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BCLP unveils foray into legal tech start-up scene with contract negotiation platform

Newly merged Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has launched a ‘home-grown’ legal tech start-up which produces a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for £5.

The online contracting tool, called Swiftagree, is the firm’s first technology product launch following its April merger, and is said to precede a number of other offerings it will launch this year. BCLP partner Barry Gross and the firm’s legal technologist Bruce Braude developed the concept.

Swiftagree aims aim to increase the efficiency of contract procedures by ensuring parties need only agree on negotiable points of a contract before finalising the negotiation through the platform. It is focused on English law contracts, though is expected to scale to contracts governed by US law.

The firm claim the start-up will ensure a contract is unbiased, and reduce the adversarial nature of traditional contract negotiations as only a few key terms are up for negotiation. The cost is unspecified for broader agreements, but an NDA is £5.

Braude commented on the launch: ‘Swiftagree combines legal and technology trends to create a proposition that delivers material benefits to clients. We believe there is significant potential to further broaden its application and technology capabilities as we progress.’

The start-up will be based internally with a team working within the firm, however external assistance has been given by Surely Group, a provider of technology platforms. Gross believes developing the start-up differs from incubation models seen at other firms, which focus on including third party companies within a law firm’s space.

Gross told Legal Business the firm had been working on the tool for months: ‘This a home-grown BCLP concept. As is always the case with software development, it takes a bit of time.’