Introduction: In today’s fast-paced business world, efficiency and accuracy are paramount, so is cost saving worth the risk? With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), tasks once considered time-consuming , tedious and expensive, such as drafting commercial documents, have been herolded now simplified by AI . However, while AI offers numerous benefits in this domain, it does in our opinion present its own set of challenges and caution should be applied . This article explores the advantages and pitfalls of using AI in document drafting, highlighting why the expertise of advisors still remains indispensable.

Benefits of Using AI in Document Drafting:

Time-saving: AI-powered document drafting software can generate contracts, agreements, and other legal documents in a fraction of the time it would take a human. By automating repetitive tasks, AI frees up valuable time for business owners and maybe even legal advisors to focus on more strategic matters. However, which document or terms it chooses and how comprehensive this is will be, will of course depend on how well versed you are at training the system.

Cost-effective: AI purports to offer in the interim a more affordable alternative, to legal draftsmen, allowing organisations to access document drafting capabilities without breaking the bank. How those document’s reliability prove though in the future ,when a dispute arises or essential clauses are relied upon , might be another story .

Standardisation: AI ensures consistency across all documents produced, maintaining uniformity in language, formatting, and style. This is especially beneficial for businesses with multiple branches or subsidiaries.

Whilst that sounds great is it ? Its not all perfect !

Perils of Using AI in Document Drafting:

Lack of Context: While AI excels at processing large amounts of data, it may struggle to grasp the nuances of a particular situation. Contextual understanding, crucial in legal matters, is an area where AI often falls short.  For exmaple : what template document should it choose; how complex should it be;  is it protecting the founder or the business or maybe the investor?

Legal Liability: Errors or omissions in AI-generated documents can have serious legal consequences. Businesses must carefully review and validate documents to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Reliance on AI means you have to think what clauses might it have forgotten to add rather than working through drafts and deleting and amending as you go knowing the context . Is the regulation it is using the right one and is it up to date for example ?

Data Privacy Concerns: Entrusting sensitive information to AI platforms raises concerns about data privacy and security. Unauthorised access or breaches could expose confidential business information to risk.

Limited Creativity: AI is proficient at generating standard legal documents but may lack the creativity and intuition required for more complex drafting tasks. Certain legal matters demand human expertise and judgment be it bargaining positions, complex regulatory documents or thinking of future and anticipated events.

Why Solicitors Are still therefore Essential:

Advice: Beyond document drafting, solicitors provide tailored advice based on their understanding of clients’ specific needs and objectives. They offer strategic insights and recommendations so they present options , commercial solutions and guidance as to the route to travel .

Commercial Guidance: Solicitors understand the broader commercial implications of legal decisions. They help clients assess risks, negotiate contracts, and devise strategies to protect their personal interests in a competitive marketplace.

Practical Assistance: From contract negotiations to dispute resolution, solicitors offer practical assistance at every stage of the legal process. Taking into account commercial relationships to be maintained , costs , stress and client objectives . Their guidance ensures that clients make informed decisions and achieve favorable outcomes personal to their objectives not others.

For technology businesses, bespoke documents are essential as oppose to AI-drafted templates due to several key reasons:

  1. Complexity of Technology: Technology-related contracts and agreements often involve intricate details and specialised language that may not be fully captured by AI algorithms. Bespoke documents allow for customisation to address the unique aspects of the technology being developed or intrgrated. The technology might not yet exist so AI would struggle to understand this concept.
  2. Risk Mitigation: Tech businesses operate in a dynamic and rapidly evolving environment where legal risks can be high. Bespoke documents crafted by solicitors provide tailored solutions to mitigate these risks, ensuring that the company’s interests and more so the founder are protected effectively and made aware of all these pitfalls in advance
  3. Regulatory Compliance: The technology sector is subject to a myriad of regulations and industry standards governing issues such as data privacy, intellectual property rights, and cybersecurity. Everything must refer back to the same processes , contracts and policies and staff trained to follow this
  4. Protection of Intellectual Property: Intellectual property (IP) is often the lifeblood of tech companies. Understanding all the IP and how it’s best protected needs careful consideration
  5. Flexibility and Adaptability: Technology businesses frequently engage in innovative projects and collaborations that may not fit into standardised templates.
  6. Enhanced Negotiation Leverage: Well-drafted bespoke documents can strengthen a tech business’s negotiating position when dealing with partners, suppliers, investors, or clients. By clearly delineating rights, obligations, and responsibilities, bespoke agreements provide clarity and transparency, facilitating smoother negotiations and reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings or disputes.

Conclusion: While AI has undoubtedly transformed document drafting, its limitations underscore the ongoing importance of solicitors in the legal landscape. By leveraging the benefits of AI technology while relying on the expertise of solicitors, businesses can optimise their legal operations and mitigate risks effectively. Ultimately, the combination of AI-driven efficiency and human insight ensures comprehensive legal support tailored to the unique needs of each client.