Document automation set to impact legal profession
The law profession in New Zealand is set to be shaken up with the launch of a new online service called LawHawk (www.lawhawk.nz), whose cloud-based document automation transforms the speed and cost of producing high quality contracts and other legal documents.
“Xero has brought enormous benefits to accountants and their clients with their online solutions, and document automation can do the same for lawyers and their clients,” says founder and Managing Director Gene Turner, a former senior partner with Buddle Findlay, one of New Zealand’s top law firms.
“There is going to be disruption in the legal market.  
“It’s already happening overseas, and we want to help New Zealand law firms respond to these challenges by revolutionising how high quality, consistent legal documents are generated at a price that anyone can afford. 
“Firms can have their own documents automated for them or, for even less re-invention of the legal wheel, use an increasing number of LawHawk documents.”
Mr Turner says while working as a legal adviser on large commercial transactions, he increasingly realised that technology could be better applied to improve the way lawyers worked, and left his partnership to create the LawHawk service.
“Lawyers play a crucial role in protecting the rights and property of individuals and businesses, and will continue to do so, but they have to waste too much time on drafting and amending contracts and other legal documents.
“With LawHawk it is possible to automate repetitive, time-consuming legal document generation tasks at very low cost so lawyers and in-house counsel can focus on where they really add value, which is what I dreamed of as a partner at Buddle Findlay.”
There is interest in the concept from both in-house lawyers and law firms.
“We want our in-house lawyers to spend less time on tasks that can be automated, and more time on adding maximum value to our transactions,” says Infratil’s Head of Legal Jason Boyes.
Wellington law firm Ford Sumner had been looking for a legal document solution for some time, says owner Jaesen Sumner, “The LawHawk platform delivers a high quality document in an efficient manner. It’s something I have been thinking about for several years, trying to imagine what it would look like. 
“When I saw the LawHawk system it was what I had been looking for.”
Mr Turner said they were excited about initial response to the LawHawk concept, “I think by helping lawyers deliver ‘law at speed’ with LawHawk, our vision is that lawyers remain affordable, relevant and accessible for society, and legal practice is satisfying, fun and profitable for lawyers.  
“All lawyers should have a plan for how they will use document automation, because clients will increasingly want to know how their lawyers are working, and will want to see proof that they are taking advantage of available technology to work as efficiently as they can. ”