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Easing the challenges faced by in-house legal teams


While HotDocs is well known for its widespread use within law firms of all sizes, all over the world, it’s perhaps not quite as generally known that our document automation technology is utilised by a high number of in-house legal teams within large, international companies.

The role of the in-house lawyer, at any level of seniority, is challenging and varied. While often perceived as potentially having a better work/life balance than firm roles, the most frequently cited challenge of the in-house lawyer is that of succeeding to manage a heavy workload with limited resources. And this is why document automation can be a critical component of the successful in-house team.

With overall responsibility for ensuring the accuracy and quick turnaround of a diverse range of legal documents, from the feel-good new sales contracts to the not so pleasant compromise agreements, lawyers in large companies spend an inordinate amount of time drafting, tailoring, checking, re-checking and signing off on a high volume of business-critical documentation.

One long-time HotDocs customer that really reaped the benefit of implementing our document automation technology is Ceridian. As a global, human capital management software company, Ceridian provides HR, payroll, benefits, workforce management and talent management as a single solution, allowing their clients to manage the entire employee lifecycle through one robust platform.

Ceridian has thousands of customers worldwide, with more coming on board every day. Prior to implementing a HotDocs solution, the in-house legal team was swamped with the review and approval of new client contracts coming from the field sales team. Client on boarding contracts could run to 30 pages and have up to 500 individual data points.

Workload and legal spend was further exacerbated by some sales reps tailoring contracts on the fly; meaning that clauses and conditions may not comply with standard operating procedures, company compliance regulations or have the legal team’s stamp of approval.

The in-house legal team needed to reduce the backlog of contract approvals and ensure control of legal content in sales contracts. Ceridian approached HotDocs and the solution was created. A sales agreement was drafted by the Ceridian legal team, containing all possible options and variances for products and services available to customers, and this was transformed into a dynamic HotDocs template. This new template was owned and controlled by the in-house legal team and was accessible to the field sales team via an intelligent HotDocs interview in a web browser.

In the field, sales reps go through a straightforward question and answer session, with questions appearing and disappearing dependent on previous answers and all calculations and computations completed automatically, resulting in a perfectly tailored, perfectly accurate document for customer signature. The interview cannot be completed without all necessary answers being input and the finished document is locked down to prevent manual editing.

The interview used to create client contracts stems from a template created by the company’s legal experts, providing complete control of contract content and protecting Ceridian from the risk of inaccurate legal documentation. Non-lawyers could now create these routine contracts, saving time and allowing the legal team to turn to more pressing work. Version control of the document template and access rights to the HotDocs interview rested with the legal team, meaning that amendments and updates were always in the control of Ceridian’s legal experts. The HotDocs interview allowed no margin for error in the creation of customer sales contracts, with the direct result of a reduction in the litigation budget from seven figures to zero.

And it’s not just sales contracts that benefit from automated production using HotDocs. In-house legal teams in other large organisations utilise HotDocs document automation software for franchise agreements, employment contracts, lending agreements, insurance policies, NDAs and a whole host of other critical documentation. Imagine the time your legal team could save if the production of all standard legal documents was automated.

To find out more about how HotDocs can reduce the time spent on document review for your legal team,schedule a 30-minute demo.

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