Mergers & Acquisitions
Vriman M&A Lawyers is a boutique law firm based in Amsterdam. “Everybody at Vriman is working to achieve the best quality of service and we want people to spend their time optimally. And Henchman allows us to support our employees in doing so.”
Mergers & Acquisitions
Vriman works with Microsoft Office 365 and already had some additional tools in place, such as Epona, their Document Management System with extended search functionality. Bas Mees, Partner at Vriman explains: “I have been in the business for 16 years, but still every deal is different. You need new clauses for every contract - but they are often deviations from something you’ve written before. That is why you want to be able to quickly find previously written clauses to use them as a starting point. That is always better than having to come up with a clause over and over again. Thanks to our DMS system, we already had access to what colleagues have drafted before. But a DMS is not foolproof. The search functionality will lead you to interesting documents but it’s still up to you to sort through those contracts to find exactly what you need. And that is very time-consuming.”
In their quest for efficiency & quality, Vriman started trials and beta versions of various AI tools. But while trialling these software packages, Mees and Marieke Van der Lande, senior associate at Vriman, found out that most required a lot of input and learning time from their side - results had to be reviewed and approved in order for the systems to learn. When testing Henchman, Van der Lande was surprised in a good way: Henchman is plug & play. “Everybody gets it immediately, and the results speak for themselves. You can start using it right away and no extensive training is needed.”
Everybody gets it immediately, and the results speak for themselves. You can start using it right away and no extensive training is needed.
Van der Lande: “Henchman is a very convenient way to save time. I was amazed at how fast the software can find matching clauses for really complex searches. Think of earn-out protection clauses; when you look for ‘earn-out’ in a DMS you’ll get hundreds of hits, but thanks to Henchman’s filtering options you’ll find what you were looking for in a matter of clicks. And the fact that you can filter on language is also very practical: some English words, like 'anti-dilution' for example, are also used in other languages. Now I can simply use the language filter to narrow down the results. Where I used to spend 5 minutes per search, now it takes me only 30 seconds!”
The legal profession invoices by the hour, so saving time would in principle cost money. “But for us our service and quality of output is far more important”, Mees explains. “We can now serve clients better and faster. We promise efficiency, direct contact and service. Something the clients can really appreciate.”
In addition to the time gained, at Vriman they also saw the overall quality of output - especially for more junior colleagues - increase. Thanks to Henchman, they find clauses that are more relevant, and they can compare them faster too. Before, they browsed through contracts until they had found one relevant match to work from. Today, as Henchman offers them all possible variations to choose from, they will evaluate the possibilities and choose the one that fits best with the transaction at hand.
On top of that, Mees & Van der Lande also believe that it’s good for the entire team if they are able to carry out their work in a more fun way and if things run smoothly: “We prefer that our colleagues spend time on substantive matters instead of constantly being busy with looking for the right information”.
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