An M&A transaction consists of many distinct stages. A recent Litera webinar revealed just how essential technology is becoming at each of those stages.
The webinar featured Katina Banks, Knowledge Attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and three of Litera's M&A experts: Josephine Good, Manager, Practice Advisors; Vanessa Davis, Director, Product; and Corinne Geller, Director, Legal Knowledge Engineering.
The discussion began with some statistics about the pressures driving a lot of the need to bring more technology into M&A deal processes. Deal volumes hit a historic high in 2021, with over 13,000 transactions. Deal count was up 46.6%. While volume has slowed somewhat in 2022, deal activity is still very high by historical standards. Law firms are struggling to keep up and are increasingly turning to technology to help streamline their work.
At the same time, lawyers are increasingly open to technology and see it as a critical part of their work, now and in the future. Good cited some data from Litera's recent The Changing Lawyer report:
- 91% of lawyers expect AI-based document review to become a standard part of most M&A due diligence processes.
- 83% of lawyers believe that allied professionals make their job easier. Many of the technologies used by M&A teams are supported by project managers, data analysts, and other professionals.
- 78% of lawyers agree that technology helps them offer a better client experience.
Against that background, the panel proceeded to walk through the several phases of an M&A transaction:
- Execution of NDAs and LOIs
- Preliminary discussions
- Checklists and Collaboration
- Negotiations, due diligence, disclosure schedules
- Drafting operative agreements
- Interim period
- Post-Closing steps
In each of these stages, noted Good, technology helps lawyers with two main goals: better managing the process, and keeping all stakeholders better informed.
Some of the technologies essential to one or more of these stages include drafting and editing tools, used both in the early NDA phase and in the drafting of the operative agreement; AI-based document review tools, used not only in due diligence but also in the preliminary discussions as deal teams determine what types of risk assessments will be necessary; and transaction management software, used throughout to maintain checklists of required steps and to keep all stakeholders informed of progress in a constantly updated collaborative platform.
While walking through these various deal stages, the panel provided short demonstrations of how products such as Litera Transact and Kira help to streamline each phase.
A recording of the webinar, "How Technology is Transforming Every Stage of the M&A Lifecycle," is available online. Also available online is our free guide to How Technology is Transforming Every Stage of the M&A Lifecycle which goes over how tech solutions map to all stages of a deal, from preliminary discussions to post-closing.
Posted in Transaction Management,Workflow,Kira