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.
“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.
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.
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!