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The Moorcrofts contract automation suite: ContrAI

By Dan Teuton
16 November 2020

Moorcrofts is offering demonstrations of an early version of its legal contract management software that uses artificial intelligence to simplify the contracting process and make it more efficient.

As a reflection of the recent Tier 1 Legal 500 rankings, Moorcrofts is constantly looking at innovative ways to deliver a better service to its clients, and ContrAI is an example of how it achieving just that.

For the past 18 months, Moorcrofts in partnership with Oxford Brookes University has been running a project to develop the ContrAI software after successfully securing the six-figure  grant from Innovate UK and Research England. The primary purpose of the application, now called ContrAI, is to make the contracting process more efficient with the aim of helping legal teams and organisations spend more time doing what they have been trained (and want) to do, and less time doing frustrating administrative or non-legal tasks.

This will be achieved in a number of ways. First, ContrAI is a modular application and clients will be able to choose which modules they need. The main features which are currently being built into ContrAI include:

–Integrated contract database

Businesses typically have a wide range of contracts: supply contracts, client contracts and sales contracts. This database holds information on executed contracts, as well as contracts that are required (but not started) or in negotiation.

So, what will it do? As well as holding useful information about the contract such as, how much it is worth, invoicing period, renewal, products/services to be delivered, unique terms and expiry date, it will also ensure that the people in the organisation that need this information will have it automatically sent to them. The database will make the process of recording the important information held in a contract easier, more consistent and less prone to error.

–Intelligent Drafting Environment (IDE)

Anyone that has tried to draft contracts using Word, or any other word processing application will undoubtedly know it can be a frustrating process. Numbering tends not to work very well, formatting can be tricky and easily broken, and cross-referencing and definitions can be awkward. The editor in ContrAI is built from the ground up, with one purpose – working on contracts. Everything will just work.

–Approvals and negotiations tool

Connected to the editor, ContraAI will also assist with approvals and negotiations. The approvals mechanism allows you to set different categories of changes which can be approved by different people: for example, the sales executive may be able to approve

terms up to 30 days, the sales manager 45 days, and any extension over that would have to be approved by the CFO.

These approvals can be set for any number of criteria within the contract, and will ensure that you record and control all decisions on contract concessions, and don’t develop a race to the bottom where over time your standard contract becomes very easy to get signed, but extremely risky, as it gathers all of the clauses favourable to the customer which have been conceded to get the contract over the line.

It will be possible to complete the entire negotiating process within ContrAI. Each ‘side’ will be able to view the draft contract, propose amendments and accept them, all without exchanging multiple copies of documents by email. Once the contract is agreed and approved, it can be rendered and distributed as a PDF, or sent straight for e-signing.

The approvals and negotiating modules will reduce the overhead of negotiating and approving contracts. Everyone will be working on the correct version, and you will be confident that the approvals are made and recorded.

–AI and IA features

The most cutting-edge feature being developed is the automatic contract review – an algorithm that will be able to review a contract, and give you an overview of the riskiest sections. You will tell ContrAI what your risk appetite is: how much liability will you accept, will you offer an indemnity, what clauses are essential and what clauses are not acceptable. ContrAI will then analyse the contract and give you a RAG status. Green will be the sections which fall within your acceptable limits. Amber will be the sections you need to review either because they might not quite fit with your requirements, or ContrAI thinks you should revisit because they may have unintended risk consequences. Red will be the showstoppers. These are the sections that mean you won’t sign this contract. We call this Intelligent Augmentation: using AI to augment and assist humans and believe it will dramatically reduce the time needed to review a new contract, or even propose amendments to an existing known contract.

All the modules work together, so the more modules clients use the better the experience and the more efficient the contracting process will become.

Moorcrofts is now running demos and workshops, which are free and open to all. If you would like to get involved, book a demo or if you have any questions, then get in touch with Moorcrofts by emailing:

[email protected]

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