Have you ever been caught in a less than ideal situation due to lack of foresight? When it comes to business agreements, you face potential risks at every turn and many are affected by reactive error mitigation. Contracts are at the core of every business, outlining and enforcing your agreements - but if not carefully managed, can be the very cause of detriment. There are two staggering factors that contribute to contract risk: globalization and technology. Examples of these are differing laws, cultural expectations, political climate, customer expectations, and the risk of potential data breaches/loss of IP to name a few.
It’s been a long day. You make dinner, put in a load of laundry, lock your doors, set your alarm and finally turn your TV on to your favorite Netflix show. You are positive that you are in for a safe and stress-free night, but how can you be sure you have taken all of the right precautions? What could be worse than waking in the middle of the night to an ear-bleeding siren because you weren’t protected well enough? What is the best and most strategic way to prevent risk?
We’ve all been told that reading the fine print in any contract is important, as it often contains terms and conditions that could prove costly down the line, but how many of us actually closely examine the fine print – even in our own contracts?
With over 120 London Insurance Market Clients, we spend a lot of time meeting brokers and underwriters to learn about new market issues that arise. One of the key items that keeps coming up are the attritional losses that could be avoided with the right solutions to support tighter underwriting controls and a better understanding of the policies being subscribed to.
Margin Requirement reform has been a major concern amongst global financial services firms for the past two years and it’s only going to get more challenging over the next two years. You may remember we addressed the topic of uncleared derivatives regulations back in 2016 when the regulation first came into force. These rules were brought into effect to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis that occurred in 2008/9. We discussed how it’s time for banks to “buckle down” and start the repapering process for their credit support annexes.
On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect in the European Union. Although these protections are designed to protect the personal data for individuals located in the EU, U.S. businesses are going to be affected by these GDPR compliance, too. Simply put, if you collect, process, or store the personal information of anyone located in the EU, not following these regulations will prove costly to your business.
When your sales team lands a new contract, chances are they want to get the contract drafted and executed as quickly as possible. Not only does a fast sale mean that customers are receiving better service, but getting that business on the books means revenue for the company — and commissions from the sale.
This week, Exari launched Compare, the market’s most powerful, accurate, and intuitive document comparison tool, capable of identifying all differences between two complex contracts in minutes, not hours or days.
At a time when legal teams are inundated with data, the lack of clear and concise information and how to use that data to make transformational decisions remains elusive to most stakeholders. In recognition of this dilemma, technology is rapidly evolving to capture vast stores of “big data” and analyze them in ways that provide legal with new insights into their operations to manage risks and drive the right kinds of change to improve results.
Even after eight years since the financial crisis, we are still seeing firms continue to recover and take critical steps to put strategies in place for improvement. Firms are focusing on reducing their costs, while increasing their ability to respond to the changing regulations around ensuring financial health.
Do DNS attacks mean you should have a backup plan?
Last week, DNS attacks leveled key gateways leading to dozens of outages amongst business applications. For so many companies who have become dependent on SaaS applications or cloud-based services it was a scary event that at a minimum led to a loss of productivity.
Here’s a strange comparison for you: contracts are like concrete. But what do legal agreements have to do with building materials? Think about a concrete foundation. If a foundation isn’t rock solid, whatever is constructed on top of it could collapse without warning-the same is true about any company. A business is only as strong as the contracts it’s built upon and its ability to fully understand and comply with those contracts.
We recently discussed the new uncleared margin regulations (UMR) and best practices for successfully re-papering your Credit Support Annexes (CSA’s.) Now that you’re up to speed on what it means for your organization and the steps for re-papering, there is a bit more you should consider when evaluating each agreement. To get you the best advice we teamed-up with experts in this subject in order to bring you all the information you will need to successfully comply.
For over 300 years the Lloyd’s market has been one of the most innovative sources for risk management solutions. From body parts to nuclear reactors, Lloyd’s is a one stop shop for the world’s specialty insurance and reinsurance needs. It’s an ecosystem where close personal relationships, proximity of brokers and underwriters and actual paper policies still matter - and for those willing to work within the square mile of the City of London, it’s incredibly efficient.
Business as usual is no longer an option for banks. With the new margin requirements for uncleared derivatives, it’s time for banks to buckle down and revise existing, or re-paper their CSAs to be compliant. These regulations are meant to promote central clearing and reduce the risks associated with trading.
This week, DerivSource interviewed Alexandre Bon, Senior Solution Architect at Murex, to discuss the growing needs of an Enterprise View of Data in Financial Service firms. He explains how it is essential in order to comply with both the FRTB and SA-CCR requirements, as firms need full visibility into client and trade data.
The guessing game is over. Brexit is official. Pretty soon, the United Kingdom will no longer be a member of the European Union. Which means that lawyers around the world are scratching their heads about what it means for their clients, their firm or their company. Is it cause for panic, or a storm in a tea-cup?
It was a beautiful afternoon in Boston as Chief Compliance Officers from the area convened to discuss the changing role of compliance at their financial services firms. The venue, Top of the Hub, is situated at the highest point in Boston – amazingly appropriate given the conversation quickly gravitated towards visibility and the difficulty of transforming ISDA Masters & CSA’s into data that can be more easily analyzed and operationalized.
According to The National Contract Management Association, 81% of members reported that finding their contracts was a major concern. Think about your own experience - have you ever needed to look into the details of a contract and couldn’t find the right agreement? For a small number of contracts this could be considered sloppy, but for more it’s dangerous and frankly puts your firm at risk of being blindsided at the worst possible moment.
Last week, Exari teamed up with IACCM for an insightful webinar to explore the meaning of “Contract Certainty” and how you and your business can work towards achieving it. Attendees also got a look into our Universal Contract Data Model™ and what’s in store for the future with the newly announced CMA Contiki and Exari combination.
Are you still drafting thousands of contracts manually? In Word? Or storing multiple versions of paper contracts in a filing cabinet? Well, you’re not alone.
“You’re wanted upstairs. Now. As in, immediately.” There’s nothing quite like these words to kick off a relaxing day at the office. You head up to the executive suite wondering what fire-drill, or firing offense, awaits.
Contract management has been around for years; as I’ve written before, most systems are document based. The future- and the bleeding edge - is data-based. Why?
Every day we talk to companies about their enterprise contract management systems, and every day I hear substantially the same thing. Help us automate the drafting of our contracts and we’ll be all set. Wrong.
Lots of people talk about Return on Investment, ROI. They also say that the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. So what’s your Return on Risk? Most people view risk as a bad thing, but calculated risk can be very rewarding. Without big risks, there would be no great leaps forward.
I recently heard a story of a services firm that generated contracts from “passed around” Word templates. At some point, somebody actually read through the contract and realized the entire liabilities and indemnification section had been deleted. This contract form had been used for 2 years.
All companies – from retailers to hedge funds – know that customers are their number one priority. Client obligations are always the first concern as customer satisfaction is the only reliable road to growth. The 2013 Lloyd’s Risk Index cited “loss of customer” or “abandoned transaction” as the second-most-critical business risk (ahead of cyber risk and behind taxation). First of all, we all know that it is far more expensive (according to some studies up to 10 times more) to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones.
Hedge funds deal in risk: it’s how they make money for their clients, it’s how they build and prosper. But while hedge funds and asset managers may be experts in managing financial risk, they must come to grasps with the new and evolving risk that threatens their entire business model: the risk of a hack.
With the introduction of central clearing for OTC derivatives, financial institutions will have to manage new agreements, with different business rules, in addition to the existing documentation for bilateral trading relationships.
Exari's Paul Nelmes was recently interviewed by Julia Schieffer of DerivSource and he explained how documentation will change within a Central Counterparty Clearing (CCP) environment and why financial institutions must implement efficient documentation processing methods to avoid increased legal and operational costs caused by the new market requirements.
Though they may not realize it yet, the mortgage sector market share of ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac (at over 82%) is starting to cause them problems.
Michael Lopp has drafted a FriendDA. It's designed for use by anyone who wants to share a (potentially) valuable idea with a friend, but who thinks an NDA is too much.
The Australian Financial Review (subscription required) reports that a growing number of Australian companies are slashing “their legal spending to offset budget constraints and falling profits.”
If there's one lesson from the failure of Lehman Brothers, et al, it's that ignorance is not bliss and what you don't know can hurt you. This seems especially true when you're handling financial weapons of mass destruction. Because playing with WMDs is risky business, and miscalculating the risks can bring a multi-billion dollar business to its knees.
Why produce just one document when you could produce a whole package? Whether you’re producing lending documents, a request for proposal, or an insurance package of certificate, schedules, wording and endorsements, sometimes you need to create a suite of documents from one consistent set of data. Done manually, document packages multiply the risk of re-keying errors and non-compliance.
According to the latest IACCM newsletter, someone at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Groningen has made an amazing discovery: a 'one size fits all' approach to standard contract terms will often lead to sub-optimal results in key strategic relationships. That's what they found when they had a look at high tech alliances and the contracts used to set them up.
Exari Version 5 is alive. And boy has technology improved in the 21 years since Short Circuit hit the silver screen…
The world’s first law firm IPO happened this month, when Melbourne-based personal injury firm Slater & Gordon listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. And unlike the earlier attempt by Integrated Legal Holdings, this float went off without a hitch. Indeed it went off with a pop. Shares were up 40% on their issue price by the end of the first day, and have gone up considerably since then.
Us versus them! This often seems to be the attitude of an organization’s legal department vis-à-vis its internal clients, and vice versa. As Ken Adams puts it:
An attention-grabbing article in The Australian IT starts with a couple of IT contracting horror stories, but quickly drifts off on a rather dull voyage through the alphabet soup of IT governance standards. Never mind that your contract might be full of holes. What you really need is AS-8000. And AS-8015. And AS-8016. Or AS-8018. Or BS-15000. Or maybe ISO-20000. And ISO-27001, of course.
When a lawyer explains how dangerous it is to draft your own contract, I’m reminded of the famous words of Mandy Rice-Davies: “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”
What better time than end of quarter to reflect on the fun of writing sales contracts in a mad rush. The sales team wants to close the deal. They don't want to wait two weeks for legal and miss their quarter-end target. They want their bonuses. Can't we just delete that pesky clause and sign?
What’s the value of a good NDA? About $70 million if your name is Scott Van Dyke. In 2003, his company, Anglo-Dutch Petrolem, won a $70.4M damages claim against US oil giant Halliburton and Scottish oil exploration and development firm Ramco. This month, with a Texas court ordering it to hand over various assets, Ramco is struggling for survival.
For those of us enjoying the benefits of laptops and mobile storage gadgets, it's easy to overlook the risks. But as a recent article in Law Technology News ("Death by Laptop", May 8th, 2006) points out, the risks are high, and the consequences of ignoring them rather scary.
The "C" word is starting to catch up with law firms, it seems. Commoditisation, I mean. The process by which nice, profitable, bill-by-the-hour work becomes not-so-nice, unprofitable, fixed-price drudgery. Legal futurologist Richard Susskind has been talking about it. Some firms have retreated from it. And after years of ambivalence, any lawyer with a career horizon longer than five years is starting to worry about it. Is someone going to commoditise me?
What’s the price of an ambiguous insurance contract? About a billion dollars in the case of Larry Silverstein’s policy over the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. That’s a billion good reasons to get the fine print right.
When it was discovered that only four out of sixty contracts signed with a pair of external consultants went out to tender, New Zealand MP Murray McCully accused the Health Ministry of “cronyism on steroids”. Now he reckons the Auditor-General’s report on the matter portrays a saga of “incompetence on a monumental scale”.
According to a report in today's Australian Financial Review (In breach but in with a shot, 24/2/2006, p12) sometimes it's OK for a vendor to employ a serving Defence Force employee to assist with a tender for a multi-million dollar defence contract.
Talk about over-used and abused. SOX compliance is one of those buzz words that just about eveyone has a "solution" for. Google "Sarbanes-Oxley" and you get over 27 million hits. Google "SOX compliance" and you get just under 5 million hits. That's a lot of hits. But what does it mean for your contracts? Or more specifically, what does it mean for your purchasing contracts?
When the blame game begins, ignorance is rarely a good defense. It does, however, seem to be a very popular defense. Which brings us to the third lesson in this series.
Don't offer a cushy job to the procurement official who just awarded you a contract at an inflated price.
When a contract scandal breaks, everyone ducks for cover. Who broke the rules? Who knew? Who should have known? Whose heads will roll? The media shines a bright light into the darkest corners of the deal, looking for someone to blame.