Manual Drafting Hinders Contract Management: Poll

Corporate Counsel Weekly™ helps corporate lawyers get the big picture on the legal challenges facing corporations today. Practitioners can discover trends on the horizon and stay alert to the full...

By Michael Greene

Sept. 21 — The heavy reliance on manual drafting could be an obstacle for general counsel in identifying and tracking their riskiest contracts, a Sept. 21 report by Exari suggests.

In a poll of 92 corporate counsel and compliance professionals, the contract management consultant found that almost 40 percent said they had limited or no visibility into risks during the contracting process.

Almost sixty percent of the respondents also said they struggled with the slow contract approval process.

Still Cutting and Pasting

The report, “Low Tech/High Risk,” found that more than 75 percent of the respondents usually created their contracts in Microsoft Word using some form of “cut and paste” template.

The report suggested that the heavy dependence on manual processes to create, track and modify contracts may be putting firms at risk and increasing costs.

“Organizations can’t afford to continue taking risks and overspending on contract management; business leaders and inside counsel must have complete visibility and control of their business’ contracts to make informed decisions,” the report stated. “Without a firm grasp on their obligations and liabilities, legal teams will continue to struggle in a variety of areas—from enforcing non-compete clauses to assessing client and contract-level risk.”

Other problems cited in the contracting process by the respondents included:

• missing milestones (27.1 percent);

• ensuring compliance with client obligations (27.1 percent); and

• stunted collaboration (25 percent).


The report also noted that storage practices could be hindering the contracting process. Almost half of the respondents—47 percent—said their companies are still using paper filing to store contracts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Greene in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Yin Wilczek at

The report is available at