Use Cases

The world runs on contracts. In many ways, they are the operating system of a business, governing its external relationships, obligations to employees, financing, insurance, and more. While critical, contracts tend to come in the form of dense, unstructured text. It’s often slow and painful to enter into new contracts, and the valuable information inside of them can be hard to access at scale.

This is where Contracts AI comes in. By giving easier access to the details of agreements, Contracts AI can help improve many systems that use contracts. These range from systems that are obviously contract-centric (e.g., contract management, contract negotiation), to contract-adjacent tools, to day to day business operations software that happens to have a bunch of contract-dependent needs (e.g., CRM, ERP, HRIS, audit), to industry-specific use cases (e.g., in finance or insurance).

Let’s take a deeper look at where Contracts AI can be useful.

Contracts AI in the Core Contracts Ecosystem

Contract Analysis Software

What is Contract Analysis Software? Sometimes, companies (and the professionals who serve them) need to review contracts in bulk. Generally, these projects tend to break down into two broad categories: (1) event-driven contract reviews (i.e., help determine implications of a company sale or financing (e.g., M&A due diligence) or a major change event (e.g., Brexit or the LIBOR transition)), and (2) knowledge management contract reviews (e.g., loading details of legacy contracts into a company’s CLM; a law firm trying to determine “what’s market” in private merger agreements).

Contract Management

What is contract management? Contract management (sometimes known as contract administration) is the process whereby contracts get: created, negotiated, approved, executed, amended (if necessary), and post-execution renewed or terminated, obligations tracked, and intelligence from them gleaned. Not every company does each (or any!) step systematically. Many enterprises appear increasingly focused on contract management. While it is possible to manage contracts without purpose-built software, the Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software space is booming, with well over 100 vendors in it (including several unicorns).

Contract Negotiation

What is contract negotiation? Contract negotiation is the process by which parties agree to a contract. It is a regular (and often painful) activity for law firms and in-house teams. How AI can help in contract negotiation In contract negotiation, Contracts AI can help: automate markups (by spotting acceptable and unacceptable language), suggest or automatically make revisions (by knowing fall-back clauses (from playbooks or precedent) or how negotiators have dealt with similar situations in the past), and triage review (by, e.

Contracts AI in Contract-Review-Adjacent Systems

Contract management, contract negotiation, and contract analysis are central to contract workflows. Virtual data rooms and eDiscovery systems also tend to be closely adjacent, and we will cover them here.


What is eDiscovery? eDiscovery refers to the practice of searching and discovery of electronic information to support litigation or investigations. eDiscovery software helps users process, review, tag, and produce electronic documents as part of this work. eDiscovery is a well-established software category with many large vendors in it. You can read LOTS more elsewhere about eDiscovery! How Contracts AI can help in eDiscovery Sometimes, eDiscovery projects have a contract angle to them.

Virtual Data Rooms (VDRs)

What are virtual data rooms (VDRs)? Virtual data rooms (VDR) are secure online spaces for sharing confidential documents beyond the corporate firewall. VDRs are typically used to support M&A due diligence, financings, litigation, and compliance activities where disclosing sensitive information and large-scale collaboration with security measures are required. VDRs typically offer a range of engagement tracking features, so, e.g., the seller of a business can see how seriously prospective buyers are taking diligence, and what areas prospective buyers are spending time (or not spending time) in.

Contracts AI in Day-to-Day Business Information Systems

As enterprises increasingly realize that contracts contain really important data, we expect contract data to become regularly integrated in regular business management systems. Let’s cover some in this next section.


What contract review happens in Audit Auditors typically review a sample of their client’s contracts, to determine whether the company being audited has appropriately described its business. For example, auditors will review contracts to determine if a company actually has the customer commitments it says it has, see if it has appropriately recognized revenue, and whether it has disclosed embedded leases. How Contracts AI can help in Audit Contracts AI has been used for years in Audit.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software? Most companies manage their customers and revenue with the support of some form of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRMs aim to provide a unified view of customer data. They assist sales and marketing teams in managing leads, new opportunities, and tracking deal progress; operations teams in tracking interactions with and determining obligations to customers; and finance teams in knowing where the business is at.

Document Management Systems

What are Document Management systems? If you’re in a law firm or corporate legal department, a document management system (DM) is likely among your most important software. A document management system enables teams to file, organize, and access documents (and, today, even items like emails) for a particular client, customer, project, matter, or file (Canadian for “matter”). DMs minimize the potential for duplication of work and help prevent teams from using the wrong documents.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems

What are Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems? Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems give finance, management, operations, and other teams a window into and the ability to control what is happening in their business. ERPs can include tracking of financial activities (accounting), as well as procurement, risk management and compliance, project management, supply chain tracking, and potentially much more. A major part of their value involves stitching together data from disparate parts of a business, enabling a central shared view.

Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)

What is a Human Resources Information System (HRIS)? A Human Resources Information System (HRIS) helps companies understand details of their employee relationships, and convey HR-relevant information (e.g., leave policies or holiday schedules) to employees. A HRIS tracks all sorts of critical employee data, including employee name, address, birthday, identification number, address, role, job level, pay, manager, vacation days granted and used. It should also contain relevant employee documents, like signed employment agreements and copies of formal correspondence (e.

Lease Management

What Is Lease Management Software? Companies use lease management systems to track the details of their leases. These systems are in heavy use in the real estate ecosystem, including by property owners and managers, investors, and large lessees (i.e., enterprises that have a lot of leased locations). Lease management systems can contain lease abstracts, as well as data like payment streams. While lease management systems often cover leases of real property, they can also be focused on leased equipment.

Contracts AI in Industry Specific Use Cases

Some businesses have extra-special industry-specific opportunities when it comes to getting at the data trapped in contracts. Contracts AI can give easier access to contract data, meaning that businesses can get serious benefits from using it.

Commercial Loans

Large financial firms often enter into a significant number of commercial loans. While smaller individual loans are done on the financial firm’s appropriate form loan agreement without modification, commercial loans are often heavily negotiated. Lenders (often but not always banks) and borrowers spend significant money on getting outside counsel to negotiate the wording of credit agreements. All those lawyers make changes. In general, lenders have access to the actual credit agreements themselves.

Financial Trading

In the United States and elsewhere, public companies have filing requirements for certain contracts. Because of these requirements, millions of agreements are publicly available. Contracts are among many businesses’ most important documents. They contain a lot of data. Some of that data may enable traders to better evaluate a company’s value. One problem with contracts as a data source is that there are a lot of them and they can be dense.


Contracts are super important in insurance. In fact, insurance companies can somewhat be thought of as a brand, people, risk models, and a whole bunch of contracts. Contracts that take others’ risk, in exchange for money; reinsurance contracts that offload some of that risk; investment contracts related to the float; plus the standard suite of supplier, employment, real estate, and other contracts that most large enterprises hold. As such, Contracts AI can be useful for insurers in a few serious ways that are somewhat unique to insurance companies, as distinct from other large businesses.