Thursday, February 10, 2011

Step 2. Collect—Source Documents

Task: Choose the document type, options and capture source documents
  • What set of source document?
  • How can they be identified?
Question: What document sources should be used to build the template?
  • Internal documents (FileSite; West km)
  • Public documents (EDGAR)
  • Client documents
Question: How many documents are required?
  • Breadth: The number of documents should be sufficient to cover broad range of deal circumstances and jurisdictional differences, but not too many as to overwhelm the review process.
  • Consistency: The more consistent document set, then fewer will be required to build a template
  • Range: As a rule of thumb, a range of between 50-100 documents is optimum. Where the document set is highly consistent or where there is a narrow range of deal alternatives, then 20 documents or less can be used. On the other hand, where there is less consistency and more deal alternatives, then up to 250 documents may be required.
Question: Should the documents be vetted and reviewed before processing?

Where the process is performed manually, the documents will be reviewed as part of the process. However, if automation is applied, it is generally better not to perform vetting prior to analysis. While some may argue this risks the paradigm of "garbage-in; garbage-out", the issue is rather that most organizations will have limited tools to review document before processing; absent of reading all the documents. Once they are processed, the technology offers exacting tools to select the documents for inclusion in the template. As a result, most firms perform a simple document title search in their file systems or search platforms, sometimes limiting the scope by date and/or practice group.

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