A joint working party of in-house and private practice lawyers has thrashed out a common standardised approach for the exchange of electronic deal bibles. The new approach is intended to enable in-house departments to access important post-transaction documents.
The move was initiated by the Knowledge Management and IT In-house Group (KMIT), a group with 26 corporate members, including BAE Systems, BG Group and Coca-Cola Europe and which is led by Barclays legal department head of operations Andrew Dey.
The recommendations were created after detailed consultation with in-house lawyers across industry and is aimed at corporate and PFI deals.
Dey said: “In many in-house departments PCs are being locked down and you can’t read the CD bibles provided by the law firms for security reasons. The bible documents go to the IT department, which puts them on the network with numbered file names which [the in-house] lawyers can’t search properly.
“We had to come up with a standard, as I don’t think law firms understood the implications of what happened when the transaction bible actually went to the client.”
Members of the private practice Legal IT Innovators Group (LITIG), led by Wragge & Co partner Derek Southall, were involved in the initiative.
Southall said: “This is a three-pin plug for everything. It would be ludicrous if you bought a toaster and had 1,700 different plugs.
“The biggest thing the legal industry can do is pull together to find cross-organisational efficiencies between law firm and client.”