Have you ever considered classifying the changes made to contracts in the course of negotiations as a way to help better manage risk and improve efficiency?
Abraham Plammootil, an Associate Director on Pangea3’s Corporate and Compliance team, leverages his process expertise to offer contract attorneys an in-depth look at the reasons parties propose changes during negotiations. In his article, Abraham outlines different labels for classifying changes based on the reason for the change (different, unclear, or unreasonable). He delves further to explore the mindset behind proposed changes in these categories. In doing so, Abraham uncovers and describes ways both parties can take real steps towards strive towards a mutual understanding in contract negotiations. He concludes his article with a discussion on organizing and storing versions of sample language that clearly address recurrent deviations to standard positions.
Read the full article now >>
About Abraham Plammootil:
Abraham focuses on providing technical guidance, organizing legal knowledge and structuring, and building playbooks and other knowledge objects for all Pangea3’s corporate clients with complex drafting requirements. He also creates training materials, and is responsible for technical training for the Pangea3 corporate drafting team. Abraham sets best practices and tools for staffing, budgeting, and quality tracking and management.
February 26, 2014
In her article, “Potential Technology Approaches For Contract Lawyers,” Rebecca Thorkildsen, a Director of Legal Solutions at Pangea3, highlights four general approaches to contract management employed by lawyers and the role technology can play in improving processes.
“Although the lifecycle of a contract can be characterized the same way among most law departments,” Rebecca notes, “unfortunately, the role that technology plays within that lifecycle for a law department is not one-size-fits-all.”
Rebecca, who’s expertise is highlighted by over 18 years of experience in legal management and technology consulting, recommends that law departments take a good look at their current methodologies and then consider as a group what level of insight would benefit their practice moving forward.
Read the full article now
December 26, 2013
Danielle Haugland, Esq., Director of Legal Solutions at Pangea3, will be leading a timely discussion at the ACC’s San Diego Chapter 11th Annual GC Roundtable and ALL Day CLE entitled, “Man v. Machine: The Appropriate use of Automated Tools in Litigation.”
The legal landscape has invariably been altered by the introduction of a host of new automated tools, including technology-assisted review, predictive coding and machine translations. It can be a challenge for lawyers to keep with all the latest advances and to separate the substance from the hype. In her presentation, Danielle will discuss how these exciting new technologies can be utilized to complement human judgment and intelligence. She will explore ways legal departments and their outside counsel can achieve cost-effective, accurate and defensible legal solutions.
For more information on the event and to register click here
December 10, 2013
It is clear Big Data is changing the practice of law. Today’s modern GC’s are discovering new ways to make Big Data work for them, and also uncovering new potential risks that must be mitigated. Vishal Anand Esq., Associate Director, Pangea3, assesses these challenges and offers best practices in his article, “Ten Powerful Impacts of Big Data on Big Law – And How the Modern GCs are Making It Work for Them.”
In this article you will find insights into the ways others are utilizing technology to their advantage, and learn about the pitfalls of implementing new processes and procedures. Key topics include cutting-edge solutions that are helping lawyers predict case outcomes, the debate over “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) practices, utilizing Predictive Coding, and the benefits and concerns of using Social Media.
Click here to read more.
October 3, 2013
Pangea3 voted “Best Legal Process Outsourcing Provider” and “Best Managed Document Review Services Provider” in the 2013 New York Law Journal Reader Rankings
As announced by the New York Law Journal this week, Pangea3 has been voted “Best Legal Process Outsourcing Provider” in its annual reader ranking survey for the 3rd year in a row. Pangea3 is proud to be the LPO provider of choice for many of the world’s leading corporations and law firms.
We are also honored to be voted #1 in the new category of “Best Managed Document Review Services.” Pangea3′s Litigation team is managed by esteemed legal experts across the globe in Dallas, Texas, and Mumbai and Delhi, India. Our document review teams are known for the outstanding quality and accuracy of their work, and are thrilled to be recognized for their accomplishments by happy clients and the readers of NYLJ.
September 23, 2013
At this complimentary Ethics CLE Lunch & Learn, you’ll learn how to comply with the ethical rules that apply to legal process outsourcing and understand how to benefit from its solutions. Attendees will earn one 1 CLE ethics credit.
Ethics and Legal Process Outsourcing
In order to avoid ethical violations, it’s important that corporations and law firms considering or preparing to outsource legal services are aware of the ethics opinions addressing LPO from the ABA and various state bars. Rebecca Benavides, a Director of Legal Solutions at Pangea3, addresses mission-critical ethics topics including: confidentiality, conflicts, disclosure to clients, billing practices and unauthorized practice of law.
Rebecca Benavides, Director of Legal Solutions
With ten years of experience as a litigation attorney, Rebecca has managed all aspects of electronic discovery and online review of documents, and has supervised attorneys in large-scale document review for clients in the securities investment, energy, oil and gas drilling and exploration, telecommunications, marketing and retail, construction, technology and Internet services industries. She received her J.D. from University of Texas School of Law and her B.A. from St. Edward’s University, where she graduated magna cum laude.
October 15, 2013
The Petroleum Club
800 Bell St, Houston, TX 77002
September 17, 2013
Mortgage backed securities litigation has been watched closely in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and a series of recent matters involving pension fund plaintiffs have addressed themes that will likely influence how this area develops going forward. They include:
- Trustee liability: Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of the City of Chicago v. Bank of America and Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement v U.S. Bank both involved plaintiff funds suing securitization trustees for breach of contract claims under the Pooling and Servicing Agreements (PSA) for the relevant trusts in each case, as well as under the federal Trust Indenture Act (TIA). In each case, the Southern District of New York allowed the PSA breach claims to survive initial motions to dismiss, but the TIA claims outcomes were not initially as clear; in Policemen’s Annuity, the court allowed plaintiff’s TIA claims to survive, and rejected defendant’s argument that the TIA was inapplicable because the MBS securities at issue did not fit the Act’s definition of ‘debt instruments’ that would be subject to TIA provisions. However, in Oklahoma Pension, the court accepted defendants argument that the securities at issue fit the definition of notes that were exempt from the Act’s provisions under its Section 304(a)(2). The potential scope of the 304(a)(2) exemption could thus have a significant impact on related litigation going forward, as both cases suggest that the terms of the TIA impose broader recordkeeping requirements on trustees (and thus could carry a broader potential scope for trustee liability in litigation) for the types of loans that were at issue in those cases.
- Tranche standing: Policemen’s Annuity and Oklahoma Police both examined a range of standing issues that may also affect potential trustee liability going forward, including the extent to which investors in specific tranches could potentially be joined as plaintiffs by:
- investors in different tranches of the same security;
- investors in different securities that were part of the same shelf offering; or
- investors of securities backed by loans that were underwritten by common originators.
In Policemen’s Annuity, the court limited the plaintiff group to investors in the same security, and more specifically to investors in tranches that were collateralized by common groups of loans (essentially allowing plaintiff groups to include investors in different tranches that were “cross collateralized” such that similar pools of residential loans secured multiple tranches). However, in Oklahoma Police, the court ruled that a plaintiff class against a securitization trustee could include investors in different securities where the loans backing the securities were administered under ‘same form’ PSA agreements. The range of investor classes that could ultimately bring claims may thus also have a significant impact on related litigation. Both cases indicate that the scope of potential plaintiff groups could also include non-pension fund investors as well, though the similar factual backdrops provide particular context on recent trends involving pension fund claims in particular, as well as on how the scope of potential trustee liability could develop going forward. This space will continue to monitor related developments as they occur.
Ashoke Prasad, Esq., CPA, Assistant Vice President, Litigation Solutions, and
Heena Bhambhlani, Sr. Manager, Litigation Solutions
- See 907 F.Supp.2d 536 (December 7, 2012); 2013 WL 1877618 (SDNY), May 6, 2013
- See 2013 WL 2369674 (SDNY), May 31, 2013
- See Note 1 (2013 WL 1877618) at 1877626-1877629
- See Note 2 at 2369686-2369691
- See Note 1 (907 F.Supp.2d 536) at 547-550
- See Note 2 at 2369683-2369684
September 16, 2013
While Dodd Frank’s transaction reporting components have remained a clear focus of compliance efforts during the past 18 months, other provisions within the Act’s general recordkeeping requirements have also emerged as a top priority for swap dealers. In particular, CFTC Regulation 46.2 has imposed ISDA contract management requirements that demand more detailed reporting of potential counterparty exposure. These include:
- Swap dealers must retain ISDA Master Agreements, CSAs, relevant amendments, and confirmations, in electronic form, for swap transactions in existence on or after April 25, 2011
- Relevant agreements must be retained through the life of a relevant swap and for five years after termination of the swap
- Relevant agreements be retained by swap dealers in a form that is electronically accessible by counterparties, and that those agreements are retrievable by counterparties within 3 business days
Reg 46.2 was the product of an extensive dialogue between regulators and market participants focusing on the importance of regulators having greater access to Master Agreement and CSA terms when evaluating potential OTC market exposure scenarios in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and joint SEC/CFTC feasibility studies initially discussed the concept of a “Master Agreement Library” that would require swap dealers to submit Master Agreements and CSAs to a central electronic database under regulatory control. However, those studies also analyzed potential operational difficulties involved in constructing that type of global agreement repository, and ultimately concluded that the Act’s broader objectives would be more appropriately served by imposing the 46.2 requirements above on swap dealers and subjecting dealer compliance to regulatory oversight. One study noted:
“A master agreement library is probably…an expensive definition of what is in Dodd Frank…..there’s so many different ways to use that data that just collecting it without understanding how you’re going to use it I think would be difficult and just incredibly complicated and expensive….Collateral is critical, (but) whether that means the prudential regulator needs to know all the details or whether it needs to be confident through its oversight of the entity that the entity has a good handle on that, and that the prudential regulator has the opportunity at any time to find out what that position will be or is….that’s a different scenario than everything flowing into the regulator.”
The practical result has been that 46.2 has become an impetus for swap dealers to look to contract management technology to organize Master Agreement and CSA data in a manner that more quickly isolates key terms that frame relevant portfolio analyses, in order to develop internal contract management systems that address both regulatory reporting obligations and collateral management objectives. As one swap dealer noted: “(Dealers have invested in) systems to take the data that we have in our master agreements and in our transaction and data repositories to look at our exposures in different ways to understand what happens when a counterparty gets downgraded or a trigger or something happens in the market to stress test the portfolio. These are very, very complex calculations, and we make them available to our regulators already on a regular basis….and we do not rely on (previous analysis) of an agreement because it’s just too much of a risk at that point in time to rely on any interpretation that might have been done three years ago….there are technologies available that theoretically look at this stuff and get it in different ways.” In a regulatory environment in which more detailed exposure reporting has become a norm, 46.2′s requirements will likely continue to emerge as a top priority for operational and compliance functions, and will likely continue to drive how swap dealers integrate technology into their ISDA contract management practices going forward.
By Ashoke Prasad, Esq., CPA, Assistant Vice President, Litigation Solutions
- See 17 C.F.R. §46.2(a)(1)- §46.2(a)(4)
- See Comment for Proposed Rule 75 FR 76573 (January 28, 2011); See “CFTC and SEC Joint Study on the Feasibility of Mandating Algorithmic Descriptions for Derivatives”(April 7, 2011)
- See Comment for Proposed Rule 75 FR 76573 at page 281
- See Note 3 at page 280
August 20, 2013
Facing the challenge of a changing legal industry since the financial crisis, law firms are making strides to continuously prove their value to their corporate counsel. The Altman Weil 2013 “Law Firms in Transition” survey, published in April, reveals that many firms believe they will be forced to adjust their business practices to remain ahead of the curve.
The survey asked participants about trends in the legal industry such as:
- Increased price competition
- Commoditized legal work
- More fixed rates
- Continued use of legal process outsourcing
Firstly, the survey finds that 95.6 percent of the respondents believe that increased price competition is a permanent change to the industry. In response, firms are adjusting their strategic pricing by integrating fixed rates for commoditized legal work. In fact, 89.7 percent of the respondents believe that the amount of commoditized legal work is increasing. The findings also show that only 16 percent of fixed rates (or alternative fee arrangements (AFAs)) are “more profitable than projects billed at an hourly rate.” Thus, 84 percent of fixed rates are less or equally as profitable.
Finally, the survey also makes clear that more law firms see legal outsourcing as a permanent trend. In fact, the number of survey responders who recognize this change as permanent has more than doubled since 2009, from 11.5 percent to 46.4 percent.
From our point of view, this is not surprising. The legal process outsourcing (“LPOs”) industry has recently breached the $1 billion dollar mark and continues to grow through the post-recession slump. Pangea3 has seen major law firms recognize that there are many potential benefits to engaging LPO services. For example, in fixed-fee engagements, engaging a low priced LPO enables law firms to enhance margins.
We believe that the Altman Weil 2013 survey supports our view that utilizing LPO services can help law firms increase their value and deepen relationships with existing clients, by allowing them to offer innovative and cost-saving solutions. Lowering the total cost of representation, improving quality and processes, and permitting these firms to more aggressively price new fixed-fee engagements, is how LPOs will continue to prove their worth to law firms in a changing legal landscape.
August 8, 2013
“Predictive coding is a look at the giant wave of big data that is increasing in the business world and saying we need to apply analytics to cull through that data,” says Edward Sohn, Esq., Assistant Vice President of Litigation Solutions at Pangea3. This telling statement about the usefulness of predictive coding lays the foundation to Sohn’s podcast, “The Four Pillars of Effective Predictive Coding,” where he provides insights on how to successfully employ this process.
In this e-discovery podcast, you will listen to how predictive coding serves as a seamless integration to an end-to-end solution. He details the importance of process expertise that drives predictive coding forward in an efficient and defensible workflow. The numerous tools that assist in the quality and efficiency of the process are also discussed when assessing best practices.
Click here to listen to the podcast.
August 5, 2013