Streamlining legal management with digitalisation

As the legal industry in Hong Kong continues to become more competitive, the need for more effective legal project management has grown in importance.

In our day-to-day work at Slotine, we focus on supporting our clients in their growth through transactions including acquisitions, investment rounds and intra-group reorganisations, as well as advising them on matters relating to corporate governance, commercial agreements, employment, debt collection and shareholder disputes. All these involve high levels of email back-and-forths with our clients and other counsels to exchange documentation and collaborate on the closing checklist.

Moreover, we serve a broad range of local and international clients, spanning start-ups, multinational groups, and everything else in between. Issues such as language and time differences have an impact on how well we meet their needs in a cost- and time-efficient manner. To that end, we are constantly reviewing our processes to apply the right solutions that optimise the way we work.

That’s why technology has become an integral part of our practice at Slotine. In examining the areas we could improve in, we realised that our main problem involved time-consuming and low-value-adding tasks on transactional cases such as communicating different versions of draft documents with various stakeholders, updating the closing checklist, sending follow-up emails, manually compiling documents and organising wet-ink or electronic signing. Hours could be spent on these tasks instead of focusing on high-value, strategic work for clients.

This led us to the collaborative legal transaction management platform, Closd. Although we chose it mainly because it is available in French and English – the language of the majority of our clients – Closd has allowed us to focus on value-added tasks and free up our time on those that can be automated, particularly on our M&A, private equity and international intra-group reorganisation cases.

The features we use the most for working with our clients are the closing checklist module, the documents module – which we often use as a data room – and the signing session module, due to its integration with DocuSign. We also use Closd internally as a project planning tool, as it enables us to manage our deadlines by setting reminders.

Digitalising a part of our processes has fundamentally changed the way we communicate as a team and serve our clients. Instead of generating our closing checklist using Word and sending it via email like we used to do, for example, we now leverage the platform to move the transaction along, saving time and effort for all parties. As technology continues to evolve, we are excited about the possibilities that its new features and improvements will offer – its new data room functionality for M&A being a particular one that we are interested in and has also been requested by our clients.

As with any solution, what works for us may not work for all firms. However, there is no denying that digitalisation is – and will continue to be – fundamental in enhancing our profession and helping us meet the ever-evolving needs of our clients.

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