Paul S.

Paul Sutton is a corporate and commercial lawyer with over 25 years or experience. He has used Documate in his own practice to build acclaimed expert systems for transfer pricing compliance. As a Documater, he works primarily for large law firms and corporations looking to build sophisticated and complex products.

Legal Experience
Lawyer
Corporate Law

Paul Sutton is a corporate and commercial lawyer with over 25 years or experience.  He has used Documate in his own practice to build acclaimed expert systems for transfer pricing compliance.   As a Documator, he works primarily for large law firms and corporations looking to build sophisticated and complex products.

Tell us a little about yourself.  

I am a corporate and commercial lawyer by background, with over 25 years’ experience of working with large corporates and entrepreneurial businesses globally. I’ve held senior positions in various law firms, including a Director in KPMG’s law firm in the UK and a Corporate Partner in the London headquarters of Pinsent Masons, a global firm. I co-founded my own corporate law practice in 2013, and I’m a leading expert on corporate structuring for multinational groups and the legal implementation of transfer pricing compliance.

What is your document automation experience?  

I’ve created a range of automation tools,both for my own firm’s internal use and for third party users (such as multinationalcorporates and professional advisers). These tools have included singleagreements and engagement letters, as well as scoping tools and suites ofinter-related documents and actions.

My first experience of applying documentautomation was a corporate partner leading certain aspects of a very largecorporate simplification project. The tools and processes my colleagues and Icreated enabled the production of the legal documentation for certain legalactions up to and including the commencement of the liquidation of the relevantcompanies.

More recently, my colleagues and are focusingon Documate as the platform for creating user-friendly workflows for morecomplex arrangements and projects.

What areas of law or documents do you have experience in?

I have more than 25 years’ experience of corporate and commercial law, including M&A transactions, joint ventures, commercial contracts, group reorganisations, bond issuances and investment structures. I’ve lead Eurobond listing projects with a total value of more than US$ 14 billion, and have advised on the establishment of franchise structures for household name clients.

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

Our approach is to create a usable ‘minimumviable product’ as quickly as possible – one which provides immediate value interms of efficiency and quality. Then we refine it and extend thefunctionality, based on user feedback.

In many ways, the hardest part is often ‘breaking the ice’ and creating the initial, working tool. However, in my experience, it’s the user input through ‘beta testing’ which enables us to develop the tool into something transformational.

What do you think are the most important qualities for a document automation specialist to have when working with a client to automate their templates and forms? 

As with any area of professionalassistance, it’s not enough to be an expert. The specialist must give guidance– and this means giving a view or a recommendation as to the way forward.

With contract drafting and documentautomation, there’s an infinite number of possible approaches. In order to achieveefficiency and quality benefits, it’s important to standardise processes, andthis often requires narrowing down the options available to users. This in turnmeans making judgment calls about what functionality to include.

This is where my colleagues and Idifferentiate ourselves from other providers of document automation services –we bring deep experience of commercial structures and of managing teams withinlaw firms. This enables us to bring a strategic and pragmatic view, in additionto purely technical know-how.

What is your proudest moment?

It’s hard to single out any particular professional moment. I’ve certainly enjoyed working on the big projects with multinational groups, including Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies, with clients including major airlines, well known telecoms providers and software groups. But the most satisfaction probably comes from enabling people to do things they didn’t expect to be able to achieve – such as raising funds for their business, meeting deadlines which appeared impossible, and creating new business models.

Aside from that, I’m proud of having written my book on ‘Intercompany Agreements for Transfer Pricing Compliance – A Practical Guide’. Anyone can write a book, but it does require discipline to free up time and actually write - and in my case it definitely required the support of my colleagues and my family.

What do you do for fun?

As a father of four, my most treasuredmoment is probably when all the children in bed (or at least not getting up tomischief), and I’m enjoying a glass of wine with my wife.

Contact details:

Paul can be contacted atpaul.sutton@lcnlegal.com.

Want to hire Paul as a document automation developer?  Email him at paul.sutton@lcnlegal.com.

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