Focus on your practice – not busywork.

See how Jay’s team at Witten LLP used Lending Assist to save over 8 hours on document preparation and due diligence on every file.

The problem.

In 2012, Jay Krushell, a lawyer at Witten LLP, had his highest billing year ever but lost one of his best clients for one simple reason—he was too slow producing the security documents needed to facilitate the business loan transactions he worked on. Paralegals were copying and pasting the same information into multiple documents, and had to manually visit government websites to pull the due diligence searches and registrations required for business loan transactions. There was no centralized platform for his team to keep track of their loans, and scheduling around vacations and time off presented the challenge of another lawyer picking up the file without fully understanding where the file was at in the process. It was also difficult for his team to work remotely during the evening or weekends when all files and programs were on the physical desktop computers in the office. All of this meant one thing – increased costs and longer wait times for the client. At the same time, lenders were under increasing pressure to deliver superior customer service and improve margins, and were looking for an alternative solution to lawyers for getting borrowers their money. Jay realized that if he was to remain relevant in the future, he needed to find a way to not only speed up the business loan process, but also reduce his fees.

Analyzing the problem.

Looking at the needs of his practice, Jay and his team narrowed the problem down to a few “must-haves” in order for the solution to meet the unique needs of their team.

1. Eliminate copy and pasting in documents

The most critical requirement in a solution was the need to eliminate copy and pasting that added hours to document preparation and resulted in costly mistakes. This not only included information such as contacts and signing dates, but also search data from government registries.

2. Bypass using government registry sites

Another pain point for Jay’s team was manually navigating to every government registry and using unintuitive interfaces to search and save results. For some files with hundreds of serial numbered goods, manually entering each serial number could add days to the file’s closing. 

3. Customized for commercial transactions

Jay’s team did not want a “cookie-cutter” solution that would need to be modified and patched together with complicated workarounds – they needed a program designed to handle the most complex commercial transactions in a simple, easy-to-use application. 

4. Cloud-based collaboration

Tired of outdated collaboration methods, the solution needed to allow a team-based approach to legal work, providing all team members the ability to work on files 24/7 from anywhere they were located. Data also needed to be stored within the application for easy viewing.

Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, Jay’s team began searching for a solution already available, but quickly realized there was nothing on the market designed specifically for commercial transactions that could meet the team’s “must-haves” and deliver value above the cost of the software. Available software would have to be patched together with complicated workarounds, and even then, generic document preparation systems could not complete the most complex files or provide the majority of features identified by Jay’s team as a necessity. Jay’s team realized the only way forward would be to have their team involved in the development of a commercial program from the ground up. 

Lending Assist – the custom solution.

Working as subject matter experts in close connection with our technical team, Jay’s team was critical in understanding the complicated requirements of their practice and industry. Our development team completed a deep analysis on the workflows and processes of Jay’s team, and began to develop the program customized for commercial transactions, taking into account the most complicated files as base cases. Over the following months, Jay’s team led the quality assurance efforts to ensure that no detail went overlooked and that the program was developed to meet every need they had identified. They also completed the review of hundreds of legal documents from financial institutions and developed a set of general precedents for Lending Assist to ensure that the program was generating all documents with accuracy, complete with all information and data pulled from searches.

Results.

files through the Lending Assist system

hour reduction in due diligence preparation

%

reduction in fees charged to clients

During the final phase of development, Jay’s team was presented with a huge opportunity to act on behalf of a major lender for a significant number of their loans. With Lending Assist in their arsenal, they were up for the challenge. What typically would have been an overwhelming and almost insurmountable monthly file volume under Jay’s old processes was completed without a hitch using Lending Assist. Jay’s lender client was thrilled with the turnaround times, clients received their loans days faster, and Jay’s team was able to reduce their fees, all while becoming more profitable than ever. After putting through almost 2000 files through Lending Assist, Jay’s team is still experiencing signficantly decreased turnaround times and are continuing to delight clients using Lending Assist! Realizing the same efficiencies and cost-savings can be achieved by other lawyers, we began licensing Lending Assist to other law firms in order to collectively raise the bar for commercial lawyers, and push the boundaries for legal innovation. 

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