CMS Germany is one of the largest law firms in Germany with more than 600 lawyers and 200 partners advising companies, and groups, in a wide range of industry sectors in all aspects of national and international business law.
The law firm is headquartered in Berlin and has approximately 1,200 employees across eight locations in Germany and six other offices in Brussels, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tehran.
For the purpose of further increasing efficiency in client work, CMS Germany wanted to reduce the amount of time lawyers were spending creating certain documents in various practice areas. The firm required a document automation solution that would guarantee optimum use of resources to clients, while providing accurate and consistent document drafts.
To achieve this, it required a scalable document automation system with the flexibility to integrate with their current systems that could also manage the complexities of the German vernacular. Additionally, CMS Germany required a solution that would allow the law firm to create document assembly interviews without involving IT or outside programmers to build the system.
“Primarily, the objective was to minimise time-consuming text-editing that comes e.g. with the exchange of typical components in a contract or the many necessary adjustments of case, gender and such depending on subject and parties of the contract so that the firm’s lawyers could focus on the actual legal matters.”
– Frederik Leenen, Lawyer, Senior Associate and internal adviser for legal technology at CMS Germany
CMS Germany first began using HotDocs back in 2012 as a pilot in one practice area and with just a few HotDocs user licences. In 2014 CMS Germany decided to increase usage incrementally before deploying HotDocs Hub enterprise-wide in several practice areas in 2016.
As part of the solution, HotDocs created a customised Workspace interface that integrated with the firm’s Line of Business (LOB) systems and used CMS Germany’s branding to complement corporate style. The solution was developed to operate using the German language and CMS was also able to automatically change articles, endings and certain legal terms, where intended.
After deploying HotDocs the next task was training CMS Germany’s users that would be working with the system. The HotDocs Consulting team at CMS Germany approached this by educating key members, which empowered the firm to train the remaining staff in their own time.
HotDocs provided additional support with consultation sessions and written guides. HotDocs also integrated with Microsoft Lync, allowing users to communicate with in-house trainers in real time should they have any questions about the system.
With hundreds of HotDocs user licences, HotDocs Server and a customised HotDocs Workspace front end that integrates with several of the law firm’s other applications, the roll-out at CMS Germany is the most significant deployment of HotDocs document automation technology within the German legal market to date.
Thanks to HotDocs document assembly software CMS Germany improved efficiency in client work and significantly reduced the amount of time spent creating certain agreements across Banking and Finance, Labour and Employment, Real Estate and Corporate agreement practices.
The team at CMS Germany is currently reviewing the use of HotDocs for documents in other practice areas as well as for self-supply and internal documentation.
“This company-wide deployment of a document automation solution will facilitate an increase in cost-efficiency and productivity empowering us with time to spend on legal content.”
- Axel Dippmann, Equity Partner and HotDocs Project Sponsor at CMS Germany