Catherine Desages is a member of the Bordeaux Bar (France) and is a lawyer specializing in corporate law. In 2006, she founded her own firm, Alta Conseils.
As an early adopter of Closd, she shares with us in this interview her transition to electronic signatures and her clients’ views on the subject, as well as the benefits of the platform for the organization of her closings.
Closd: Could you please introduce us to Alta conseils?
Catherine Desages: My name is Catherine Desages; I was formerly a legal advisor, and I became a lawyer by force of French law on January 1, 1992. I have been practicing in my own law firm since 1991, just before the reform was applied. I only practice corporate law as a counsel. I also work with two lawyers, one full-time and the other part-time.
My clientele is mainly composed of local small and medium-sized companies, mainly in the South-West of France, as well as a few files in Paris on an occasional basis. We mostly handle M&A files, about ten cases per year. We are therefore involved in corporate matters and in the drafting of contracts of all kinds.
What convinced you to use the platform?
I got to know Closd because one day we received a memo from the President of the Bar promoting the advantages of the electronic signature. This intrigued me so I wanted to know more about it. I called in order to find out what it was all about and to see if it would be of any help in my practice. That’s how I got in touch with the co-founders of Closd, whom I talked to on the phone, and decided to work with you.
So I started using Closd in late 2018, which makes me one of the first customers!
At the time, some of my clients, although quite young, were not yet very comfortable with these tools and were quite reluctant to sign electronically because I was only using Closd for that at the time. They have since understood all the interests of the platform, as many did during the pandemic! Since then, they have become real fans.
I use Closd in any situation: for example, I have an upcoming meeting with a client who was referred to me. I have never seen him before, but when we meet, we will use the electronic signature: it’s more modern, it’s faster, and it’s easier than turning pages.
What are your favorite features?
I mainly use the Electronic Signature and Documents features. One feature that I discovered recently, despite the fact that we attend training sessions whenever possible (which are very good by the way and which did not exist at the beginning), and that I still have to test, is the possibility to automatically generate bibles in one click. We have just understood the value of it, and we are going to use it more often!
I would also like to have the opportunity to use the closing checklists on the platform more, unfortunately, it has not happened yet, mainly because of the fear of IT tools from our colleagues! I think there is still a real fear of losing time when everything is done to save time.
On another subject, I am currently in contact with your team to start a trial on your new data room platform. We used to do them on the project management platform, but I wanted to test this new feature on a file I have just started to see how this new feature works, and eventually continue to use it for other projects.
Are your clients and interlocutors satisfied with the use of the platform?
Yes, my clients are happy with it! I use it to make them sign deeds regularly, and they are very happy because they find it simple and intuitive.
I would like to add that I have already used your technical support. This particularly reminds me of a file that was particularly challenging and for which we were unable to sign because of an iPad that was too outdated. Fortunately, I was able to contact Closd support and everything was solved. The team is extremely available and helpful, I am very happy!
How would you assess your experience with Closd? What are the main strengths of the platform?
Being an early customer, I have been able to witness the progress of the platform so far. Congratulations on that, I think it’s really admirable! I wish you great success while preserving this friendliness that we have when we call you. Your teams are available and very helpful in finding solutions, and I find that to be priceless.
Thanks to Mrs Desages for her testimony.
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