LEGAL & TECH: a winning team to simplify finance transactions
Friday evening, a lawyer at Natixis is going on holidays. She is working on a bilateralfinancing transaction with numerous contact points: legal department, middle office and project managers, as well. With a simple click, she assigns a case to her colleague for a dedicated follow-up during her vacation thanks to a management platform. She is able to leave her desk with peace of mind; the smooth progress of operations will be guaranteed through the access to an internal and collaborative tool. This is no fiction, but a genuine reality achieved by legaltech - digital tools and technologies supporting legal activities. To which extent synergies can be created to optimize finance transactions? Discover the insights from Christian Le Hir, Legal Chief Officer at Natixis, and Nathaniel Merino, Closd platform general manager.
A willingness basis: always best serve clients
Until recently, lawyers only had a few digital tools, which were fully adapted to their job. Things have changed since with legaltech’s emergence in the past few years. Lawyers and their business lines contacts are increasingly calling for these digital legal services. One of the first question asked to legal departments has become the following: “Which tool do you use?” states Nathaniel Merino. This is a true (r)evolution: “Lawyers have many tools to handle at the same time. A new solution should address a real need that is clearly identified”, says Christian Le Hir. One must acknowledge that legaltech has paved its way. “It is a true opportunity for lawyers: they are able to test and to integrate digital platforms internally to achieve optimal client satisfaction.” he adds.
At Natixis, legal teams have chosen Closd platform for their centralized management of bilateral financing transaction activities. It was an informed decision to open to new perspectives. Indeed, a perfect legal advice is no longer enough. Efficiency through the process and a real “customer user experience” are required. The clients can follow their transactions from end-to-end with Closd platform as they are simplified and secured. In the remote working and mobility era, this kind of tool enables a consistency and quality of work to all the stakeholders. In a close future, it is likely that all contract negotiation, from preclosing to postclosing, will be achieved remotely thanks to legaltech.
“A perfect legal advice is no longer enough. Efficiency through the process and a real “customer user experience” is required.”
Removing obstacles to get the teams onboard
This future vision is not fully completed yet. Much progress must be achieved until reaching such a result. New technologies alone are not enough to succeed. “It is key to understand it. Process tools, which offer an immediate advantage must be clearly distinguished from new technologies such as artificial intelligence or legal data lakes, which will have a long-term impact as they are not mature yet.” analyses Christian Le Hir. The will is to first tackle real use cases before integrating new technologies into the solutions. This method has proved its efficiency. “Higher productivity, collaboration, security and economies of scale” benefits are quoted by both Christian and Nathaniel. Natixis’ legal teams who daily use the platform highlight the substantial time saving and ease-of-use. The online access to all documents’ last versions greatly improves the projects management and diminish the ‘silo’ working approach. Moreover, UX design on the platform simplifies the tool’s adoption. Users’ enthusiasm when using this tool is deeply related to the quality and simplicity of its interface. Internal demand is growing accordingly to the new functions that are offered by the platform.
“Natixis’ legal teams who daily use the platform highlight the substantial time saving and ease-of-use.”
A seamless experience ambition for the future
This platform could be deployed in the future to teams in the APAC region and in the regional directions where Natixis is located. External stakeholders would also benefit from such a tool: the clients would be able to complete a full finance transaction remotely without being at their office for instance. Law firms would use it for their paperwork collection (e.g. condition precedents), which is a time-consuming phase. Integrating all the internal and external actors would be a first step leading to the extension of this type of process to other financial activities and departments. Automatically generated contracts, archiving tool integration, and electronic signature are only one of many possible functions that would enable a seamless experience. During the lockdown period related to Covid-19 crisis, full legal activities are carried out through remote working in France. This digital transformation process of legal services is already going along the right road. Improvements and evolution perspectives will undoubtedly speed operational process up and optimize the management of financing transactions.