The Power of Control

Firmex’s Deal Room is my company’s private-label virtual data room technology being used by transactional lawyers to conduct commercial transactions or “deals”. Deals are corporate divestments, acquisitions, equity and debt issues, restructurings and bankruptcy filings, joint ventures and so on.

Many of these deals involve thousands of diligence documents containing hundreds of thousands of pages of information to be reviewed. This is followed by hundreds of “agreement” documents or transactional drafts that go through numerous iterations. It is not uncommon to have anywhere from thirty to three hundred people in a “working group” represented all parties.

All this information is communicated in a fairly distributed and ad-hoc manner. The labor to communicate deal information via email, fax, courier and in many cases physical travel in onerous. The shear number of communication transactions, number of emails, number of faxes, couriers and phone calls, number in the thousands. Of course each communication is liable to go “missing” or most certainly “untracked”. Was it received by the right person? Was the information relayed correctly? Or did the receiving party call for more time because they claim they did not get the information in the first place?

Firmex Deal Room centralizes all this information in a secure online deal room with various access rights and notifications to authorized users.

This month I had the opportunity to interview transactional lawyers about their experience using Firmex Deal Room. They said 24/7 access, faster transaction time-frame, over coming multi-jurisdictional factors and reporting deal activity were all important benefits. However, having the control over the deal information, its access and distribution took managing these deals and the service to their clients to a new level.

Here is what transactional lawyers from Davies Ward Phillips Vineberg LLP have to say about their experience controlling their own private-label Firmex Deal Room:

“It’s the rapidity in which you get things done by having control. Our legal staff has far more expertise at making changes to the deal content than non-legal staff from commercial virtual data room providers. Our staff can categorize and add diligence information so it’s easier to find. This is very critical to the deal room’s usability.”

“Our client demanded a two day deadline to get 4400 documents scanned and uploaded. No third party service could match this timeline (5 days minimum). When we launched the deal without difficulties, our firm demonstrated an unprecedented level of service.”

“We had a bid on an RFP and the client gave us an hour to present. They spent twenty minutes reviewing the dealroom. It’s another distinguishing factor. It raises the level of service to the client.”

“Having our own Deal Room does not allow others to muck up our control. By separating comments from the transaction drafts, it keeps our documents clean. Because you are in charge of the paper flow you end up getting a larger share of the work.”

“We had three executives in the deal. They could log-in from anywhere in the world and any time. I had one CEO tell me how impressed he was that he could log-in from his hotel room while on business in South America.”

“The control is more important than the cost savings. If you have your own deal room you are seen as a major league player.”

Joel Lessem can be reached at:


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