If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, does it make noise? If a contract is breached but no one is there to notice, does the breach matter? 

Clause and effect on supplymanagement.com details myriad problems with contract management and cites research finding that “75 per cent of US companies cannot find 90 per cent of their contracts.” Sounds (so to speak) like no one is there to notice.

I have suggested that law firms miss the opportunity to help clients manage contracts. Were firms to help clients manage contracts, they would likely earn loyalty and generate additional fees. Eventually a bold law firm will step into the obvious breach.

There is some action in that direction. Contract Initiation Software – New Opportunities for Improved Client Support, an article by legal technology consultants and systems integrator Kraft, Kennedy & Lesser has several great examples of how some forward-thinking big companies and large law firms use DealBuilder software to address contract generation and management issues. Of the examples, the article states that “[c]learly, these companies have realized the benefits of moving from a “document assembly” mindset to a “document process” solution.”

More large firms need to think along these lines. And more general counsels need to step into the breach to prevent a breach.