The dreadful impacts of Covid-19 are still having their effect on business, commerce, and people worldwide. The pandemic has forced many companies to re-examine the force majeure clauses in their contracts. ‘Force Majeure’ has been defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as ‘an event or effect that can be neither anticipated nor controlled. The concept of force majeure is to allocate the risk of performance loss if an unpredictable or unanticipated event or natural disaster occurs. One well-known company dealing with a major contract dispute is Disney; after releasing one of the biggest movies of the year, its $346.9 million box office movie Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett Johansson had a contractual relationship with Marvel Entertainment and its parent company Disney to make the movie Black Widow. Johansson filed a lawsuit claiming a breach of contract for her role in the film, which suffered numerous delays due to COVID, which constituted force majeure and was released in July 2021. In her suit, she claims that Disney terminated the contract because their contract obligations were breached when Black Widow was simultaneously released in theaters and on Disney+ streaming service, which breached her contract. Furthermore, she claims that Disney intentionally induced the breach of the agreement by releasing it on the streaming service since much of her salary was based on the box-office performance. The issue being examined is whether the film’s Disney+ streaming release due to Covid breaches the exclusive theatrical release and if this release impacted Johansson’s earnings.

No one could have anticipated a global pandemic or expected the world to shut down almost overnight and the changes that would be made in their day-to-day lives from going to the movie theaters to watching box office releases from their own homes. A force majeure clause usually defines exact situations or events that would qualify as force majeure events. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an unexpected change in the requirements and definition of force majeure clauses in contracts.

The pandemic presented a blindspot that many companies or organizations were suffering from in not having easy visibility and access to viewing data in their contracts. By having accessible access to visibility and data into contracts, many organizations could have saved themselves from being in breach of their force majeure clauses and knew exactly what it entailed. This is why contract risk management is so essential and is seeing a new resurgence in the era of COVID, making contract management software a must-have.

Evisort is an intelligent contract management platform powered by AI and automates extracting key contract data and streamlines contract generation, review, and approval processes. It provides real-time insights into every contract, reduces risk, and cuts down contract transaction time. 

A single business is not an isolated box, fully self-sufficient in serving the needs of its customers.  Every single business needs to buy goods and services, whether something as ordinary as office goods or something more particularized like a custom product or service. Buying requires contracts, and contracts require management. This is the vendor management process: storing, organizing, negotiating, renewing, and terminating contracts with a business’s various suppliers.

In a small business, vendor management is often run by the controller who handles things like negotiating vendor contracts, paying suppliers, and storing contracts.  In a larger business, vendor management is handled by procurement. Procurement professionals generally work with purchase orders that can include multiple vendor contracts under a single purchase order adding complexity to the process. Both controllers and procurement frequently run into common problems during vendor management that ultimately can cost a business money unnecessarily.

Continue Reading Vendor Management Best Practices for Risk and Cost Savings

Evisort supports risk management and improving operational efficiency across legal contract environments and we are happy to report that Evisort achieved compliance with the relevant trust services criteria through a successful passing of SOC 2 Type II and SOC 3 security audits. This verifies that Evisort manages our customer’s data in the most secure, safe and proactive way, even for the most regulated industries. 

Service organization control (SOC) audits are performed by certified public accountants and their criteria are based on the “trust services” categories laid out by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). To receive our clearance as a secure service, our SOC 2 Type II report and SOC 3 report were conducted by an independent CPA firm covering the time period from October 1, 2019, to March 30, 2020. The primary difference between a SOC 2 and SOC 3 report is that the latter is meant to be narrower in scope and can be widely shared. Download a copy of our SOC 3 report here. 

Continue Reading Evisort Achieves SOC 2 Type II and SOC 3 Certification

Contract analysis software brings many key benefits to any organization. One of the key benefits  is to improve the entire contract review process and easily integrate documents. Such software is fueled by the latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI) which allows you to automatically locate, extract, and review significant contract information in just minutes – something that previously  took hours.

Not only does such software enhance visibility into your contracts, making it easy to get a speedy snapshot of important contract terms, but it can also quickly and intuitively respond to changes in law, terms, provisions, clauses, deadlines, and due dates. Additionally, it allows you to better communicate risks both within your project team as well as  to your clients. Ensuring seamless integration is key to successful customer lifecycle management. AI will aid you in developing and improving your company’s relationship with your clients.

In recent years, the use of machine learning (ML) for natural language processing (NLP) has enjoyed a big success in performing tasks that were previously only done by humans. Most notably, the use of deep learning has really taken off in this field, allowing models to learn from large amounts of data, while reducing human error.

As a result, contract analysis software can learn from businesses’ data to rapidly uncover valuable insights. The ability to get a bird’s-eye view of a contract can not only increase productivity but also efficiency in the due diligence process of many businesses, including law firms. But how does it work?

Continue Reading How It Works: Contract Analysis Software

Contract management enhanced by AI is already progressing by leaps and bounds . . . imagine what it will look like by 2025?

Here, we’ll take a look at the changing nature of contract management software, examine its importance for service-based businesses, project managers and legal teams, and predict what it will look like in five years.

AI’s Influence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an emerging technology that will continue to have a significant influence on contract management. Specifically, its potential to make organizations more efficient and to allow crucial data to be extracted more readily will take center stage. AI is playing an increasing role in helping companies overcome many of the challenges to contract creation.

Continue Reading What Will Contract Management Look Like in Five Years?

The Situation

The Coronavirus, which has tragically spread quickly throughout the globe, is creating a new normal during this unusual time. Our economy is being tested with the cancellation of large events, travel restrictions, and some businesses having to temporarily shut their doors. 

What is Force Majeure?

Many have asked us about Force Majeure, the provision that defines occurrences that are outside and beyond the control of the parties (acts of God, war, famine, and plague), and allows relief for non-performance in the event that such an occurrence is triggered. Without a clause that includes pandemic or quarantine restrictions, there is a chance that a contract may be at risk. This can affect many companies, who provide services and/or products.  

For service contracts, the effects can happen on both sides. On one hand, for a service provider, you want to know if you are unable to fulfill the obligations by an expected deadline will it constitute a breach. On the other hand, as a buyer of service, if that service can no longer be provided at that time, does it terminate that contractual obligation by the breach. 

For vendors and buyers of products, the problem can look different. In this climate you want to know if the duties of the contract are not fulfilled, how this could affect the business going forward. As a supplier of goods, this could be the inability to supply goods on time which could terminate the contract with a Force Majeure clause or offer a different option. 

Continue Reading Using AI-enabled Contract Management for Force Majeure During Pandemic

A mature business invests in contract management. Small businesses, entrepreneurs, garage start-ups, and sole proprietors are the kinds of businesses that can afford to manage their contracts manually – that is, when they’re just getting started. The early days of any business are marked by more concern over landing those first few contracts than managing them. However, as a business ages and accrues contracts, some form of contract management system must be chosen by any business.

For those businesses which aren’t at a scale where an full fledged contract management system is required, manual contract management is possible using common office tools. Using tools already at their disposal, like Microsoft Excel or Google docs, small businesses can keep track of key contract clauses, terms, and dates.

Continue Reading Free Excel Contract Management Template

Do contracts apply to every sphere of business? It would appear so. Contracts are the DNA of business itself, intrinsic to the very concept of free-market capitalism. Janitorial companies use contracts to agree to supply cleaning services to offices, and aerospace corporations use contracts in their agreements to provide high-tech fighter jets to governments. In between, there’s everything else, from franchise retail to multinational corporations.

In recent years, spurred on by the growth of e-commerce, B2B commerce, and increasingly sophisticated technology, contract management has come into sharper focus as one of the crucial aspects of maintaining a healthy business. Every company hopes to grow and become more profitable, which makes automation necessary when expanding a contract portfolio. Managing the contract life-cycle has become a complex job, where mistakes in company contract management systems cost an estimated 9% of global revenue.

Continue Reading Contract Management Best Practices

Contracts are the formal, finalized agreements between businesses, necessary for legal protection between parties. They are used to dictate the respective roles between a company and its vendors, partners, customers, and employees. Managing contracts, then, involves the process of overseeing the creation, signature, storage, execution, and review of contracts. This process poses a growing challenge as a company matures through the business cycle from start-up to enterprise.

Continue Reading What is Contract Management?

Contracts are like the engines of businesses, driving growth and containing mission- and business-critical obligations and opportunities for organizations. But still, firms continue to struggle to do something that sounds so simple: connecting contracts to business value. Just take a look at the opportunities that can be lost in a typical Fortune 1000 company that manages between 20,000 to 40,000 active contracts at any given time. Legal Tech News says at least 10 percent of contracts are misplaced and hard to find, or that still remain in paper form, buried as an attachment in an email, or on a file share somewhere.

The sheer volume of contracts that any given company has to contend with on a daily basis is staggering. Contracting is indeed a common activity, but it’s also one that few companies can handle efficiently or effectively. In fact, inefficient contracting is estimated to cause firms to lose between five and 40 percent of value on a given deal, according to the Harvard Business Review. However, that’s all changing drastically thanks to recent technological developments in the form of artificial intelligence (AI), which is helping companies overcome many of the challenges that come with contracting.

For one, AI solutions can activate important data in your contracts across your organization, in any number of industries, from legal and finance to sales and operations.

Continue Reading Why AI Will Take Over for Contract Review and Contract Management