Think of today’s process that is involved in negotiating a contract or an M&A transaction. The document goes from Lawyer A (Alice) to Lawyer B (Bob) for comments. Bob marks up the document and sends it back to Alice. If Bob makes any significant changes or even if a change happens to run beyond the end of the current line of type, then the format of the document is altered. Bob probably wastes time trying to remove the format change to return the document to the proper format.
If Bob wants to hide a change from Alice, Bob merely needs to accept the change before sending the document back to Alice and Track Changes will not pick it up. Unless Alice uses another application to complete a black line comparison, Alice may never know that there was a change. Bob faces the same dilemma if Alice accepts a change trying to hide it from Bob.
After reviewing the visible changes from Bob, Alice can then either accept, modify or reject those changes and most likely add some further changes. The document is then sent back to Bob who has to read the whole document again to find any changes inserted by Bob. This process repeats itself a few more times and the document now resembles a Christmas tree with all of the multi-colored changes and strikeouts.
Both Alice and Bob now face the same problems. The document is very difficult to read and comprehend due to all the multiple colors. Since Bob’s writing style is different than Alice’s writing style, it may introduce unintended loopholes in the contract. Those loopholes are almost impossible to pick up because the document is so difficult to read and comprehend. With all the colors in the document, how does either lawyer identify the most recent changes? What is the impact if they miss a change? What happens if one of the lawyers starts marking up the wrong version of the contract after opening an email that isn’t the latest email? What if the contract is leaked beyond the two lawyers, either intentionally or through hacking?
There has to be an easier way to do this and now there is. Here are some of the benefits of SavvyDox in a contract or M&A negotiation.
- Neither Alice nor Bob can hide changes from each other.
- Alice follows the same process to either accept, reject, or modify the changes suggested by Bob
- Both Alice and Bob can use page thumbnails to navigate directly to the changes so that there is no chance of missing a change.
- There is no chance of either lawyer using or marking up the wrong version of the contract
- The document is secured in transfer to minimize the potential of hacking
- Bob cannot forward the contract to anyone else without approval from Alice
- Bob cannot copy the contract into a different Word document and forward it to someone else
- Alice has a much, much easier process to accept the changes suggested by Bob
- Both lawyers are reviewing documents that are clean documents without multiple colored changes and strikeouts saving time and eliminating confusion, risk, and liability
- Alice can ensure that the writing style remains consistent, minimizing the risk of loopholes being introduced and minimizing the associated liability
- Even if different writing styles remain in the document, both lawyers are reading clean documents without multi colored changes and strikeouts, so the loopholes are easier to identify
- When Bob suggests a change, it does not impact the format of the document, so no time is wasted trying to correct the format change
Life is easier for both Alice and Bob. They follow the same process of identifying suggested changes and allowing the other lawyer to accept, modify or delete the suggested changes. They both save a lot of time that allows them to work on additional client requirements and as we all would agree, everyone can always use time saving solutions!
If this sounds interesting, please visit http://www.savvydox.com/legal-contract-reviews/ for further information and sign up for a no charge trial. We think you’ll love it, but if you don’t, please let us know how we can make it better!