The Legal Front Door: A New Generation

If a front door acts as the gateway to a building, the legal front door should be seen as the primary interface between business users and the legal team of your company.

If a front door acts as the gateway to a building, the legal front door should be seen as the primary interface between business users and the legal team of your company.

Previous legal front door solutions only offered limited capabilities and were separate from your other tools. But Summize’s Legal Front door is the world’s first integrated contract lifecycle management software. It merges with your previously existing workflows to provide a seamless, collaborative way to create, review and manage your contracts.

In this webinar, our team will take you on a journey of your contracts after implementing a Legal Front Door for your business.


Nickolas Lindford

Well, I think we'll crack on. We'll press on. Welcome, everyone. Thanks for joining us today. We will be talking to you here at Summize about The Legal Front Door. Jonny, if you could just go to the next slide for me, we'll kick things off with an agenda.

Nice to meet you all. My name's Nickolas. I'm one of the enterprise account managers here at Summize. I'll be walking you through some slides and a bit of an introduction today and just setting up the agenda for today's call. I do have a colleague sat next to me, hence I keep looking to the left. Jonny, would you like to introduce yourself?

Jonny Jessop

Good afternoon, evening, morning, wherever you are, everyone. My name is Jonny. I'm also an enterprise account manager here at Summize, also functioning as technical presales. I'll be doing the demonstration today and taking you through some polls.

Nickolas Lindford

Brilliant, thank you very much. Just to sort of set a bit of an agenda for today's call is, as I mentioned, quite a busy jam-packed 30 minutes, so we're going to try and motor through all of this.

In terms of an agenda, I'm going to walk you through the current state of play as Summize sees it. As Jonny just mentioned, what we have done is we've brought in some polls and some questions for the audience just to make this session a little bit more interactive. I'll cut to Jonny for that part of the call. Then I'm going to walk you through the concept really of The Legal Front Door. We will then show you a bit of a live walkthrough, if you like, of the Summize solution covering a couple of key areas. Subject to timing and hopefully if we can motor through, we can have a little four, five minutes at the very end for some questions and answers. What I will say, just a bit of housekeeping before we get cracking on. If you've got any questions throughout, just drop those into the chat. We will pick them up and we will answer those at the very end of the call. Thank you.

Great. In terms of positioning the current state of play, I think it's important to just set the scene. Contracts generally speaking are increasing in volume. They're getting more complex. They're definitely getting longer. I think from an enterprise standpoint, when we look at the commercial division or commercial teams, they're also becoming a lot more demanding on legal. It's probably not fair to say just commercial are being demanding when it comes to The Legal Front Door. That could be the same scenario for Ops, operations, could be for marketing teams, could be for procurement teams, whatever. So right across the enterprise as an organization. But if we focus on the state of play for commercial, we understand that obviously deal velocity is of huge, huge importance to every single business. It's about looking at ways in which we can drive efficiency, both from a self-serve and creation perspective, but also from a review and intake process. That's what we'll be looking to focus on today's call.

The last point on this slide, just in terms of framing the state of play is clearly the virtual office. That plays a huge, huge role in the way that Summize deploys our service and our offering. This has clearly been established, and what would I say, accelerated, I should say, probably by the pandemic. In terms of organizations and enterprises using instant messaging communication channels such as Slack, such as Teams, this is something that we're all really, really aware of and we're actually really, really used to using. This is one of the reasons, one of the main reasons, why Summize deploys The Legal Front Door in these two key areas. Next slide please, Jonny.

When we think about some of the impacts, so again, there's lots and lots of people on this call. These will hopefully resonate with lots and lots of you here. I'll walk through just a couple of them really just to set the scene. I think I've used the wrong DPA for this project. The template says 2018. Have you got the original terms for this customer I've inherited? I need to cancel this software as we're no longer using it, but the supplier is saying it's auto renewed. The classic. My personal favourite is the FYI contract needed yesterday. I've definitely been at fault for this one before. I think typically if we look and focus on the commercial angle, there can be sales people, sales reps that build very good relationships and rapport with certain key people in the legal function.

What that generally means is they feel it's okay to just attach a contract to an email and drop that into that person and just say, "FYI, could you take a look at this?" No real context is being provided. Of course that then triggers a sort of back and forth typically over email and Outlook of dialogue. Questions like when do you need this by? What is this for? How long is the term of contract? Et cetera, et cetera. This is just a frame, a couple of those impacts and really just to emphasize the point of that legal front door just getting clogged up where it doesn't necessarily need to be the case.

So it's poll time. Jonny, you're up. I'll hand over to you for the polls.

Jonny Jessop

Okay, so we've got some questions for you. First of all, if you could get out your phone, tablet, any other device, I see somebody's already on there, sneak preview, join at, #2347454. You can join and then just answer some of our questions. We wanted really to ask the audience what your day-to-day experience is like in in-house legal teams dealing with commercial people. First question, what do you use for internal communication other than email? Now we know Teams and Slack are the big two, but if you don't use either choose I don't use either. If you know are up for it, put into the chat what you do use and we'll see what else is being used throughout different organizations.

I can see we've got a couple of votes for Teams, couple of votes for Slack here, lots saying Teams. That's definitely been our experience dealing with commercial and legal teams as well. Okay, hugely overwhelming then. We'll leave at 73% for Teams. Okay, so next question. I'll demo using Teams today then. Things that annoy you, challenges you have. What's most inefficient in your current legal process? Nick's already talked you through a lot of these. These are impacts that cause backlogs and cause challenges for you every day. First of all, we've got email requests from salespeople, the traditional FYI, have a look at this. Next template management, the difficulty of maintaining templates day-to-day and making sure people create from the right ones. Next we've got manual review of standard form third party contracts. If somebody doesn't want to transact on your paper but send you their standard paper anyway, having to review it and not having a head start.

And then lastly, finding signed agreement to answer questions in the business. The key example of this, somebody picks up a new customer, maybe they want to terminate, maybe they've got a question about something that was in the original contract. How do you find that contract? Then how do you answer the question of what is inside it? So I can see that salespeople are getting a pretty bad rep here. It's email requests from salespeople winning hugely. We've had 22 responses so far. As a representative of salespeople worldwide, I can only apologize, but we're going to show you a way you can mitigate against that today so never fear. Next, this is the tech maturity model. It's basically a one to five of being completely manual to completely automated within your in-house legal team. If you have a read of some descriptions, let me just walk you through.

So stage one is where everything is pretty much completely manual. You are a reactive legal team just responding to what commercial teams are throwing at you. If you get to stage two, you're probably utilizing some element of process, whether it's a within Microsoft Word, you are extracting basic information. Maybe you've got some checklists, some initial kind of playbooks potentially. Number three you might put in place some kind of digital front door. You might be using a third party piece of software to do so, might be using a ticketing system or you might have created something yourself through SharePoint. You've got an element of kind of automation within the intake process. Getting into number five, you are really embracing self-service. Business users are empowered to actually help themselves and save legal time. You've got some digital playbooks in place and an element of automation. Then number five, you are completely data driven, intelligent. Every piece of information is coming to legal automatically. Quite frankly you don't know why you're on this webinar because everything is completely fixed for you.

And thankfully nobody has voted for that. We're happy. What we can see is generally we're sitting between stage one, stage two and that's how we experience it day-to-day talking to in-house legal teams. It's very, very typical. Lots of businesses have started doing something but haven't quite found the right path yet. We're going to take you through a little bit more now of the solution. Let me hand back to Nick.

Nickolas Lindford

Thanks Jonny. Really, really insightful. Some good information there that we can use in today's call. From a solution perspective, today is clearly to talk through Legal Front Door and Summize's approach to how we go about doing that and how we deploy it. But it is important to take the opportunity just to explain that Summize as an organization is truly end-to-end. We are an integrated CLM. We're one of the world's first integrated solutions and what that really means is we have a look at your existing technology stack and we actually integrate into some of those systems. We're not a CLM that's end-to-end very rigid and we basically ask you to sort of move away from everything that you're doing currently and actually use our solution end to end.

In terms of The Legal Front Door, we'll just focus on those key points for the moment. Today, Jonny will walk through a live demonstration and we'll show you how we can speed up the contract review process by using our AI. It's not a coincidence that the organization is called Summize. That's really where we started in terms of carrying out an AI driven first pass review. We'll show you how we can leverage and utilize the virtual office. You'll have heard Jonny and I today talk quite a bit already about Teams and Slack as the two go-to channels, but we'll show you how we leverage those platforms and technologies to communicate with specifically commercial teams. But again, right across the board. And again we'll show you actually how those commercial teams can allow self-serve for creation of a lot of those standard agreements, which inevitably will be freeing up a lot of your workload and of course driving that obvious efficiency within the legal function.

From an end-to-end perspective, just to cover this quickly, we do sit across the three core pillars of creation, review and manage. That also ties into our analytics capability as well. We are truly end-to-end, but again today we will focus on Legal Front Door.

Last slide from me. You'll notice in top left-hand corner here we emphasize the point of integrated. I've spoken to that point a minute ago, but we are an integrated solution. There's a couple of really key benefits of having that approach in our opinion. When we look at the slide here on the left-hand side and we look at pre signature, we create The Legal Front Door for creation and review of contracts. We'll run through some of the advantages of how we do that and some of the benefits. But there's two really, really big wins here. One is the implementation and the rollout of such a service. We find that in terms of integrating an end-to-end solution, being a CLM can be quite a clunky thing to do. It takes a long time. Then obviously you've got the rollout implementation and there's no guarantee at the end of all that it will work.

Essentially you are giving someone in the business a brand new solution to learn and to use. Why did we decide to deploy our Legal Front Door through Teams and through Slack? Because we all use it, we know it. That's one of the really big selling points I would say to rolling out The Legal Front Door with Summize. The other is ROI. When you engage with a new business, typically it's all about return on investment, making a really good positive start. We generally find this is the most powerful part of the journey being the starting point and it's also where we see a lot of the wins. In terms of driving the self-service element in creation for commercial teams. Also creating a very slick review and intake tool where a lot of commercial people can provide a lot of context to again, avoid a lot of that back and forth as we were talking about earlier on.

We do also, you'll notice, from a review standpoint we plug into a Word. We have the AI that will provide first pass reviews in there. The other really, really clever part is the plugging into the playbooks and the fallback clauses. If you've got precedent causes, we can allow you as legal functions to really be efficient when inserting those clauses at a click of a button and of course reviewing the documents. Over to the right hand side, we've got post signature, so again we won't touch on that today, but that really ties into the repository, the analytics. And you'll see the section in the middle here. We don't want to play in the arena of e-signatures. There's clearly two winners in that market. What we do do, which is really useful for a lot of our clients is we will automatically push back a signed version of that contract into Summize or wherever you might need it. That's it for me, Jonny so over to you.

Jonny Jessop

Brilliant, thank you very much Nick. I hope everybody is ready to take a trip through The Legal Front Door. But I'm actually going to start in Microsoft Word. Most of you as organizations will have lots of different standard form templates that you use and you hope other parties will agree to. Part of our implementation process is immediately addressing those templates and smarting them up a little bit. You might have 10 templates, you might have a hundred. You might have very easy ones, you might have very complex ones. What we'll do is go into Word where they already live and use our build tool here on the right-hand side. Now this allows us to add these smart tags to a Word document. It might be text areas you want to put in. It might be a date picker that you want to add into an agreement to put in dates, might be a company search so we have a global company database that we can pull company details from, or it might be something slightly more complicated. For example, you might have a playbook with several different precedent clauses depending on the use of the agreement that you want to prefill. Or you might have conditionals. A good example of this is if you've got an agreement, maybe like an NDA that's used in several different regions, you can specify which government governing law or jurisdiction clauses you are using in these different regions.

This can really, really help you build custom and very detailed agreement with Summize. What we do is tag up these templates for you initially, it's a very fast job, and then upload the templates themselves to Summize. What we're doing here is making them as easy as possible for commercial teams to use. Of course, legal can go into Word and do their drafting as per normal using this intelligent system.

But what you want to do is for your kind of average salesperson to be able to go into Microsoft Teams and use the Summize assistant like so. It's a web add-on for Teams and forms your legal front door. Let's imagine I'm a salesperson and I want to generate an MSA framework agreement to use as part of a project. All I have to do is go into the assistant and tell it to create me a contract. Just talking to it like it's a chat bot. You'll have used these with various websites and then I'll go select the correct template. Obviously I get access as a salesperson to certain templates depending on my group, who I am, how important I am generally and where I am. Then first of all I'll get my conditional questions. This MSA has an optional DPA that sits alongside it that can be generated as well.

And the question I'm answering is if we're handling personal data or not. Yes, therefore me answering yes means that the optional DPA will be added to the agreement. I'm going to search for a large company we could be transacting with here. let's just use a Facebook. Again, this is a global database and we'll pull entities from all over the world. We normally set it up to look at regions you transact most in. There, that's confirmed. Now I'm going to answer some questions.

What are the annual charges? Let's say 125,000 sterling. Select initial term. These are option fields, so very useful if you've got set answers to questions and set commercial terms that are going into framework agreements. And who's signing, let's use my good friend Joe Blogs. Now that I've answered all the questions, I can then confirm my answers.

And Summize will wear away and fill out that template for me. Now for more sensitive commercial agreements, they can go through an approval flow. If you've got kind of more kind of sensitive commercial terms that need to go through maybe sales management before they get generated and sent back to the user, you can put those through Summize and it will basically ping out an email to that approver and tell them that they've got something they need to look at before it's generated. You'll see once it's being approved or if it's being automatically approved, it'll be delivered back through Teams. If we have a look at this document, we'll be able to see if we have our completed contract sitting here. Bear with me while Word decides to open.

So just drag it across onto the correct screen. We've got the company details here, with name and address, we've got commercials here. And if we go down to the end of this agreement, you'll be able to see that the DPA we've specified has been added to the end of the contract. This is a real clean and easy way to create contracts without leaving the comfort of the virtual office. And legal retain complete control as owners of the templates and they can also see everything that's generated through the Summize portal. But what about if this template gets marked up by the other party and we want to have a look at some redlining? Or even worse if they send their template across for review instead? Well we need salespeople to not be able to send emails to legal. The survey we did on Slido confirms that definitely. Instead the salesperson will go back into the assistant within Teams and request a contract review.

At this point they can upload the contract that they wish to have reviewed and then select potentially any additional contracts they want reviewed alongside. Addendums, statements of work variations, potentially. Next they'll come to a question set. Question sets are basically triaging that agreement to the right person whilst garnering the right context on route. I'm going to select MSA here as this is an MSA I'm uploading. It might be that you separate yours by the value of contract, maybe the department that it's going to. I've got a guidance note here to let me know this is for procuring services. The deal value, again, let's say it's 125. Okay?

Or any salesperson that's going to want it completed yesterday, of course, it's the only answer to that question. However, I hope your salespeople are slightly more sensible. Any areas concern, let's say the termination conditions. And once I've answered the questions that is my job done as a salesperson. All I have to do is go through the chat bot and follow that process. I don't have to fill in any forms. I don't have to upload any documents anywhere outside Microsoft Teams. I do not have to leave the virtual office. Meanwhile, legal will get a notification within Summize, a notification to say that a contract review is being scheduled for them. You'll see this is worrying away here. Now this will normally take two to three minutes to process depending on the length of the document.

Now let me show you this one in the meantime. The agreement will initially come in and you'll be able to see the context, the answers to those all important questions on the left-hand side here.

So it might be that you're looking for the stage, the urgency, maybe you're looking for something that's really specific to which division is responsible for this. But normally in large companies more than one person is collaborating on a contract review. Maybe legal are looking at some terms, maybe compliance are looking at the data provisions, maybe procurement are actually assessing some of the commercial terms. Here, we've enabled conversations. This will mean that you can potentially go, maybe I've got an issue with the payment terms in this agreement and I want to add my good friend Stanley Clark, who is an expert in such areas and ask him to check them.

All I have to do is start a conversation with him through the app. He'll get a notification and he can reply on that thread. This is building up a real audit trail of this document. You're not just doing a contract review, you're actually managing this as a case. You'll see here we have the facility to be able to add in a new version to contract here that you will see as part of this dropdown menu. Then you can go between the different reviews. You're basically forming a timeline of that negotiation. You also have access to AI-based review. We review documents automatically using AI as we've always done at Summize. If you flick this button you'll be able to see the summary that's been generated. This is completely flexible and can be customized to your needs.

It might be for different contract types, you are looking for really specific and onerous terms. We can enable these to be found automatically through Summize and also store in any particular language guidance that you have within your team precedent that you are using to go back with. Your process would be as thus. You would formulate the review through here. Do any editing, check the contract itself, address any red flags. If this is a Word document, as Nick said earlier, you can download it into Word and then do your redlining and negotiation through the Summize word add-in as well. Otherwise, you can export a full report of this contract to discuss with your team internally before execution. Or by tagging them in here and building up almost like a life cycle of the negotiation. In two years time when you go back and you say, right, who approved this? Who looked at this particular clause, what process was followed here? You have that vital audit trail. And that is the Summize Legal Front Door. Just over to Nick and I believe we're going to go through some final questions.

Nickolas Lindford

Thanks Jonny. Really very good. Thank you very much. What we can do now is we have, look at that, 25 minutes past, Jonny, with five minutes to go. Perfect. Happy to take any questions. Jonny, from your side, could we have a little look at the chat and some of the scenarios and questions and queries that are maybe coming in.

Jonny Jessop

I can see some published questions here. What happens if a new contract template is created following the implementation period? Can the clients haggle that themselves or does Summize need to do that on their behalf? Quite simply, you can do it yourselves. We will train you how to do it. If you can use Microsoft Word already, which I imagine you definitely can, then you'll be able to add in tags. If you're struggling, of course our customer success and implementation teams will be able to help you. Nick, if you want to take the next one.

Nickolas Lindford

Yeah, sure. We have, how can we get a demo? Oh, a nice one. How can we get a demo of Summize to see its full functionality? You will find our details, so Jonny and myself, our details are there to see on the screen. By all means reach out, we would love to set up a conversation. I think the most important thing about that is really understanding your current ways of working and your process and whether or not we can support. But more than happy to do that.

Jonny Jessop

We've got a couple of other ones we've published. What integrations are available? Quite simply, lots. We're a very integrated solution. We've talked through some of the key highlights here and obviously Word, Team, Slack, et cetera. But if you have other weird and wonderful integrations you want and workflows you are looking at, just feel free to speak to us and we can scope them with you. I can see, how many contracts can Summize store? Really depends on your user package that you go with through us. And if you want to migrate a full archive across, then we'll just assess it, look at the migration work and then work out the right kind of customer success package or model. But quite simply, as many as you need it to. Nick, if you want to take the bottom one here.

Nickolas Lindford

Sure, I can take the last one, I think. What is the pricing model, users and volume? Great question. We like those questions. Yeah, we have a license or a per-user license model. Typically you're looking at a number of legal users. Organizations that we work with could have a hundred lawyers, 50 lawyers, 200 lawyers, whatever that might be. Then the only important question as well is the amount of business users. Typically that comes in the style of commercial. You might be serving 2000, 1000, 5,000, 10,000 global sales people. It might also tie into slightly other departments and divisions as well. It's just about really identifying how many users across both of those areas you would need. Then we have certain pricing models that we can discuss maybe on a one-on-one basis.

Jonny Jessop

Brilliant, thanks Nick. Could you quickly show the front door via Slack? Now, unfortunately not because we've run out of time. However, the Teams or Slack question was for a reason and we do have The Legal Front Door here in Slack ready to go. Unfortunately, to give you a full demo, I would take up far too much for everyone's time. Please, if you could make yourself known if you are a Slack user, if you just reach out to either myself or Nick or go through our website and book a demo, we will run you through it very quickly. It works in very similar way, but obviously with the Slack environment you're familiar with. But yes, it was a case of winner takes all in Teams versus Slack regarding our demo. Apologies. But we'll be happy to follow up with you.

Nickolas Lindford

Brilliant. Guys, we are on 29 minutes. So thank you so much for attending today. Really enjoyed the session. Thank you for your help, Jonny. Yeah, hopefully we'll speak to you guys soon. Thanks very much.

Jonny Jessop

Thank you.


About the author

Jonny Jessop

At Summize, Jonny works to develop a detailed understanding of our clients' contracting processes to recommend solutions and increase efficiencies across your legal team.
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