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Novius uses Henchman to achieve consistency and quality in their contracts

Henchman enables Novius to share tens of years of experience and knowledge company-wide, simply by connecting to their contract repository.

Specialization: M&A, Corporate Law, Tax Law, and Commercial Litigation

12 employees

Established in 2007


Embracing the future of digital work

"Novius is quite digital already, although there is a lot of work ahead of us", says ​​Michaël Boudry who is a Partner at Novius. "We've re-imagined how law firms should look like going forward and made some investments to become more innovative and digital." This way, Novius can easily adapt to the new normal, which is a digital environment. It has given them the opportunity to immediately respond to Covid, where everyone had to work from home. For example, they switched from local servers to a cloud-based architecture, allowing the team to work in a remote environment. "Of course, it is a journey and we continue to look out for technology that can help us improve the way we work, Henchman being one of them."

Dependency on your own or colleagues' memory

When drafting or negotiating a contract, Novius has its typical go-to resources. Lawyers often rely on their own knowledge and experience, looking for similar cases they have worked on in the past. If that does not lead to results, they typically ask colleagues for relevant precedents or start browsing for templates and precedents in their centralized library. "However, it has proven to be very difficult and time-consuming to find an appropriate clause that fits the specific context you are working in", says Michaël Boudry. "The speed with which we browse precedents is too dependent on your own or your colleague's memory. Often, you need to know exactly what you are looking for."

It has proven to be very difficult and time-consuming to find an appropriate clause that fits the specific context you are working in

Michaël Boudry
Partner at Novius

Room for faster and more consistent drafting

The main difficulty is finding the right clause for the right circumstances, as Novius typically works on very complex materials. "If you can't find a suitable clause yourself, you have no option but to interrupt your colleagues and their work, leading to more inefficiencies." Moreover, every lawyer tends to have his or her own style. "There is a personal flavor to every contract while we would rather have consistency across all contracts company-wide."

How Henchman is helping Novius

Henchman enables Novius to share tens of years of experience and knowledge company-wide, simply by connecting to their contract repository. By adding intelligence to this repository, drafting is drastically improved as lawyers get inspiration from clauses that are relevant to their specific case only. It cuts a lot of time that would be typically lost on clicking through multiple folders and scrolling through various contracts which don't always seem relevant. Also, by tapping into everyone's experience directly from within the contract that is being worked on, lawyers can deliver a consistent level of quality and take out that personal flavor. As summarized in Michaël Boudry's own words: "With Henchman, we are finally able to locate and re-use strong precedents faster and to get to an exceptional level of consistency within the company when it comes to drafting contracts."

The importance of having precedents at your fingertips

"We are constantly looking for new tools in the market, and specifically for contract drafting solutions as drafting is part of our daily routine at Novius." They have also looked at contract automation software but quickly came to the conclusion that these are not a good fit for their own needs. Mainly because it requires lawyers to leave their working document and to start their search for inspiration or validation outside the drafting experience. This means they don't have this knowledge at hand at all times within the contract, interrupting the workflow. "The ease of use with which Henchman provides all the information within Word so we can draft faster and better was essential for completing our tech stack." No need to switch between software, it simply connects with our current database and drafting environment.

Breathe in the future, breathe out the past

To conclude, Michaël Boudry suggests living by the wise words from the band Bonobo "Breathe in the future, breathe out the past". This is what he aims to continuously do: look forward to a bright future, with technology as an enabler.

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