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Lawtech showcase: 4Corners, Kemp Little

Richard FolsomKemp Little

In the first of a new series showcasing the innovative lawtech solutions being developed by member firms, Richard Folsom explains Kemp Little's 4Corners online platform, that unlocks the information in an organisation’s contracts and makes them available throughout the business.

Person writing in a notepad

About the platform

What is 4Corners and who is it for?

4Corners is an online platform that unlocks the information in an organisation’s contracts, in a highly structured way, and makes them available throughout an organisation – turning potential contract pitfalls into a strategic asset of contract and management information. 4Corners is the home for structured legal advice and information within an organisation.

It is for anyone who wants to know more about what an organisation deals with in its contracts: in-house lawyers, product owners, procurement, sales, compliance, management, and acquirers.

How does it work? What are the key features?

It’s like a contract management system (CMS) on steroids. CMSs tend to focus on a ‘document-first’ model, where documents are the be-all and end-all. Businesses however are resource-centric, caring about how those documents fit together to define what they are buying and selling. 4Corners abstracts away the ‘which document is it’ layer, while still allowing for the delivery of legal detail and privileged legal advice, when needed.

What are the main benefits for clients?

  • Instant insight and legal advice as to what contractual rights attach to different resources and services
  • A holistic overview of any type of detail across the contracts for an entire business line
  • Pipeline planning for upcoming renewals on particular resources, perhaps also filtered by other criteria.

What feedback have you had from clients? Are any case studies available?

Clients have been blown away by the speed, depth and accuracy of the analysis, and how they can both empower the business to self-serve, but also monitor things, and how all the heavy lifting has already been done if they need to pick up the documents themselves.

What does the setup/implementation process look like?

Configuring 4Corners is straightforward. It takes us just a few hours to decide what resources and attributes we should capture. To really get value from 4Corners however, you need good data in it. We help clients with reviewing the data and systems to be represented in 4Corners, and often also review the contracts ourselves – delivering that work as legal advice. We offer a fixed fee per document type, and a project timeline for the review and upload process.

Is it easy to use? Is any training provided?

Yes, it’s straightforward to use – simple navigation, and search, all from a clear landing page. Complex queries can be built up using a dropdown interface to build logical and/or/not queries, with relative date searches – then saved and scheduled for delivery at set frequencies. You get ‘white glove’ training and setup as part of the subscription.

Are there any plans to further develop the product?

Absolutely – we have a full roadmap. As a software as a service (SaaS) offering, it’s never complete – we are always talking to clients to understand how they are using 4Corners (which often surprises us), where they would like the product to go next, what other data they would like ingested, or data extracted. There is a lot of ‘low-hanging fruit’ in this space.

How is 4Corners priced?

We have a base licence fee which gets you the platform and a core group of users. As a client’s use expands, we license additional buckets of users. We separately offer to review and provide legal advice on the input contracts, with a pre-agreed fixed fee per document.

Are free trials and/or demonstrations available?

We offer a proof of concept at no charge for the software – but if we were inputting legal advice, we would charge for creating that (which you can keep in any case). Take a look at 4corners.app and reach out if interested in a demo.

The approach 

Kemp Little commercial technology partner Richard Folsom discusses their tech journey.

What prompted you to build this solution?

Clients have more and more complex contractual arrangements but are expected to do business at a faster and faster rate, and make business decisions in a more quantified manner. We thought there must be a better way to pre-emptively approach this – empower businesses with actionable information, without losing the detail.

Did you collaborate with any external technology companies in the creation of 4Corners? If so, are you able to share your experience?

Yes, we have a third party developer we use to ensure our security and resilience are up to scratch.

What challenges did you encounter in building technology internally? Can you share any key lessons/takeaways?

Being disciplined about what we are good at and what we are not. We could have spent time skilling up, for example, to build a robust and secure DevOps model, but this was not, and never could be, our specialty. It was difficult to decide not to control everything, but instead we doubled down on our strengths: talking to clients, identifying problems, testing solutions and rapid prototyping have all been very effective.

What are you working on next?

We have a full roadmap. We are working on improvements to the core platform, adding features our clients are asking for. Some clients are thinking more widely about their contract information ecosystem, and we are helping with third-party integrations, such as using our API more effectively to push and pull data from third-party sources. We also think there are big opportunities in specific sectors or to address thematic challenges, such as market data, OSS, SMCR compliance, GDPR etc where 4Corners fits in with the steps businesses are otherwise taking in organising their contracts.

If you had to summarise as a tweet – what would be your predictions for legal technology over the next 12 months?

I suspect we are going to see more consolidation through 2020, as investment levels and product maturity continue to increase.