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    Contract Management and Review Just Got Easier: CDS Launches New Service

    June 13, 2019

    As companies struggle to find the best tools for information management, the most effective technology is now coming from a new source – eDiscovery service providers. eDiscovery tools were designed to help users normalize, categorize, review, and report on stores of unstructured data. That ability has benefits outside the eDiscovery context, including: legal hold, data subject access requests and most recently, technology-enabled contract review. The key issue for companies is to deploy a solution that combines a powerful technology platform with the in-depth expertise of lawyer-technologists who know how to leverage its value. That’s where CDS’ new Contract Review and Analysis service offers a significant benefit leveraging Heretik with Relativity technology tools to reduce the time and cost of manual contract review and analysis, while also providing accessible and actionable information from the contracts.

    How does the technology work?

    Heretik is a Relativity application that marries text analysis machine learning models and flexible document review capabilities. Essentially, it uses proprietary technology and data analytics to help draft, track, manage and analyze contracts.

    The functionality involves 3 core processes:

    1. Contract Segmentation – breaks a contract up into logical segments and sections.
    2. Classification – uses advanced RegEx expressions and algorithms to identify the type of contract and individual segments and elements within a contract or section, like type of clause or provision.
    3. Information Extraction –identifies the specific important data points (ex. termination date, governing law, etc.) and puts information in a Relativity field. Although this involves some manual work by contract attorneys, it is guided by Heretik technology and CDS’ team of lawyer-technologists.

    Heretik offers a greater level of granularity compared to competitive software programs. For example, it breaks every sentence/section of a contract into specific data points that capture important information, such as breaking the governing law provision into jurisdiction, limitations, and conditions. When someone must do an analysis on governing law, they can look at that normalized and populated data points as opposed to looking at that section in every contract and keeping a separate list. There is also robust compare and analysis functionality within the program, both for entire contracts and specific sections.

    How can companies benefit?

    Technology-enabled Contract Review and Analysis can help every company, but there are several common use cases:

    1. Mergers and acquisitions. During the merger and acquisition process, teams are under intense deadlines and the possibility of overlooking something important is always present, especially considering the size and complexity of contract documents. Post-merger, the new business will need to review, compare and consolidate each company’s contracts to ensure compliance and determine what actions to take going forward regarding duplicative services. Using an analytical tool that breaks down and categorizes each section of the contract, simplifies and streamlines review so companies can gain insights more quickly and effectively.
    2. Regulatory compliance. Every company has regulations they must comply with, although some have substantially more than others. Penalties for non-compliance can be severe. Implementing a system that extracts relevant information from contracts and converts them into a searchable and easy to use database helps companies to manage risk and quickly react to time sensitive situations. For example, as a result of new data privacy laws in California and other states, companies will need to analyze their existing contracts and agreements to make sure they comply with these laws.
    3. Contract Lifecycle Management(CLM). CLM refers to “the proactive, methodical management of a contract from initiation through award, compliance and renewal.” It can offer significant cost savings, greater efficiency, improved contract compliance, and reduced legal risks for any company. It can also point out missed revenue opportunities and ensure good relationships with vendors and customers.
    4. Like all aspects of corporate data management, security is a primary concern. Conducting contract review and analysis with Heretik provides the ability to leverage not only superior technological functionality, but granular security. Information Security Officers with security surety and audit tables allow auditors to see who accessed which portion of what document on what day and at what time.

    All eDiscovery service providers are not equipped to provide valuable advice outside of the traditional eDiscovery process. CDS’ team of experts, coupled with the power of Heretik and Relativity, can help companies leverage contract data to improve operations, reduce risks and save money.

    For more details on Heretik, contact CDS to learn more about our Contract Review and Analysis services.

    About the Author

    Steve Wang, Director of Managed Review, CDS New York

    Steve Wang leads the operations of CDS’s Managed Review services and focuses on overseeing CDS’s Technology Driven Review offering. He coordinates closely with the CDS Project Management and Advisory Services teams as well as law firm attorneys or corporate clients to understand clients’ goals and deadlines. The Review Management team helps develop customized document review protocols, QC protocols, and privilege review and logging protocols to ensure that they are tailored to meet client and case specific needs and adhere to best practices.