CBP Lawyers switches to e-contracts with DocuSign

Colin Biggers & Paisley, an Australian law firm with a focus on property development, has slashed thousands of paralegal hours and drastically reduced paper consumption by digitising its contracts with DocuSign.

With one of the largest project conveyancing groups in Australia, Colin Biggers & Paisley’s property development team is responsible for preparing and processing thousands of property sale contracts a year.

During high volume conveyancing projects, the law firm will process sales of as many as 200 apartments in a day. With contracts averaging around 600 pages, and two copies of every contract required, it can result in up to 240,000 pages of contract documents being circulated in a single day.

“The amount of time and resources required to manage paper contracts during high volume conveyancing projects was staggering,” explained Mark Morgan, Partner, Colin Biggers & Paisley.

“With these enormous volumes of paper, the costs of printing, scanning, filing, archiving and couriers were running into hundreds of dollars per contract. On top of that, every contract needed to be manually checked and cross-checked by paralegals before and after contracts were entered into. This checking process required hundreds of staff hours and, due to time pressures on staff, there were constant concerns about staff growing tired and missing errors, such as pages being left out or details overlooked.

“Now, many of our contracts are managed digitally using DocuSign’s digital transaction management technology. With these e-contracts, we no longer need to manually check each page in every document. Instead, once the master contract is set, we simply check the correctness of each contract's front page. Purchasers can then read and sign their individual contracts on any internet device, no matter where they are in the world, and soft copies of completed and signed contracts are automatically available to all parties for download.

“Our staff time in the preparation of contracts and administration of the contract process is reduced by over 90%, and our hard costs of printing, scanning, filing, archiving and couriers are done away with all together. It’s completely changing the way we do business.”

Mr Morgan continued, “However, this is not just a cost cutting exercise. For us as a law firm, contract security is paramount. The great thing about DocuSign technology is that it ensures that a finalised contract is secure and cannot be changed without detection. We can be 100% confident the e-contracts meet all legal requirements, while being able to redirect valuable resources to other areas of the business.

“It will take time for us to shift our entire conveyancing practice over to DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management technology but, since our introduction of the technology in September last year, Colin Biggers & Paisley’s e-contracts have been used in the sale of 184 apartments in a single Sydney building, 600 e-contracts in total have so far been entered into, and e-contracts will be used in upcoming projects comprising no less than another 2000 apartments in Sydney and Brisbane over the next 12 months."

Colin Biggers & Paisley has developed the DocuSign e-contract system for use in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, with the goal to expand its use Australia wide in as short a time frame as possible.