Brendon D.

Brendon is a Documater who has copious experience in multiple fields of law, and with building complicated document automation systems. He is a flexible and creative document automation developer who has helped state bars; law firms; listed and unlisted companies; and various other entities and industries to help realize custom, bespoke document automation systems.

Legal Experience

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Brendon Peter de Beer. I have a LL.B from North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa. I currently live in Klerksdorp, South Africa - but I grew up in the Dubai, United Arab Emirates with a multicultural background. I speak English and Afrikaans, and I am currently learning Setswana.

I’m an attorney, legal document automation specialist, AWS consultant, and backend developer. I previously worked for several years at Docugility, a document automation consultancy spanning across 3 continents.

I have expertise in multiple document automation programs (including legacy heavy-code platforms), so I have a thorough understanding of the document automation process and the software landscape.

Overall, I have 4 years of experience in document automation and law.

During my time as a document automation specialist, I specialized in database integrations for document automation systems. This allowed me to integrate my projects directly into our client's existing infrastructure.

I have copious experience automating U.S. legal documents, and I have specific experience in the legal systems of the following states: Iowa, Arizona, California, New York.

When I’m not busy with document automation, I dabble in Privacy and Data Protection law as well as backend web development.

What is your document automation experience?

I’ve worked on multiple large scale projects using a variety of document automation systems; examples of systems I’ve played a key role in developing are:

  • The IowaDocs system of the Iowa State Bar
  • ~~This was a conversion from HotDocs for the Iowa State Bar;
  • ~~These documents are 100% American Law.
  • ~~I developed this from the ground up to completion and was directly responsible for automating 700 of the 1055 document templates;
  • ~~Key metrics of this system include:
  • ~~~~1000+ subscribers;
  • ~~~~4000+ users;
  • ~~~~26,000 average document assemblies per month;
  • ~~~~1055 complex templates.
  • The WizeDocs Intelligent Automation Package
  • ~~This is a document automation system comprised of 5 packages designed to cater towards the SMME market of South Africa;
  • ~~It incorporates a complicated South African Trust creation system and many corporate and commercial documents.
  • Lombard Insurance’s Financial Intelligence Center Act System
  • ~~This was a system I helped create that helps the KYC (know your client) process for clients;
  • ~~It is a system for a public company and one of the top 5 insurance providers in South Africa;
  • ~~It is used for the KYC process of over 14,000 clients.

I also have experience developing document automation systems with MySQL or PostGres implementations using custom, complicated SQL statements to compliment the document automation process.

What areas of law or documents do you have experience building workflows or legal apps in?

I have experience in the following areas of law building various forms, letters, contracts, and integrated systems:

United States Law:
  • Probate systems;
  • Real Estate;
  • Business;
  • Workers Compensation;
  • Child Support Calculators;
  • Family Law;
  • Immigration;
  • Various forms (Guardianship & Conservator, Civil Litigation, etc);
  • Various Commercial Contracts.
United Arab Emirates Law:
  • Facility Management Agreements;
  • Service Level Agreements;
  • Outsourcing Agreements;
  • Privacy and Data Protection Law.
South African Law:
  • KYC systems;
  • Wills and Estates;
  • Trusts;
  • Service Level Agreements;
  • Privacy and Data Protection Law;
  • Various Corporate and Commercial agreements and forms;
  • and many more...

Can you describe your process for how you build a document automation workflow?

I prefer a simple, thorough approach with an eye on finding the most efficient method to exceed our client’s goal and the method that best fits their budget. I focus on frequent, good communication and I try my best to keep ensure my clients understand their automation set fully.

I generally follow the following approach when on-boarding a client to develop a system:

  1. Identify the Client’s goal;
  2. Understand the scope of the document automation development;
  3. Identify any special considerations or integrations;
  4. Identify the Client’s budget;
  5. Quote client with the above in mind;
  6. Statement of work to outline the above and ensure we are all on the same page;
  7. Receive documents from Client;
  8. Automate;
  9. Ask for clarification or feedback as required from experts or stakeholders;
  10. Testing by developer;
  11. Handover of automation set to client for internal testing;
  12. Feedback and fixes;
  13. Handover of automated set with fixes as discussed;
  14. Going Live;
  15. Client feedback;
  16. Feedback and Fixes;
  17. End.

What do you think are the most important qualities for a document automation specialist?

Document automation is a multifaceted discipline that requires not only technical (and sometimes coding) skills, but also a fair degree of legal skill. You need an eye for detail, a love for efficiency, diligence, flexibility, and a creative mindset that can find solutions to problems that are new and unique. I also believe a Document Automation Specialist should be able to communicate well and understand what their client is looking for at the end of the day.

If I had to choose one point as to what the most important quality of a document automation specialist is for me, it’s flexibility.

What is your proudest moment?

My personal proudest moment is when I summited Kilimanjaro with my mom. We climbed Kilimanjaro in my final year of high school to raise funds for kids with cancer. It was an arduous climb, and tedious. But the view and the sense of achievement of having known that I was making a difference in the lives of people with a terrible illness made it all worth it in the end.

My proudest moment in my career was being admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. I’m the first attorney my family has ever had, so it was a very good achievement for me and my family and a great achievement as a stepping stone in my career.

What do you do for fun?

I love running, swimming, reading classic novels, taking care of my jungle of house plants, and taking care of my Siamese Fighting Fish, Conrad.

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