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Faster, more accurate legal processes: How LawHawk accelerated Laybuy’s business
Wed, 31st Aug 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Demonstrating the value of expertise combined with existing technology and infrastructure, Wellington's LawHawk has delivered an automation system accelerating the legal department of rapidly growing buy-now-pay-later financial services company Laybuy. Thanks to a solution built largely on Microsoft 365, Laybuy's General Counsel has automated a contract generation process underpinning the company's business, enforcing compliance and accuracy while reducing the time taken on essential paperwork.

Laybuy is a rapidly growing buy-now, pay later platform providing consumers with an interest-free alternative to credit cards. With Laybuy, consumers purchase products and spread the cost across six weeks interest-free. For merchants, Laybuy is a low-risk credit option supporting increased sales and lifting average basket sizes. Laybuy is scaling rapidly, with new customers and merchants joining daily across New Zealand, Australia, and the UK.

LawHawk managing director Gene Turner says his company specialises in document and process automation with a specific focus on the legal vertical. “Whether in-house counsel or a legal practice, there is enormous opportunity for improvement through the automation of common document-driven processes. With Laybuy, we've demonstrated how this can be achieved affordably, often leveraging existing technology already paid for and owned by the client.

He adds that further advantage can be gained using supplementary solutions from Adobe and Cognito, as well as vendors including Outsystems, Workato and Abbey Timeline that are less known in the legal space. “Typically, we'll work together with specialists like The SharePoint Agency and Experieco, delivering fit-for-purpose solutions accelerating legal work while embedding compliance into the processes.


At Laybuy, General Counsel Tim Rennie oversees all legal requirements and assists with governance. The speed and accuracy with which his department executes is crucial to the business' overall success, but as business grew, pressure on legal was mounting. Having worked on previous legal automation projects, he was eager to implement a pragmatic solution that had the functionality Laybuy needed but wouldn't interfere with or complicate other business areas. “Many businesses have platform fatigue. Every department has its own system, and for a legal team to impose another platform when the business can see obvious existing functionality overlaps is a hard sell.

After testing the market for legal solutions, Rennie initially came up empty-handed, unable to source legal software delivering the required functionality for contract drafting. “That's when I found LawHawk.


He engaged the specialist to automate contracting, workflows and storage. Taking a collaborative approach, LawHawk worked with Rennie, identifying initial automation targets. This process demonstrated a clear opportunity for activating functionality already offered within Laybuy's existing Microsoft 365 subscription, using Power Automate and SharePoint paired with Cognito Forms and AdobeSign to automate the process for generating, approving, and signing Merchant Agreements.

“Where possible, we don't expect customers to buy additional software or services,” says Turner, noting that many organisations don't fully use the technology they have already paid for (resulting in ‘shelfware').

Taking the lead on the project with its understanding of legal processes and enabling technology, LawHawk introduced additional expertise from SharePoint specialist The SharePoint Agency which delivered the Microsoft 365 solution elements.

The SharePoint Agency worked closely with Rennie to understand, map and deliver Laybuy's requirements in a project he describes as complex and not without challenges. The team needed to consider Laybuy's commercial and legal escalations, specifically the different types of legal situations where counsel would need to be notified and different commercial escalations in each jurisdiction. In addition to this, Laybuy uses Gmail, so the team had to accommodate and implement creative solutions integrating Microsoft and Google systems.


Despite the initial challenges, the result is a dynamic platform enabling self-sufficiency for the global Laybuy sales team, capable of drafting their own Merchant Agreements. While complex from a development perspective, the workflow is user friendly, guiding employees through a detailed questionnaire enforcing compliance-mandated fields - essentially posing all the questions a lawyer familiar with Laybuy's business would. If commercial or legal escalation is required, all parties are notified, and the subsequent information is adjusted and automatically updated into the SharePoint system.

With all approvals obtained, a copy of the final contract document (as amended by legal) is forwarded to the requester. AdobeSign integration digitises the signature process, updating SharePoint once the necessary marks are made.

Rennie is enthusiastic about the results: “It's brilliant. I can watch requests coming in, getting signed, going into SharePoint completed, all data tagged,” he says.

This demonstration of the efficacy of automation has caused others to take note. “The feedback's been really good. We've had some requests come in from the business around automation as they can see a lot of opportunity,” Rennie explains. “You could use it for invoice approvals. You could use it for anything. It's got a big scope. We're even thinking about using the workflow we've built with LawHawk and The SharePoint Agency for supplier onboarding as well.

He stresses the value choosing the right partner for complex projects. “LawHawk helps focus your mind. If you go for the most complex automation at the beginning, you'll get nowhere. You need to build a relationship with the wider business in support of your initiative rather than approaching it as a departmental project. LawHawk has been crucial in that regard.

Technology selection plays a role, too. “We could have gone for a much more expensive legal tech platform with a ton of functionality we don't need, and not everything we did require. By the same token, we couldn't have done everything with Microsoft 365. LawHawk understood our situation, recommending a suitable and affordable combination of technology and support, then designing and delivering a solution that does everything we hoped for and more.