SME Spotlight

Software designed to help SMEs with legal documents

VanillaLaw aimed at generating a 'reasonably well-crafted' first draft to help save time, cost

A boutique law firm has designed software to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with their legal documents.

Called VanillaLaw, the software from law firm MG/Chambers allows users to generate a "reasonably well-crafted" first draft of legal documents, which can then be passed on to lawyers.

"In my personal experience, I have seen small business owners trying to replicate contracts and other documents by themselves, their intention being to save on legal fees," said MG/Chambers director Mark Goh.

"Tragically, this misguided attempt puts them in a far worse plight.

"One of the common mistakes they make is to select an inappropriate template from the Internet," he added.

MAKING THINGS WORSE

In my personal experience, I have seen small business owners trying to replicate contracts and other documents by themselves, their intention being to save on legal fees. Tragically, this misguided attempt puts them in a far worse plight.

MG/CHAMBERS DIRECTOR MARK GOH

MG/Chambers focuses on corporate and commercial work for SMEs, start-ups and family- owned businesses.

The firm said VanillaLaw cannot completely eliminate the services of a lawyer, but is a "hybrid system" that can help save time and legal costs.

The software is available at an annual subscription fee of $250 with varying one-time implementation fees, depending on the complexity of the agreement.

The firm is also in talks with trade associations to offer VanillaLaw to micro-businesses on a pay- per-use basis.

"Feedback attained through these meetings revealed that the software's one-time implementation costs are competitive as compared to agreements offered by other law firms," said MG/Chambers in a statement yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2016, with the headline 'Software designed to help SMEs with legal documents'. Print Edition | Subscribe