The use of new work methods and technology in corporate legal matters

We recently assisted a customer in a relatively standard contract matter regarding the sale of equipment. The work was done in essentially the same way as at least 30 years ago. A base of more than a hundred pages (to which, over the decades, some security was always added, but probably nothing was ever deleted), which was then started to be edited by exchanging word documents with revision marks as e-mail attachments. Sometimes we negotiated tens and tens of hours with the large crowd.

Of course, that was just a single case, but I guess it still sounds familiar to many people? Contracts are a big part of the operation of any active company, and a significant amount of money and time of management and other personnel is used to prepare and manage them. Despite this, the more efficient and user-friendly working methods familiar from many other business areas seem painfully slow to reach contract operations.

What prevents?

Based on the lessons learned from the Nordic Legal Tech Day organized in November 2022 (and many discussions and experiences), a significant obstacle on the way to change is the lack of resources and know-how. Daily work does not go anywhere, and a well-made change requires investments – time and expertise, which cannot necessarily be found in the legal department. To use a well-worn saying, there is no time to jump on a bicycle or even a car.

At Nordic Legal Tech Day, a case example of a really impressive and successful legal change project was heard, but the presenter also said that he went through a couple of burn outs during the project. Change requires investment and time, which, in addition to normal work, cannot be done within the framework of normal working hours.

“If nothing changes, nothing changes”

Ideas and thoughts are easy. In daily work, the thought often arises that this or that thing could be done smarter. And maybe you have read something about working methods and tools that make writing easier. In the concrete start and implementation of the project, management and know-how are only weighed.
Watermelon is easier to eat in pieces. The easiest thing is to break things down and start somewhere: surveying the current situation, gathering ideas, cost-benefit-based decision where to start, planning with resources and roles, implementation and evaluation of success. It is naturally important to connect the project goals to the business goals right from the start.

Typically, a contract process change project can cover the following areas:

One of the lessons learned from the Nordic Legal Tech Day was also that success requires sufficient time and investment also in training during the implementation phase and in personal communication.
The journey from idea to finished implementation can be longer and more multi-generational than one might imagine at the beginning. That famous tenacity and learning through mistakes is required, but the journey can also be rewarding in many ways.

A lot has been written about managing change, but the following elements can certainly be found in most of them: motivation / understanding the need for change, understanding the change (vision) and committing to it (from the management), communication and commitment, removing obstacles, following the change success criteria (KPIs) and anchoring the change to make it new into habits and routines.

Help to reform contract processes?

Laissa and Ilves Solutions have teamed up, combining legal tech, legal design and expertise in legal affairs with solid experience in the everyday life of corporate legal affairs and legal service providers.

We are happy to help. Contact us and we’ll talk more.

Erkki Hyvärinen (erkki(at)
Heikki Ilvessalo (heikki.ilvessalo(at)
Jorma Vartia (jorma(at)