ePact is already one of the most user friendly, yet secure signature applications in Europe. But we actually aim higher than that. We want to build better tools for drafting the contracts in the first place.
Features of the editor
We have long been quite jaloux with the editors used by developers. They are much more advanced than the typical text editors lawyers use, while at the same time they don't need to worry about formatting behaving differently than we want. Text editors such as MS Word served a great purpose back when lawyers printed contracts. But we rarely do that anymore. Even large transactions are handled digitally nowadays.
When you remove printing form the equation, you realize that lawyers are better served with developer like editors. We want
- very little formatting, mainly handling the way we number the different parts of our contracts (articles etc.)
- assistance with all our definitions
- metadata on the different parts of the contracts
- auto-completed standard phrases
- templates contracts
- template clauses
- references to applicable legislation
- integration to signing
- automatic check of parties names, addresses, business registration numbers etc.
- automatic check of who can sign for the parties involved
- version control
- multi selection
- search and replace and similar features working across different files in the same transactions
When do we launch the editor?
We will launch it little by little, starting January 2019.
When do we introduce templates?
We are building our own database of contract templates and template clauses. We will introduce templates from January 2019 and expect to add 1-3 new templates per week during 2019.
Each template will have different alternative clauses to chose between.
Contracts don't exist in a vacuum. They exist with legislation and court precedence that implicitly regulates the parties' relationship. Sometimes legislation overrules contractual terms, sometimes you can derogate from the default legislative rules in your contracts.
Our templates will reflect that reality by incoroorating references to relevant legislation and court rulings in the metadata.
The metadata will also include information on what the different parts of the contracts regulate.
What about legal guides?
We will also introduce legal guides that enable junior lawyers to quickly get an overview of the considerations and issues at hand and may serve as checklist for more experienced lawyers.