Document Automation with Ment - Legal Department Case Study

InvestCEE LegalTech Consultancy and their LegalTech Marketplace partner ‘Ment’ assisted Fujirebio’s European operations in implementing document automation technology in their legal department. The legaltech advisory team worked closely with Fujirebio Europe’s in-house counsel based in Ghent, Belgium to source and implement the adequate platform corresponding to their specific legal workstream needs.

This case study shares insights about the transition to:

  • automated document templates,
  • digitizing legal workstreams and
  • collaborative knowledge management in Fujirebio Europe’s legal department.

 


 

Background

A proven pioneer and partner to the healthcare industry, the Fujirebio Group has global teams located in Japan, Asia, Europe and the US. In Europe, beyond general corporate, IP and other legal matters, Fujirebio Europe’s in-house team handles numerous commercial contracts and strategic partnerships.

The European in-house legal department needed a dedicated software solution that would serve as their back-end tool for generating commercial documents used by the business on the front-end. Besides managing standardized document templates, the legal team aimed to set up an interactive clause library and save their lawyer’s administrative time and hassle, while improving service and turnaround time for the company’s business clients. Ment’s no-code document automation platform delivered a win-win for both sides — legal and business users in the organization.

We wanted to reduce the legal team’s first-line support for standard agreements and provide clear guidelines for the business to self-serve on basic clauses,” said Inge Delputte, Legal Director at Fujirebio Europe. “Having our small legal team doing administrative tasks or copy-pasting standard legal clauses is not a good use of our strategic capabilities and limited time.


 

Challenge

 

Fujirebio Europe has a small legal team — their two counsels and contract coordinator have already carefully designed internal workflows in order to maximize efficiencies in their department. However, centralized tools used by the organization (electronic folders and physical databases) provided limited support to specifically legal workstreams. To make the most of the traditional IT infrastructure, the in-house legal team had also set up standardized document templates, created procedures for document processing and directed business clients to a “legal portal” on the intranet.

Despite best efforts, this preliminary approach left some of the legal team’s daily challenges unsolved:

  • Electronic and physical databases remained passive storage units that would not easily  allow for collaborative working or interactive template management;
  • Traditional document management didn’t allow to embed clear and easily accessible guidelines for the business users with respect to standard clauses and alternative positions
  • Agreement templates often led to requests with incomplete information or questions or didn’t actually warrant legal department involvement; and
  • Overall, general support and standard document management amounted to approximately 25% of the legal team’s workload on a daily/weekly basis.

Without a digital platform designed for smarter legal drafting, template management and document generation, Inge Delputte said, the legal department’s performance was not as efficient as it could be and often overwhelmed with administrative tasks.


 


 

Approach

 

By the time Fujirebio Europe’s legal department reached out to InvestCEE’s advisors for legaltech support, the in-house team had a digitization strategy already planned. Accordingly, InvestCEE’s role in this case was more about ensuring alignment of scope and functionality offered by our LegalTech Marketplace vendor partners and launching pilot projects with test environments.

Given that Fujirebio Europe’s legal leaders have already started rethinking internal processes prior to deploying smart technology, the collaboration was aimed at sourcing the adequate legaltech solutions that truly fit their working style. Following a short pilot period, the in-house team moved on to acquiring management approval for the Ment subscription and then to gradually onboarding the new drafting platform. Beyond basic document automation functionalities, Fujirebio Europe’s annual subscription package included dedicated onboarding assistance for the first few weeks and then ongoing user support of two hours per month (at no additional cost).


 

Results

 

Streamlining everyday work processes first and then proceeding to a step-by-step implementation of Ment paved the way to the coordination of back-end and front-end document drafting tasks at Fujirebio Europe. The in-house team shared the following results about the transition:

  • The legal department currently uses Ment to keep the contract templates up-to-date and compliant at all times for the business units.
  • Business department requests for standardized legal documents were redirected to automated smart templates via the “legal portal” — Ment’s widget functionality proved particularly helpful in this respect. Widgets are “document buttons” (made available on the intranet) leading to automated templates that allow business users to self-serve and generate documents by answering a carefully crafted legal questionnaire prepared by lawyers. Accordingly, end-users of widgets (i.e., business stakeholders) need no access to Ment, require no training to benefit from Ment features and yet can access automated documents directly from the cloud.
  • The review of draft legal documents has become transparent and considerably easier to manage — business requests with incomplete information and questions that didn’t actually warrant legal department involvement were minimized.
  • The legal department now has access to a complete and reliable archive of digitally generated legal documents, immediately available to all team members with access rights.
  • Internal collaboration among legal team members and with operational units is expected to significantly improve. Inge Delputte, Legal Director at Fujirebio Europe said: “Business stakeholders will have a more clear understanding of the legal team’s strategic role in complex legal matters and how automation can play a role in routine, standard document management tasks. Ultimately, this adds to the legal department’s visibility and value-add across our organization”.
  • As business needs evolve, the legal department can easily automate new document templates for new types of standard requests, ensuring the correct background information and instructions are captured directly in Ment. Hence Fujirebio Europe can improve knowledge management without unnecessary burden on the legal department.

Conclusions

 

Digital drafting platform Ment currently serves as the foundation for back-end and front-end legal drafting at Fujirebio Europe. As soon as documents are finalized and management proceeds to signing, Word versions or PDFs can be downloaded from Ment or forwarded for signing directly from the platform. Overall, template drafting, document generation and pre-signing contract related work streams will become more streamlined, accurate and actionable compared to the previous internal processes at Fujirebio Europe. Both legal and business teams will soon focus their time and expertise wisely when it comes to managing documents at Fujirebio Europe.

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