McCarthy Tétrault LLP is a full-service Canadian national law firm with 700 attorneys spanning Canada and offices in New York City and London. The firm prides itself on being a leader in innovation, which includes leveraging new technology and resources such as its in-house digital information management specialists, MT>3.
MT>3 offers a wide range of legal, strategic and technical services including in-house projects that drive efficiency for its lawyers and enhance the client experience.
McCarthy’s transactional practice had been handling the growing number of their closings virtually, which involved circulating documents over email. Even with this virtual closing process in place, certain mundane tasks were still required which took up significant time and attention, specifically:
- Identifying signature pages and their signatories
- Pulling signature pages by the signatory and sending them out
- Inserting signed pages back into documents
The above was not only time-consuming and inefficient but also susceptible to human error. It was evident that there was a need for improvement in compiling complete sets of documents and allowing for the sign-off on execution versions of drafts, quickly and efficiently.
In keeping with McCarthy’s unique approach to innovation, the firm has an interdisciplinary committee focused on evaluating legal technology solutions. One of the goals of the committee was to modernise the transaction process to make it more efficient for lawyers and clients.
“We were looking at all facets of our transaction process and how we could improve it and create efficiencies for our lawyers and clients." – Jake Irwin, Partner, McCarthy Tétrault.
The committee invited the Closing Folders team to demonstrate their Legal Transaction Management (LTM) solution to a group of the firm’s lawyers and paralegals.
“The Closing Folders demo really resonated with the lawyers and paralegals,” stated Irwin.
After a thorough evaluation by the McCarthy Tétrault IT team and user pilot tests, the committee concluded that Closing Folders to be an effective solution for the transaction practice. They introduced Closing Folders in July 2017 simultaneously with a number of other transaction tools, including DocuSign which integrates seamlessly with Closing Folders.
“Now our clients are included in the closing process earlier on because there’s no need to set up a closing room. As soon as a closing agenda has been established, we can open up the Closing Folders deal with all participants, including clients and lawyers on the other side of the transaction, to collaborate on the closing documents,” added Irwin.
Increased efficiency for lawyers
In combination with the firm’s in-house services offered by MT>3’s transaction management services team, the firm and its clients have realised a number of benefits with the adoption of Closing Folders, including increased efficiency and enhanced service delivery.
McCarthy’s monthly reports show high adoption rates that continue to grow month over month. Adoption is particularly high among associates with a significant percentage using Closing Folders more than 20 days per month – an indicator that the solution has become integral to their day-to-day activities as transactional lawyers.
“Our active users fluctuate between 90 and over 100 per month. Which represents 80 or 90% of transactional lawyers at a certain level at the firm,” says Irwin.
Senior lawyers have found the solution beneficial by not having to deal with the time-consuming challenges that come with more traditional closing rooms, they manage transactions more efficiently by logging in and reviewing the progress of junior lawyers’ work to ensure the team are meeting quality standards and expectations.
“The technology has improved the engagement between junior and senior lawyers which helps us deliver the top tier quality our clients expect. Closing Folders is also helping lawyers practice more efficiently, not only during a transaction but also post-closing and on future deals. When lawyers log into their Closing Folders platform, all their deals are there and they can quickly access materials and help clients more quickly.”
Enhanced client experience
The McCarthy team has noticed that clients are more relaxed leading up to closing now that they actually have visibility on the progress and can review documents at their convenience from the comfort of their own homes or offices. Closing Folders has alleviated the need for lawyers and clients to spend late nights or weekends in a physical closing room.
“Our clients really appreciate Closing Folders because it gives them the assurance that things are moving along. The fact that they can sign off on a transaction without sacrificing their evening or weekend has been a significant benefit to them.”
In the past, providing a client with a final record of a transaction could take a month or longer. Now, clients are impressed as a custom-branded closing book will be delivered within hours of closing as the need for printing, scanning, and binding files has been eliminated – saving both time and costs.
Increased boardroom availability
An unexpected benefit McCarthy has experienced since adopting Closing Folders is an increase in the availability of boardrooms in their offices. In the past, boardrooms would be tied up for days or weeks holding folders for closings.
Now, these boardrooms are used more effectively for face-to-face negotiations, client meetings, and other firm activities. This seemingly small benefit is actually significant in McCarthy’s busy offices where there is a high demand for boardrooms.
Learn further about how the adoption of Closing Folders at McCarthy Tétrault has reached 90% uptake, resulting in efficiency gains and enhanced client experience.
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