The market has changed dramatically since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic. What hasn’t changed, is that law firms and law departments need flexible software for contract analysis and review.
Platforms like ContraxSuite Extraction & Analysis have an array of tools to make contract analysis and review easier. In our latest release, for example, we enhanced the user experience by adding hotkeys and expanded tooltips, creating easier integration with platforms like HighQ, and improving administrative workflows so users can create custom document fields even easier than before.
One of our biggest new features is the Clause-Level Review workflow. The Clause-Level Review workflow provides our customers with a streamlined interface in which they can perform targeted search and review of specific clauses in their contracts, and quickly accept or reject data the system extracts.
Typical Contract Review Workflow
Historically, a contract review project – one requiring data extraction to answer a wide range of questions – would proceed using one of two methods. The first method involves assigning documents to review team members, with each reviewer carefully examining the entire document for all the required data, before moving on to the next document. This method has two drawbacks: 1) a single reviewer has complete responsibility for a summary of that document, and 2) this method is not very efficient overall. The second method involves assigning a specific subject to each reviewer, with each reviewer handling just one specific subject across all contracts in the project. This allows specialization and consistency across documents per field, and may speed the process along by allowing reviewers to narrowly focus their minds on only their assigned subjects.
This second method has some significant advantages, but the increased use of AI contract review tools has posed an ongoing problem: many software tools don’t have a workflow setup for assigning individual provisions to review team members.
In other words, the current market for contract review tools is forcing a workflow, rather than a superior workflow influencing the software tools. With ContraxSuite’s new Clause-Level Review workflow, you can now choose for yourself which workflow method is right for you.
Clause-Level Review Workflow
With the latest release of ContraxSuite Extraction & Analysis, project managers can now assign clause types to individual reviewers, using the new Clause-Level Review workflow. A project manager can open any Contract Analysis project, toggle Clause-Level Review, and assign individual clauses to specific reviewers on the project team. This new workflow option allows reviewers to filter clauses in a project based on the clause type, the assigned reviewer, and/or other parameters. Reviewers then click into a straightforward workflow that asks them to either “Accept” or “Reject” the clauses they need to review, without having to comb through contracts that might be dozens or hundreds of pages long to find each individual clause of that type. Later, once reviewers have accepted or rejected clauses in a project, that data can be used to develop machine learning algorithms for future contract review work.
Let’s look at an example. As we’ve previously discussed, amid the pandemic many organizations need to quickly find Force Majeure clauses in their contracts. To automatically find all the Force Majeure clauses in a large set of contracts, you can create a simple Document Field and Field Detector with regex code. Once you’ve uploaded contracts to the system, you can conduct a quick, efficient review of their Force Majeure clauses in the Data Grid.
Clicking on a clause in the Data Grid opens that clause in the Annotator for Clause-Level Review. From this screen, a user can either click “Accept Annotation” if the extracted clause is correct, or “Reject Annotation” if the extracted clause is incorrect.
“This is something we really wanted to do for our clients, and to create further customization potential in ContraxSuite,” says Lead Product Manager Kelly Marsh. “The most time-consuming part of contract review is proving the negative. The Clause-Level Review tool puts the focus on reviewing whether the system-generated answers are right or wrong, rather than reviewing a whole document for what’s missing (proving the negative). ContraxSuite can be tuned to be overinclusive, so that using the Clause-Level Review workflow becomes a simple “yes/no” about whether a particular extracted clause is correct, or just a false positive. It’s a new twist to due diligence and contract review, and a more efficient one at that.”
Our customers have already begun to increase the efficiency of their contract review projects by using Clause-Level Review. As part of our 1.7.0 release, Clause-Level Review is a brand new feature that can be utilized for any Contract Analysis project in ContraxSuite.
The user-friendly interface and controls allow project managers and team leaders to quickly train review teams of any size at any level of technology sophistication. The Clause-Level Review workflow also gives users another way to gather data for AI, with accepted and rejected clauses providing the foundation for machine learning classifiers. ContraxSuite has always been a platform that provides its users with an array of tools so that they can get the most out of their contract data. With Clause-Level Review, users get yet another powerful tool.