BakerHostetler Links with Clause, Brings Blockchain-Based Legal Agreements to Market in the Freight Transportation Industry

Smart legal contract delivers automated and integrated post-signature performance

Press Releases / August 12, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 12, 2019 – National law firm BakerHostetler has collaborated with Clause, a leading software platform for smart legal contracts, to develop automated, digital legal agreements for the freight transportation industry.

These smart legal contracts are legal agreements in digital form where post-signature performance on an obligation is automatically integrated with existing enterprise systems. In a recent case study, the firm and Clause detail how the application of Connected Contracting® can improve and streamline operations to greatly reduce a corporation’s administrative costs associated with, in this specific case, fuel surcharge provisions – a significant pain point in the transportation industry.

Connected Contracting changes legal agreements from static documents to dynamic, integrated forms that respond to real-time internal and external business data, automate the performance of contract obligations, and provide unprecedented visibility into contract events. Connected Contracting results from the application of Smart Clause® technology developed by Clause, which connects the text from legal agreements to external sources of data and enterprise software systems. In order to enhance automation of business processes and contract management, this solution can integrate into existing enterprise procurement and supply chain digital platforms. The BakerHostetler and Clause collaboration achieves their shared goal to produce a smart legal contract for use in the supply chain sector.

“Our collaboration has given us the opportunity to conduct extensive research and development to identify issues that can be automated for businesses post-signature,” said Katherine Lowry, Director of Practice Services for BakerHostetler. “Our work with Clause and their cutting-edge technology has been exciting and seamless largely because of our shared approach to client service.”

The connected freight transportation contract aims to save administrative overhead and help clients to avoid potential conflicts by using Smart Clause templates. These templates link with payment systems and public fuel price data to perform weekly pricing calculations, and they make payment adjustments as required by the contract. To facilitate transparency, distributed ledger technology was incorporated – an implementation of a Hyperledger Fabric network, which creates a single, shared source of truth for auditing, accessible by the manufacturer and its transportation providers.

“Building on top of Clause’s technology infrastructure for Connected Contracting, we also developed a separate, patent-pending process targeted narrowly at fuel surcharges – but our efforts to better serve clients with technology-enabled legal services need not stop there. Many aspects of supply chain management could be streamlined or completely re-envisioned,” noted Lowry. “We envision similar smart legal contracts for the communications, energy and manufacturing industries, as well as for other supply chain and logistics businesses.”

BakerHostetler is a recognized leader in utilizing new technology to improve legal services. The collaboration with Clause is an outgrowth of the firm’s IncuBaker program which for more than four years has been helping lawyers and clients understand and navigate the intersection of digital business, emerging technology and law. Through extensive research and consultation with clients, the firm has been identifying and investing in opportunities to adapt emerging technologies to solve clients’ problems.

“BakerHostetler fundamentally believes that emerging technologies like analytics, AI and blockchain will transform not only our clients’ businesses, but also the very nature of the practice of law. We have staffed and invested in IncuBaker to proactively and aggressively identify these intersections and augment the already extraordinary legal services our attorneys provide to our clients every day,” said BakerHostetler’s Chief Information Officer Bob Craig.

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About BakerHostetler

Recognized as one of the top firms for client service, BakerHostetler is a leading national law firm that helps clients around the world address their most complex and critical business and regulatory issues. With five core national practice groups – Business, Labor and Employment, Intellectual Property, Litigation, and Tax – the firm has more than 960 lawyers located in 14 offices coast to coast. BakerHostetler is widely regarded as having one of the country’s top 10 tax practices, a nationally recognized litigation practice, an award-winning data privacy practice and an industry-leading business practice. The firm is also recognized internationally for its groundbreaking work recovering more than $13 billion in the Madoff Recovery Initiative, representing the SIPA Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

About Clause

Clause is the leading provider of smart legal contracting technology, enabling users to add Smart Clause® provisions to turn their existing legal agreements into “living documents” that integrate with enterprise software systems and blockchain networks. Companies in industries as diverse as supply chain, insurance, telecom, financial services, retail, and others can use Clause to automate compliance with legally binding contract obligations, reducing operating costs and minimizing revenue leakage. The Clause platform also provides real-time visibility about the contract performance of partners, suppliers, customers, and other counterparties. Connected Contracting® functionality from Clause can be accessed via a web application or the Clause API. Clause’s Smart Clause® technology is a driver of the DocuSign Agreements CloudTM. Clause also established the Accord Project with leading law firms, standards bodies, and technology organizations to develop the foundations of smart legal contracts and distributed ledger applications for transactions. For more information, please visit www.clause.io and contact sales@clause.io.

Contact:

Laura Scharf, 216.430.2908 (lscharf@bakerlaw.com) or Ivette Delgado, 202.861.1766 (idelgado@bakerlaw.com)

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