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Testimonial: Closd at business law firm Bruzzo Dubucq

David Ybert de Fontenelle and Virginie Cadouin are partners in Bruzzo Dubucq. Based in Southern France, the firm is specialized in restructuring, commercial disputes, tax law, the firm and strategic consulting in transactional M&A operations.


Closd allows us to bring the firm into the present and to simplify our lives considerably.

Closd: Could you please introduce us to Bruzzo Dubucq, its clients and the matters it handles?

: We are partners in Bruzzo Dubucq, a business law firm based in Aix-en-Provence. The firm, which now counts 30 partners, was created in 2015 by Philippe Bruzzo and Cédric Dubucq.

The firm is divided into three main practice areas: commercial litigation, tax law, and corporate engineering, which includes M&A and corporate, and which we are pleased to co-manage. We assist business owners of all types of companies (groups, SMEs, growing companies, family-owned companies, startups, etc.) in their legal operations: transfers of control, restructurings, external growth operations, etc.

What were the main challenges before adopting Closd?

Like many law professionals, the main challenge was to organize signing sessions: matching schedules, lack of flexibility, high number of photocopies…

We were already using platforms to organize data rooms for example, but they didn’t offer an experience and reliability as solid as Closd. We also needed a tool to perfectly organize and track our closings.

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Why did you choose Closd and what needs does the platform meet?

Like many other lawyers, we have been confronted with the various changes that the legal sector has undergone over the last few years, in particular its digitalization. We tried to anticipate it as well as possible, and therefore audited different software that could be perfectly integrated into our internal processes and facilitate time-consuming tasks. In particular, we needed a solution to organize electronic signatures and save time.

There were several solutions, and we finally opted for Closd for two main reasons: first, the UX of the platform is very good; especially regarding the organization of the signing sessions, the tagging system, the possibility to automate the sending, etc. It is a secure solution, which allows us to easily organize the signing sessions with our clients, our colleagues and different parties.

Then, another major advantage of the platform is the quality of customer service, whose availability is absolutely outstanding. Their reactivity allows us to keep up with our clients’ needs. It sometimes happens that technical problems appear: a customer who can’t sign, for example. In these cases, Closd’s teams react very quickly.

Could you describe the operations you carry out thanks to the platform?

At the beginning, we mainly used the platform for M&A operations from start to finish: organization of the data room, signing, closing…

We now also use it for transactional matters and to sign various business documents (powers of attorney, asset and liability guarantees, deeds of transfer, etc.

We use Closd for about 90% of our files, and for almost 100% of our M&A and corporate files, either remotely to get parties to sign abroad for example, or even face-to-face to avoid excessive photocopying.

We also use the checklist part in the classic M&A process, to validate follow-ups before the closing or the waiver of conditions precedents for example.


Are your clients and interlocutors satisfied with the use of the platform?

Our clients are very happy with the platform, because it brings them flexibility compared to the physical closing, which leaves little room for uncertainty. A client who cannot make it to a scheduled closing in the morning will have more flexibility to sign the documentation remotely during the day using Closd.

The platform also allowed us to automate our signing sessions, which is a very powerful and practical feature.

Our customers are delighted because Closd provides them with a new digital experience: they want to be able to sign remotely thanks to the electronic signature, access the documents online, automatically receive the documents once the signature is done, etc.

Closd allows us to bring the firm into the present and to simplify our lives considerably. Moreover, it is a great collaborative tool.

How would you assess your experience with Closd? What are the main strengths of the plaform?

The results are very positive, we will definitely keep using it!

Our firm having had to manage a strong growth in recent years, the flexibility regarding the management of our subscription allowed by Closd is, in my opinion, a strong competitive advantage compared to other platforms.

And once again, we have to mention the user experience, and the user-friendliness of the platform. Also, the team is very helpful, it’s nice to know that there are humans behind the code.

The platform’s security commitments are also critical to us.

Any final word?

We encourage Closd to keep developing its user experience and offering. Even if there is always room for improvement, the tool is complete and has been perfectly adopted by our team. Thanks to the whole Closd team for this collaboration!

Thanks to Mr Ybert de Fontenelle and Mrs Cadouin for their testimony. If you want to learn more about Closd, schedule a demo now!


User testimonial: Closd at Austrian law firm Cerha Hempel

Mark Krenn and Hans Kristoferitsch are partners at Viennese law firm Cerha Hempel. The firm counts more than 200 lawyers, and is specialized in all areas of corporate and commercial law, both in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe.

Being users of Closd for several months already, they agreed to share their opinion on the platform, their vision on legaltech and digitization, and how Closd is helping them to improve customer experience.

Article by LexisNexis Austria – 31/10/22

“You can tell that the tool was developed by lawyers who have been involved in transaction management”

LexisNexis/Closd: Could you please introduce us to Cerha Hempel, its clients and the matters it handles?

Hans Kristoferitsch: CERHA HEMPEL is one of the leading corporate law firms in Austria, and we are also present in Central and Eastern Europe. We cover all areas of corporate and commercial law, and we are proud to count numerous leading Austrian and international companies among our clients. In addition to major commercial litigation and proceedings, for example in public commercial law, antitrust and criminal law, we mainly specialize in transactional matters.

What is the firm’s digital strategy? What are your other areas of development? 

Hans Kristoferitsch: We have already developed some of our own solutions internally within the framework of our Legal Tech Center, which have been successfully adopted by both our team and our clients (a tool dedicated to financing for example). In other areas, we have decided to use existing legaltech solutions such as Closd.

Why did you choose Closd? What needs does the platform meet?

Mark Krenn: Closd is a very versatile tool that maps the entire lifecycle of a transaction – from the data room for due diligence to the automated generation of transaction bible. You can tell that the tool was developed by lawyers who have been involved in transaction management. But even beyond M&A transactions, I see multiple applications.

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What types of transactions do you manage with the platform? What are the main benefits? 

Mark Krenn: At the moment, we are mainly using the platform to manage M&A transactions as well as real estate development projects in which we act as trustees.

The easy setup of the working parties and their division into groups particularly facilitates the administration of a transaction and makes communication much easier. We also use Closd as a pure data room solution for our clients.

Are your clients and interlocutors satisfied with the use of the platform?

Mark Krenn: The solution is very intuitive and has all the required features to manage a transaction or a property development project. The possibility to sign contracts online – through a formalized process – is a real differentiator. Our clients are very interested in online solutions and have responded very positively to our decision. During the test phase, we also invited clients to test Closd and we received very positive feedback, which encouraged us to choose Closd.

What do you consider most important when working with your clients?

Hans Kristoferitsch: We have set ourselves the goal of providing our clients with high-quality legal advice as cost-effectively and in the shortest possible time. This also includes legaltech solutions in order to be able to process certain automatable work steps more quickly and cost-efficiently. We also attach great importance to long-term cooperation. Legaltech is also essential for achieving this goal, as it allows us to coordinate operational processes we advise in many areas.

Mark Krenn: We constantly evaluate our legaltech initiatives with our clients in order to be able to adapt to their requirements and expectations. For us, legaltech is not an end in itself for marketing purposes, but should create added value for our clients.

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What do you see as the main challenge for your industry in the digital era? 

Hans Kristoferitsch: Contrary to what is often assumed, we do not think that digitalization will make the legal profession obsolete. On the contrary, it allows us to work even more efficiently and to be more focused on solving legal problems or representing our clients in court or out of court. Our biggest challenge would be to build up our own IT skills to operate legaltech tools, and to recruit and train young colleagues who are not only familiar with law but also with digital solutions.

Thanks to Mr Kristoferitsch and Mr Krenn for their testimony, and to Tobias Paur from LexisNexis Austria for conducting this interview. If you want to learn more about Closd, schedule a demo now!

6 tips for creating an optimized and efficient checklist

The checklist (also called closing memo, CP checklist, step plan, or simply retro planning depending on the situation) is a central part of any legal transaction. It is also a challenging process considering the complexity and multiplicity of the steps, deadlines and tasks to be carried out. Whether you’re a legal team working to complete a loan facility agreement or a cross-border M&A transaction, an entrepreneur raising Series A financing for your startup, or you’re holding an annual shareholders’ meeting at your company, the checklist is an integral part of running a deal. 

Take the CP checklist, which allows legal teams to collect every document needed for KYC – and can involve thousands of documents. Or a board meeting agenda, where convening letters, draft resolutions, draft minutes, and other documentation needs to be collected efficiently.

Or say you’re preparing a closing checklist for a finance transaction. In a large transaction, innumerable documents need to be shared or sent out to be signed by various parties, while closely monitoring outstanding signatures and tracking each document’s progress.

Why getting the checklist right is essential

Completing these using email and Microsoft Word – the standard tools still used by most legal teams – is no easy task. It suffices to read this article in Legal Cheek, which details a few weeks in the life of a junior banking & finance lawyer, to see why the standard process is lacking, to put it lightly. The time leading up to deal completion is described as “4 weeks in hell” – we’ll let you read on to see why (hint: chasing down parties and tracking files by email and copying, pasting and reformatting CPs line by line into a Word document isn’t super-efficient, or particularly pleasant for anyone involved).

The checklist is also used to inform the client of the progress of all the projects in the case with the objective of closing on a given date. It is therefore a communication and reassurance tool for the customer, and therefore an important part of the customer experience.

However, in any deal, getting the checklist right is essential. So, what do we mean by a “modern” checklist? Today, legal transaction management platforms like Closd digitalize the checklist and all the steps involved, making each process streamlined and efficient.  In this post, we share our 6 tips for creating a standout checklist that will make this key part of any deal efficient, and dare we say, even enjoyable.

6 tips to create efficient interactive checklists

1) Assign parties to tasks and schedule automatic reminders

Managing different parties – manually circulating tasks, tracking who is responsible for what, and individually chasing responsible parties – is no easy feat. And often, at least one deadline, or validation needed for a document, slips through the cracks, meaning the client gets unpleasant news, and the unlucky counsel who is responsible has a very bad day.

How does one get around this? On Closd, lawyers can assign parties to be responsible for specific tasks, or to be validators for tasks, directly on the checklist. Once assigned individually or as a group (for example investors, etc.), they can choose to automatically notify parties of the tasks they need to complete, and to send them automatic reminders of any upcoming deadlines. Each participant then receives a complete list of tasks that they must complete or validate.

It is then possible to set up automatic reminders for the responsibles parties before the due date of a task, at any frequency.

On their side, participants filter the interactive checklist to view only the tasks relevant to them, or all the tasks not yet completed. That way, every participant has a clear view on the process, fostering easy collaboration and increasing the chances that the transaction will be closed on time.

checklist move task closd

2) Have a real-time overview of your project

An ever-evolving list is, by nature, difficult to share efficiently using static means of communication like email. Constantly re-circulating a changing legal transaction checklist is 1) time-consuming, 2) prone to error, and 3) generally quite annoying for everyone who has to receive three different “Updated Checklist – Read and Review” emails per day.

Instead, on Closd, stakeholders can see how the project is progressing at-a-glance, in real time. Project Managers can update task statuses (pending, started, etc.) and inform automatically the parties involved. 

With this, time spent on creating, updating and tracking items on the legal transaction checklist is substantially reduced, with update calls all but eliminated – all while making the deal totally transparent to all relevant parties.

checklist task status closd

3) Use the chat to conduct a Q&A

The checklist module on Closd allows simple and secured Q&A exchanges between parties regarding a task or a particular step of the process. On the platform, the process is seamless: users can exchange comments, tag other users, and conduct a full Q&A on a built-in, intuitive chat specific to each task of the legal transaction checklist.

In a legal transaction, these questions and answers often have evidential value. Users can export all the comments related to a task in PDF format, to keep them or attach them to a contract for example. That certainly beats exchanging comments by phone or email, keeping them noted down and organized, and manually circulating them… you know the drill.

4) Attach files to tasks and control document versioning 

Tasks on CP or closing checklists often involve the collection of documents, and keeping each document associated with its respective task in an organized, clear manner can be a real challenge.

On Closd, users can attach documents to individual tasks to allow parties to keep track of files with precision. Importantly, users can upload different versions of documents (with distinct access rights if they wish) to tasks and can view the entire version history in one place.

On Closd, users can easily attach requested documents to tasks. To maintain the confidentiality required in this type of process, specific access rights can be configured for each task and attached document.

Whether the intent is to share documents with people or to collect them, the digital checklist provides a clear organizational structure that saves counsels having to dig through emails or data rooms to retrieve documents and keep up with their latest versions – instead, everything is centralized and easily accessible in one place.

checklist document versinong history closd

5) Structure your checklist the way you want

On Closd, lawyers can structure their checklists however they want, creating titles and subtitles and adding tasks that are automatically numbered to have a precise view of the checklist’s layout.

Best of all, if the structure changes, a simple drag and drop moves tasks into a different spot on the checklist, and the whole list is automatically renumbered in real time.  Try reformatting tables on Word to see why that’s a huge timesaver – not to mention manually renumbering each task every time there’s a change.

checklist move task closd

6)  Save checklists to create a library

Finally, lawyers can save their checklists in Closd. You never know when a new matter will come up that requires a similar structure, or the same content as an old checklist.

On Closd, you can save your checklists directly on the platform, creating a library of checklists for all different types of matters. You can then reimport them – again, directly from the platform – onto a new project, making sure you never misplace or lose a template, and always have everything handy in one place.

By following the tips outlined in this article, teams can essentially bring their legal transaction checklists into the modern world. With a little help from Closd, they can avoid the pitfalls involved in managing this complex, confidential, high-stakes, integral part of the deal, and allow their clients to marvel at the efficiency, speed, and organization they display.

Contact our team now to discover other features!

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Technical reliability and legal security of the electronic signature

If you’d like to put an end to never-ending signing sessions, late-night preparations and misplaced originals, you definitely should learn about electronic signature. 

Many industries have already adopted electronic signing (insurances, banks, notaries, among others); moreover, recent legal precedents have definitely been leaning toward a pragmatic yet supportive position regarding electronic signature over the past few years.

When it comes to electronic signatures, technology and law are closely intertwined: the better the technology used, the greater its probative value and its legal security. Thanks to the recent considerable technological and regulatory evolutions, it is nowadays highly unlikely that a reliable electronic signature can be legally challenged.

It is therefore by evaluating the robustness of an electronic signature technology that we can ensure its probative value; let us clear this topic up for you.

Brief reminder of the legal framework

The European eIDAS Regulation of July 23, 2014 introduced a standardized and robust technical-legal framework for “trust services” (such as electronic signatures). Applicable throughout the European Union since July 1, 2016, it defines three types of electronic signatures (Simple, Advanced or Qualified, depending on the reliability of the authentication process) and includes many new mandatory technical standards for each type of signature (published by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)).

Compliance with the regulatory and technical standards applicable to each type of signature is ensured by the certification issued by a national control authority to each service provider before it begins to operate. Once certified, the company becomes a “Trust Service Provider” (TSP). Regular audits are carried out thereafter.

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The different types of electronic signatures

Legally, there is no difference in validity between “Simple”, “Advanced” and “Qualified” signatures. Their admissibility in court cannot be challenged in any European Union country. “Qualified” signature simply benefits from an increased presumption of reliability.

By default, a “Simple” signature does not meet the requirements of the “Advanced” or “Qualified” categories. The verification of the identity of the signatory is usually done by sending a One-Time Password (OTP) to the signatory’s cell phone after he or she clicks on a link received by email.

The signatory is the only one to have access to the code unless his/her mailbox AND cell phone have been compromised.

The “Advanced” signature must meet the following regulatory criteria:

  1. uniquely linked to the signatory;
  2. enable the signatory to be identified;
  3. created using electronic signature creation data that the signatory can, with a high level of confidence, use under his or her sole control; and
  4. linked to the data associated with that signature in a way that any subsequent change of the data is detectable.

In practice, these requirements are met by combining the sending of an OTP code on a mobile device, with another factor that establishes the signatory’s identity with certainty, such as automated ID verification.

In addition to the hacking of the mailbox and the theft of the cell phone, the forgery of an “Advanced” signature would require that the forger has at least a copy of the signatory’s ID.

The “Qualified” signature corresponds legally to an “Advanced” signature with reinforced technical requirements and requires a face-to-face verification of the identity of the signatory (by physical meeting or video conference). The advantages of the electronic signature (mobility, speed) are largely diminished by this process, which explains why the “Qualified” signature is not used much today (most providers do not even offer it).

Legal transaction management platform Closd integrates Simple and Advanced electronic signatures provided by DocuSign and CertEurope, both Qualified Trust Services Providers compliant with the eIDAS regulatory requirements.

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Advanced electronic signature on legal transaction management platform Closd requires a triple authentication of the signatories:

  • Password-protected personal workspace;
  • Automated ID verification;
  • OTP code sent by text message.

An audit trail is also generated and archived for each identity verification and electronic signature.

These procedures meet legal and jurisprudential requirements and ensure the validity and probative value of signatures made on Closd.

The technology behind the signature

An electronic signature has no graphic representation. The image usually affixed to the document has only a symbolic value. Its validity and probative value lie in the digital data integrated into the document, which guarantees both its integrity and the authentication of the signatory:

  • An “encryption certificate” issued by a trusted authority that proves that the identity of the signatory has been previously and duly verified;
  • A “fingerprint” of the document (materialized by a unique character string) to ensure that it has not been modified since the signature (the slightest difference in the document would modify the generated fingerprint).
  1. The signatory proves his/her identity
  2. The provider emits a certificate proving the signatory’s identity
  3. A unique fingerprint is calculated for the document
  4. A signature server combines these elements to generate an electronic signature.

Once it is signed, the document is scanned by a PDF reader (such as Adobe Acrobat Reader) that determines whether the electronic signature is valid. When the document is opened, the PDF reader detects and verifies the digital signature data. Also:

  • It recalculates the “fingerprint” of the received document and ensures that it corresponds to the fingerprint of the document calculated at the time of its signature;
  • It inspects the “encryption certificate” to ensure that it is valid and that the identity of the signatory is certain.

If one of these two elements is missing or modified, a message automatically warns the user that the signature is not valid.

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Why you can trust current technologies

The European eIDAS regulation has considerably simplified the situation: the certification of an electronic signature provider ensures that it complies with a set of regulatory and technical standards that guarantee the reliability of the process. The European Union’s updated “trust list” is available online.

The reliability of an electronic signature can therefore be easily proven by :

  • The certification of the service provider by a national agency for the security of information systems;
  • The evidence is constituted by the various authentication techniques of the signatory described above.

As far as the verification of an electronic signature by the PDF reader is concerned, it is based on a “chain of trust” principle. The encryption certificate is validated by the Certification Authority (CA) that issued it (the electronic signature provider), itself validated by an Authority with a higher level of trust, and so on, until it reaches a Root Certification Authority (Root CA), the final link in the chain (usually private companies acting as trusted third parties for a multitude of uses). The PDF reader is able to check the reliability of each level: if one of the links in the chain is missing, it will not validate the electronic signature.

In spite of all these factors, habits are difficult to change since the barriers to these technologies are essentially psychological. The idea that one can indubitably authenticate a remote signatory still has a long way to go. However, a reliable electronic signature is more complicated to forge than a handwritten signature. Moreover, it is the only reliable means of transmitting originals electronically: legal precedents in most countries frequently point out that a scanned original can neither authenticate the signature nor express consent.