In terms of digitalization, many businesses are currently in a phase of transformation: away from paper contracts filed in folders to the exchange of information between e-mails and digital filing. What are the advantages of this digitization of contract management for entrepreneurs? What does it take to successfully automate the associated business processes? EY Law attorney Georg Harer discussed the pros and cons of smart contracts, digital signatures, AI such as ChatGPT and digital automation in contracts on the panel with Sophie Martinetz, Director Legal Tech Center at WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) and Robin Schmeisser, CEO of Fabasoft. The #nextlevel Talk at the end of April was moderated by Jakob Zirm, Head of Economist, daily newspaper Die Presse at k47.
Video: Digital contract management
Here you can watch the video of the livestream on digitization and contracts in full length in German language.
“For me as a lawyer, the true intellectual achievement lies in the communication with the client. Reading through a 150-page contract – to find out if some clause is built in – is something I’d like software to do.”Rechtsanwalt Georg Harer
bei der Diskussion “Digitales Vertragsmanagement: Das “Stiefkind” in Unternehmen?”
The new supply chain law poses challenges for entrepreneurs
Sustainability along the entire supply chain: According to experts, a suitable joint digital approach will also be needed when looking at new requirements brought about by statutory regulations such as the new German Supply Chain Act. The due diligence obligations required by the German law, which also affects Austrian suppliers, range from defining internal processes, conducting a risk analysis or setting up a complaints mechanism to the regular publication of an annual report.
If it is now necessary to provide precise information about sustainability along the supply chains, this means that the legal departments of companies have a lot of work to do, which can no longer be managed with the required traceability and quality without digital contract management.
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What are the legal consequences and risks for entrepreneurs to consider?
“From 10 years of professional experience, I can confirm that good contract management in practice not only makes the work of lawyers and legal departments much easier, but can also avert many risks,” said attorney Georg Harer in the panel discussion by die Presse. “An exciting and often overlooked topic in practice! As a lawyer, unfortunately, one also regularly sees the effects of missing/bad contract management at companies, which can definitely lead to serious legal consequences. Examples include time-barred claims or even administrative penalties due to lost contracts or forgetting about contractual obligations.”