LegalTech Soapbox: Strengthen your daily operations with SpeedLegal.

On our LegalTech Soapbox Series this month is SpeedLegal. SpeedLegal's Co-Founders Sami and Hans Paul met in San Francisco at a developers' meetup. Drawn together by their frustration with reading and reviewing legal documents they used their backgrounds in Law, Finance and Deep Learning to help homebuyers and agents review property documents in a few minutes instead of hours. Since then SpeedLegal has raised money from strategic investors that allows them to continuously innovate and create new products so their users can easily identify the risks of any contracts and close more transactions faster.

1. Hi Hans Paul,  tell us the story behind SpeedLegal. 

Growing up, I spent most of my free time during school breaks and weekends,  helping my parents review contracts, write business plans, and create reports so they could present in front of their clients.. They are consultants without an internal legal team, and we spent 60% on contracts and that cost us > 100k per year in manual human work. The time spent sifting through hundreds of pages, searching for figures, clauses, and key terms was a time not spent with their clients - or with me. Then I joined Amazon and I did the same for my managers. That work was tedious and very time consuming and I knew there was a better way. Therefore, I decided to come to San Francisco to find the better way. After winning the Blockchain Hackathon at Stanford we created SpeedLegal.

2. What are the services or products that SpeedLegal provides?

SpeedLegal is an AI contract negotiator that helps startups save $1k/contract ~$140k+/year when reviewing contracts.. Business users using SpeedLegal to easily spot contract risks, negotiate better terms, save 75% of their time & boost deal closures. Businesses should think of SpeedLegal as using Grammarly but for contracts, rather than spelling or grammar. 

3. How does the above optimise the daily operations of an in-house legal team/ law firm? 

On average, legal professionals spend 3.5 hours daily on legal docs, 3 days to get approvals, and 4.5 days to collect signatures from their clients or vendors. This costs ~$1k / contract and ~$140k / year in legal fees for a startup or SMB. With SpeedLegal this time goes down to 10 minutes. You no longer have to spend hours reading and reviewing contracts adding delays and increasing the risk of losing the deal.

4. What do you believe will be the most significant change in how in-house legal teams use technology in the next 10 years?

If I could choose one thing to improve about the way law is practised today, that would be the standardisation of contracts. There are some good examples of contract standardisation that are already taking place these days. For example, Electra from oneNDA is doing a fantastic job in getting a solid group of lawyers to agree on a standard NDA and make it available to everyone. Programming code itself is a standard i.e. using Solidity - a language used to create Ethereum Smart Contracts - is itself a standard. I believe that Smart contracts could become the future of contracts. And standardisation will take us there faster. Ultimately, contracts are about creating relationships and agreeing on a contract means agreeing first with the person in front of you (more and more not physically in front of you :). And as people are very different from each other, and their choices are not always based on rationality, there will always be some difference in the way they negotiate. Thus, contract variations. If we are able to make these common variations standardised too, we would be able to hugely decrease the time to negotiate a contract, close more transactions and improve every business relationship.

The vision of SpeedLegal is to bridge this gap, by standardising contract review and negotiations using AI. Until we reach a point when all contracts will be like filling out a form and enforcing them on the Blockchain, standardising contract drafting (backed by a solid group of lawyers) e.g. oneNDA and standardising contract negotiations e.g. SpeedLegal are more efficient solutions than reviewing hundreds of contracts that convey similar information.

Lily Evans and Hans Paul Pizzinini