Legal Awards 2018

13 APAC / 2018 Legal Awards Best Contracting & Contract Negotiation Firm 2018 g Company: MIA Contract Lawyers Contact: Martin Algie Address: Level 1, 207 Lygon Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia Phone: 0061 3 9349 1098 Web Address: allowing us to produce great outcomes for our clients.” Although the firm offers support across a range of commercial practice areas, franchising is a focus of the practice. The team provides the very highest possible standard of specialist service using the perspective rare amongst professional advisers that they’ve gained from having themselves starting and building a business, as Martin highlights: “A special focus of the firm is in franchising, advising numerous franchisees, prospective franchisees and franchisors. Whether it is a business owner wanting to franchise that business, an established franchise in South East Asia wanting to expand into the Australian market or mums and dads wanting to become a franchisee, that next step is, for them, uncharted waters; all of our lawyers are well aware that these enterprises are outside, often well outside, our client’s comfort zone. We offer fixed price packages, which has allowed us to package up a considerable amount of ongoing support so that our clients feel secure and safe when taking that step of franchising their business or becoming a franchisee. The firm also assists both franchisors and franchisees to exit the relationship when that relationship becomes dysfunctional or toxic. As most franchise agreements prevent franchisees exiting early, the firm has devised numerous strategies that we use for the benefit of our clients to engineer that exit. Often that involves us negotiating an exit, often in the context of a mediation.” Looking ahead, the future for boutique commercial practices, such as MIA Contract Lawyers, is exciting with the technological advances made over the last two to three years. The most critical of the technological advances in the legal profession is the development of artificial intelligence and MIA Contract Lawyers is right on board. MIA Contract Lawyers is currently developing an AI-based contract management system that it will be launching in the first Quarter of 2019, directed towards medium to large corporates, not only in Australia but throughout the region, which Martin believes will allow the firm to add to the support and solutions its clients have come to rely on. “As part of our ongoing focus, at MIA Contract Lawyers, we are working with a leading British AI company, ThoughtRiver, a middleware developer in New Zealand (Wavertree Consulting) and a contract life- cycle management portal in the Netherlands (Effacts) to create a service to assist clients that have a repository of, possibly, hundreds of contracts with which they do nothing until an issue arises, and deliver to them a contract management system that will issue reports, updates and notifications to relevant stakeholders within the company to ensure that the company remains compliant with its contracts and, more importantly, ensures that its counterparties do what they are meant to do and deliver the value for which they have contracted. “Additionally, MIA Contract Lawyers will also soon launch its online portal on which clients will be able to create their own contracts from firm precedents using Avvoka contract automation. The contracts included in this will be basic supply and distribution agreements, shareholders agreements, consultancy agreements, confidentiality deeds and other such documents. With a video explanation of each document, it will be clear to the client how and in what circumstances the documents can be used. In most circumstances for which these contracts are appropriate, a lawyer’s involvement, beyond creating the template, is absolutely unnecessary and there is no reason why our clients should have to do pay the costs of a lawyer. What we also identify clearly is where premium content is available to address particular issues, issues such as restraints of trade for which a lawyer’s judgement is critical.”