Making technology work for you

Insights and learnings

What should General Counsels (GCs) and Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) watch out for in large-scale remote-working environments?

A major part of the year has been spent adapting to the changes in our work environment. Longer workdays, myriad issues such as dealing with regulations, renegotiations of contracts with vendors and customers, and potential disputes, have all been challenges we have had to address. The role of the GC has been front and centre, and that is only expected to increase.

The “Work from anywhere” (WFA) environment has also created opportunities for increased technology adoption by companies. This is true for GCs as well. Here are some of the technologies we have seen legal teams adopt:

  • Contract review and management platforms: These are typically workflow-oriented platforms that track all contracts—existing ones, as well as those under negotiations and at the drafting stage. We have seen an increased interest in all forms of platforms, including advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) based solutions.
  • Contract review and discovery: This is another area we have seen legal teams focus on. This is specifically true in case of existing contracts that may be considered for renegotiation or invoking force majeure clauses. The use of technology becomes critical especially where there are a large number of contracts or extremely complex contractual arrangements.

However, we believe that there is also a need for proactive data discovery on data that has been created in the WFA environment. We believe that there will be increased regulatory activity as well as disputes. In our experience, each time there is a slowdown in economic activities, commercial disputes increase, as does the potential for regulator scrutiny. The Securities and Exchange Board of India has already indicated that they would like to know of any forensic activity performed in listed companies; the antitrust scenario is also expected to increase. There is also potential for scrutiny on data privacy and protection due to the distributed work environment.

Data is accessed and it tends to be created in various data islands, and WFA is only likely to complicate this further. Therefore, it is important for legal counsels to be prepared to address this situation as and when it happens.


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