Last month, Vishal Sunak, CEO, and Steve Travaglini, VP of Sales at LinkSquares, attended The Peer 150’s legal networking dinner held at the WW (Weight Watchers) Headquarters in New York City and had the opportunity to engage with some of the top names in the legal industry. They heard from Madhu Khatri, Chief Evangelist at Icertis on how General Counsels (GCs) are changing the business landscape, and her vision for the future of legal tech.
Vishal and Steve share their impressions of the event here:
- Why did you choose to attend this event? What were you hoping to get out of it?
- Vishal: Being surrounded by the top GCs in NYC was a great opportunity to network with these legal executives. We had no real agenda for the event other than to attend and soak it up.
- Steve: We were originally invited by the founder of The Legal 150. We were interested because The Legal 150 is a collection of in-house CLOs and General Counsels who periodically get together to talk about the latest trends and developments in their field. One reason this event is specifically unique is that they limit the sponsors to only 3 or 4, making the ratio of GCs to vendors incredibly high. This really attracts the best GCs out there, because they want to network and learn from their peers, and they know the sponsors that are there have been carefully selected to add value to the conversation. Also, New York is a demographic where we have found a lot of success partnering with in-house counsels, and we knew we had to be there when we heard that Michael Colosi, the GC at Weight Watchers, was going to be hosting. We also wanted to hear what the popular topics of discussion were, and we were happily surprised to hear many were interested in how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be implemented to help make their teams more efficient.
- Madhu Khatri, Chief Evangelist at Icertis, presented the main session on "How the Modern GC is Transforming Business Impact". What were your impressions of her presentation?
- Vishal: The role of the GC stretches far beyond legal matters and into the core strategy for execution for many businesses. Key to the plan is the use and role of technology to efficiently and effectively respond to the needs of the business.
- Steve: Madhu did an incredible job illustrating how the future of contract management will rely heavily on AI; however, you could tell that implementing and affording a tool like Icertis isn’t something that many of the companies there have time or budget to pull off. This was perfect for us, because all of the AI points she hit on are available within LinkSquares, which is a lightweight tool that can complement anyone’s existing contract strategy.
- What did you learn?
- Vishal: Speaking with a number of GC’s during the event made it clear that largely there are struggles around the entire contract management process, both pre- and post-signature. The common themes were around the challenges in implementing systems, integrating them into existing business systems, and creating a unified experience.
- Steve: I learned that many GCs hate their existing contract management solutions, and they are open to look at things that will be easy to roll out and save them money.
- Was there anything that surprised you?
- Vishal: Great turn out, amazing companies represented and the event organized by The Peer 150 was fantastic.
- Steve: Sitting down for dinner we were elbow to elbow with the GCs from The Vitamin Shoppe, Blue Apron, and Steve Madden. That was pretty cool.
- Where does LinkSquares fit into the landscape of tech in legal that Madhu discussed?
- Vishal: Using the power of AI to reduce the dependencies on historically manual activities, like the review of contracts. We're a part of the core technology revolution occurring every day in the legal tech market.
- Steve: We are the every man’s AI-powered contract management. It’s crazy to me how everyone ignores the mid market. Even big household names like The Vitamin Shoppe don’t want to spend six figures on a tool that takes a year to implement.
- What's your advice to companies that are just beginning to introduce technology into their legal workflow?
- Vishal: Find technologies that are built for the General Counsel. The ones that are purpose-built for solving the pains and needs of the legal department, first and foremost. When there’s a discussion around technology to add to the department, look into the implementation scope and time to set up these systems. It's usually the hardest piece and often overlooked.
- Steve: Get your house in order before thinking about CLMs (Contract Lifecycle Management systems) and workflow tools. Most of your important contracts are the ones that are already signed. Understanding what’s in your existing contracts is the single most important thing you can do first. Not to mention with a tool like LinkSquares it’s really easy to do.
All in all, it’s clear that the way we work is changing - especially in legal ops and legal tech. With the rise of AI technology, the opportunities for optimizing operations and creating efficiencies in the legal environment are endless - and they start with contract management.
In addition to attending future The Peer 150 events, you can catch Vishal, Steve, and the rest of the LinkSquares team at CLOC in Las Vegas, NV on May 14-16 and The ACC Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ on October 27-30. In the meantime, check out our other blog posts for more information on trends in the legal landscape and how AI can impact business transformation.