The UK in-house legal team of a global bank regularly receives 30-40 counterparty NDAs to review and agree each month. Each NDA needs to be turned quickly to allow transactions to progress, with the result that the lawyers are constantly diverted from higher value (and more rewarding) tasks.
The bank tested the market and discovered significant disparities in pricing for NDA review services. We were considered against a leading international supplier of NDA review services, and selected thanks to our competitive pricing for an equivalent or superior level of resource.
The client had an established playbook for marking up NDAs with recommended wording for certain clauses. However, the client wanted a pragmatic approach rather than word-for-word adherence to the policy, to avoid overly zealous mark-ups delaying the contracting process.
We proposed a fixed price per received NDA to cover the initial review and mark-up (within 24 hours), comms with the in-house team and all dealings with the counterparty through to the agreed draft. This ensures total price certainty for our client on each NDA. Our services are provided by a dedicated team of legal freelancers who are trained in the client’s playbook, under the day-to-day management of a Jandr project manager who acts as the point of contact with the client.
Ten months and 270 NDA reviews into the relationship and it continues to work well for the client and our freelancers. Our client contacts are pleased with the accuracy and timeliness of our services and continue to promote us within their group and externally. The arrangement frees many hours of precious in-house lawyer time every week for higher value matters.
The arrangement also works well for our freelancers who have complete control over whether to take on a new NDAs when they land, depending on their availability and non-work commitments.
A City law firm instructed us to review 100,000 documents for relevance and privilege in a competition follow-on claim. The challenge was that we were instructed with only three weeks to complete the review by the court deadline, a period that coincided with the first few weeks of the initial Covid lockdown.
We assembled a team of 20 experienced reviewers, working remotely using secure collaboration systems and processes, including Microsoft Teams hosted on Amazon Works Spaces virtual machines with two factor authentication.
Our legal project manager was a litigator with over 15 years’ post qualification experience, a person who had performed end to end disclosure processes as the lead associate in private practice. Our PM worked with the instructing lawyers in the preparation of the instructions and the initial briefing meeting with the review team. Our PM took care of every aspect of assembling and managing the review team, saving the instructing lawyers vital hours to deploy on other aspects of the matter.
It was vitally important that the review team were kept appraised of progress. The Jandr PM closely monitored and reported daily all relevant metrics, from individual reviewer speed and accuracy to the overall review progress against the plan.
We had daily QC calls with the instructing lawyers, to get immediate feedback on queries raised by our reviewers. Queries were collated and deduplicated by the Jandr PM and presented to the instructing lawyers in such a way as to make the process as efficient as possible for them.
During the review, our experienced freelancers gained valuable insights into the matter which went far beyond what was necessary for a “relevant / not relevant” determination. These insights were shared with the instructing lawyers and fed into their evolving understanding of the case and witness statement workstreams.
We agreed a per document pricing model for the review, so that the client had price certainty of the total review cost from the moment the review pool had been selected by the instructing lawyers. The project was delivered on time, to the agreed price and with excellent feedback from the instructing lawyers in terms of accuracy and ease of use.
Our freelancers have complete control over their working hours and locations, allowing them to build a flexible and sustainable working arrangement.
Ours is a service provided by lawyers, for lawyers. As such, we understand the high standards of quality and accuracy that are required, even for the more mundane, less glamorous tasks.
Our remote working arrangement combined with a commitment to entirely offset our carbon footprint is sustainable for the planet.
We support our freelancers on their journey with us, with guidance and constructive feedback to develop their skills and expertise. This is especially true in the case of our freelancers who are returning to work after a period of time out to start a family or to pursue other non-legal interests.
We provide immediate and much-needed support to our lawyer clients. Our fully formed teams are lead by an experienced legal project manager, freeing up the instructing lawyers to focus on their more urgent matters.