Forsters is a leading London law firm, based in Mayfair.
“For us, there are the time savings made in the creation of first drafts, particularly where more than one document is required for a transaction. The automation process has also enabled us to spend time focusing on the quality and consistency of our documents.”
Head of Knowledge, Forsters
Forsters were keen to investigate technology that would help them work more efficiently and to ensure that they were in the best position to meet the current and future needs of their clients. Document automation fitted the bill as it would allow Forsters to enjoy the efficiency savings of automation vs manual drafting, whilst also ensuring consistency in drafting across suites of documents.
Miri Stickland, Head of Knowledge at Forsters, explained:
“In 2017 we conducted a review of document automation providers in the market. We had a series of meetings with Clarilis and were impressed by their enthusiasm! From a personal perspective, the key differentiator was the fact that the coding was going to be undertaken by Clarilis, leaving me free to focus on the document content and guidance notes which sit alongside our precedent suite. This felt like a much more sensible division of labour which also played to our strengths!”
“Another thing that distinguished Clarilis from other providers was the extra layer of support provided by the Clarilis PSLs. The Clarilis PSLs have been extremely helpful in analysing our precedents and identifying content suitable for boiler plating, producing the first iterations of the questionnaires, and acting as a sounding board in terms of structuring the questionnaires, the questions to ask and identifying where further guidance notes were needed in order to assist users to make more informed drafting decisions.
“When it came to selecting a provider, we felt that Clarilis was more than just a software house. Their technical legal capabilities distinguish them, and their PSLs bridge the gap between the IT department and the lawyers on our side. We also felt the pricing was competitive.
“We opted for a phased roll out of the Clarilis platform across our real estate department and this has worked really well for us, as it has allowed our fee earners to adjust more gradually to a new way of working. The feedback from the users has been great, particularly regarding the removal of a lot of the manual work associated with creating a good quality first draft and the time savings it creates, especially when our lawyers are working to very tight deadlines. The Clarilis platform allows our lawyers to focus their time and efforts on the more complex aspects of a transaction.”
Miri outlined the benefits:
“For us, there are the time savings made in the creation of first drafts, particularly where more than one document is required for a transaction. The automation process has also enabled us to spend time focusing on the quality and consistency of our documents. From a risk management perspective, the benefits are clear, with updates made quickly and consistently behind the scenes, so that each time a new transactional document is generated the most up-to-date version of our precedent sits behind it.
“Additionally, we’ve found there are softer benefits of automating our precedents, user feedback is being incorporated to refine the questionnaires and documents, enabling us to capture and share the expertise and experience of our lawyers and combine it with best practice in our precedents.”