• 92%

    Faster to get contracts signed
  • 90%

    Of contracts are are now digital
  • 1-3

    Hours average contract signing time

Transitioning to a digital future

In late 2020, Watson Webb, a boutique Sydney firm focusing on Litigation and Commercial law, decided to digitise its paper-based agreements.

“Docusign has made signing legal documents far easier. About 90 per cent of our agreements are now digital,” explains Geoffrey Coffill, Financial Controller & Operations Manager at Watson Webb.

Docusign’s eSignature and its PowerForm function, allowing for on-demand self-service documents for signature and eliminating document preparation time, was welcomed enthusiastically across the board. 

“Everyone was thrilled, particularly our lawyers.” Geoffrey says. “We organised training sessions for our people to ensure everyone was comfortable with the transition from paper to digital. With law traditionally being such a paper-heavy profession, it was a welcome progression. The feedback from clients is that it’s so much easier, and less cumbersome. They used to have to print things off, sign, scan, and send it back. There was a lot of to-and-fro for simple tasks.”

Geoffrey adds that property agreements were always challenging because of the large number of documents that need signing. 

“It’s made property contracts much easier, and we’re encouraged to be part of a community working towards paper and energy-saving measures,” he says. 

From weeks to hours

Since integrating Docusign into their processes, Geoffrey says that the turnaround time for agreements has gone from a minimum of a week to one to three hours. 

The increase in productivity due to the automation of simple tasks has been another bonus. But change takes time, particularly in a traditional and paper-based sector like the law.

“We're moving towards automation to create a more efficient and streamlined process for our clients, and to reduce our paper usage. Docusign is helping us through this transition.”

Creating more time and value

Another positive from the partnership is that the firm’s practice management software integrates with Docusign. “We will also soon be upgrading to use Docusign eWitness. Introducing more technology is one of our plans moving forward. It helps to make everyone’s lives a little easier, clients and lawyers alike” explains Geoffrey.

Technology is also a drawcard for prospective employees too, giving the firm a competitive advantage. Geoffrey says that the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association releases a yearly survey on the efficiency and productivity of law firms.

“It’s not the large international law firms dominating nowadays. It’s the boutique firms that are being more efficient, productive, and innovative,” Geoffrey explains. “Certainly, from a financial point of view, we have reaped the benefit over the last 12 months. Docusign helps productivity by releasing time our people spend on the simple tasks like organising signatures, allowing them to focus on the deep work for our clients. In turn, it’s a cost saving for our clients too.”

Growth and technology go hand-in-hand

While still a relatively young firm, Watson Webb has plans to grow its business - with the help of technology and automation.

“It’s about building momentum,” Geoffrey confirms. “Docusign can help our firm in many other ways, and we’re excited about our future growth.”