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Grant Thornton increases the uniformity of contracts with Henchman

Henchman helps the Grant Thornton legal team to draft and review contracts in an efficient way with high consistency and uniformity.

Specialisation

Audit, accountancy, tax and legal,
and business advice

Company Size

210 employees in BE
6 offices

Established in

Belgium Office: 1990

Textbook Example

They’ve only just started rolling out the software. Still, Tim Dausy, Legal Advisor at Grant Thornton Belgium, strongly believes that Henchman will become an unmissable tool in the future: “I believe our colleagues will get addicted!”

“We used to be the textbook example of how legal advisers and lawyers typically work on a contract.”, Tim Dausy explains. “Basically, that means starting by browsing through your own memory and looking for a contract that has a lot of similarities with the case you're working on. You look for that document as a starting point, because you know you might repurpose the basis of what is in there. Next, you start tailoring the clauses or making additions to them since every contract of course needs a lot of custom work. To do so, you will look for additional documents of which clauses can serve as a source of inspiration. You do that, via Windows Explorer or the DMS, only to end up with 6 or 7 different Word files open on different screens, from which you will find valuable clauses to modify and insert into the final draft. I think this will sound very familiar for a lot of firms.” Henchman now helps the legal team of Grant Thornton Belgium to efficiently retrieve clauses from their own system, and leverage their own database.

Legal Tech should support lawyers

As this way of working is not flawless, Dausy sees a role for Legal Tech to facilitate and support. “I believe that in legal, as in other sectors, people will continue to play a crucial role. Not everything can be captured in model clauses or by AI. A lot of customization is necessary, where the legal adviser or lawyer needs to review and make adjustments, each time, and case by case. Legal Tech should support the lawyers in doing so.” Moreover, Dausy adds that we should be careful with whom we make the legal tech tools for. “Legal Tech and AI are fantastic, but the end product should always be reviewed by a specialist. If everyone starts drafting contracts themselves with no previous legal knowledge based on AI… that could lead to serious problems!”

However, when thinking about legal tech, Dausy hopes we don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater: “When you automate everything, you start losing the hang of doing things yourself. Efficiency must be increased, and the focus must be on quality work that offers added value to the client. But we must not lose sight of the fact that people have to be trained, and that specialists can only become specialists by deeply understanding the matter.” In that respect, Dausy believes there lies a lot of value in the context and insights Henchman is able to offer also to the younger members of the team. By being able to validate clauses or mark ‘company-approved’ clauses, young legal advisers/lawyers will be assisted in making the right choices while learning.

Henchman helps you leverage your internal knowledge, material that you’ve validated yourself. Not some model document that doesn’t fit your corporate identity

Tim Dausy
Grant Thornton

Leveraging your own database

While Grant Thornton Belgium might not be the biggest innovator when it comes to software, they were quickly convinced of the added value offered by Henchman, and the speed that can be gained with it. The fact that it works within the trusted Microsoft Word environment as an add-in, makes it very accessible. Even though the team is not super tech-savvy, no extensive training was needed. “The tool is very intuitive and self-explanatory.”


For Dausy, the value also lies in the fact that Henchman helps you to retrieve information from your own database. “It helps to safely leverage your internal knowledge, material that you’ve validated yourself. Not some model document that doesn’t fit your corporate identity… Henchman helps to manage the overall quality and uniformity.”

“Moreover”, he adds, “Henchman is also great when reviewing a markup by the counterparty. You can immediately compare proposed clauses to your own database and look for differences and nuances.”

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