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.
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.