of time and cost this increasingly complex agreement structure is due to cause over the next few months,’ Claustack explained.
In terms of how it will work, the oneDPA document will be hosted on Claustack, where feedback and input will be focused. Like oneNDA – and as with many other standardisation projects – there will be a steering committee, but this time, ‘the community will be able to contribute from the get-go’.
At present, PwC NewLaw in London and ContractPodAi are both backing the oneDPA project already.
Graham Edwards, PwC NewLaw’s Senior Transformation Lead, said: ‘Since PwC UK launched OneNDA we have seen standardisation on NDAs being used and adopted by organisations globally and the numbers keep rising.
‘We have seen some fantastic efficiencies through oneNDA from both a client experience and time efficiency perspective for PwC UK and our clients. Driving innovation, automation, and optimisation through standardisation on contracts is core to efficiencies being realised across the industry. We see innovative projects such as oneDPA as a key part of streamlining wider legal and operational processes.’
Meanwhile, Jerry Levine, General Counsel of ContractPodAi, commented: ‘As a leading CLM and legal automation platform, we’re increasingly seeing the need for collaboration and consensus-based standards.
‘We believe that allowing lawyers and allied professionals to rely on standards, along with the technology to verify those standards, while also allowing those same professionals to focus on the key items that affect their business, is an effective, important, and beneficial change for the practice of law.’
Global standardisation group, World Commerce and Contracting, has also declared its support for this new initiative, and for Claustack more broadly.
Is this a big deal? The oneNDA project has had a great start, but clearly that document – which received huge support from across the commercial legal market – was just the beginning. Standardisation only really has a truly transformative impact if it becomes a standard approach in itself, and where we have multiple, frequently used documents attain the same level of community-backed modelling.
So, it’s great to see the initiative go to the next level, both by building outwards to become a community organisation in the shape of Claustack, and also working on other contracts and documents that really should be standardised for the benefit of the legal sector and everyone else in society.
The move comes at a time of growing interest in standardisation, with several other projects launching in this area, such as Bonterms and Common Paper. We have also seen the SALI legal matter taxonomy project go from strength to strength. There are many more projects out there. So many in fact that it’s fair to say there is now a Standardisation Movement in the legal sector.
For a list of other standardisation projects around the legal world, see here.