Riverview teams up with Legal OnRamp to tackle global bank challenge

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6 January 2014

Chapman: huge volumes

Riverview Law has announced a collaboration with US technology pioneer Legal OnRamp to offer a service that can cope with massive regulatory burdens imposed on financial institutions to avoid a repeat of the 2008 banking crisis.

The combined service and technology platform is already being used by one global financial institution to record and categorise thousands of contracts, a project the pair said is “probably unique in terms of scale and complexity”.

Legal OnRamp – founded in cooperation with Cisco – is a collaboration platform that allows lawyers and third parties to connect and share information online.

Major banks in the UK, US and Europe are now required to put in place recovery and resolution plans (RRPs) – called ‘living wills’ – to ensure they are safely and quickly wound up or reorganised in the event of financial trouble, without needing a government bail-out.

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The living will must include a wide range of information, including contractual obligations across the entire organisation. In addition, a number of banks will face similar requirements in relation to ring-fencing areas of their activities.

Combining “people, processes and technology”, the new service:

  • identifies all of a customer’s contracts and supporting documents, including a gap analysis and escalation process for recovering incomplete contracts/documents;
  • uploads completed contracts and documents onto the OnRamp collaboration platform;
  • reviews and maps each contract/document against a tailored checklist of up to 200 legal and related questions;
  • quality assures the review process and organise the information into appropriate contract families and systems maps;
  • helps resolve any operational and/or regulatory issues with any contracts and/or documents; and
  • if required, provides ongoing management of contracts.

Riverview Law CEO Karl Chapman said the firm has had a “significant number of people” working on the RRP project for the unnamed financial institution since July, which in part explained the announcement last summer that it was to double in size over the following year. It is a project “measured in years”, he added.

He said the combination of Riverview’s outsourcing expertise – “implementation and project management, dedicated client teams and expertise in data management and reporting” – with the OnRamp platform meant they could cope with the huge volumes involved.

The model could also be applied to any global organisation that needs to manage its contract and data infrastructure, Mr Chapman said.

Paul Lippe, CEO of Legal OnRamp, has been developing the concept of ‘Legal-By-Design’, helping legal departments improve quality and efficiency while also reducing the cost of legal work through collaboration, automation and process re-engineering. He said this project was the next stage in its development.

“Riverview Law is a perfect partner, combining low-cost, process savvy quality and ability to scale,” he said. “We’re seeing legal departments and cross-functional teams look to innovative partnerships like ours to address major ‘event-driven’ projects like RRP and simultaneously kick-start ongoing operational improvements.”

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