Mark Harris is sounding an alarm – or, as he puts it, staging an intervention – for corporate counsel.

Harris and Alec Guettel, the original founders 20 years ago of alternative legal services provider Axiom and, since last year, the CEO and CTO of contract management company company Knowable, have taken the unusual step of posting an open letter that they describe as an unsolicited intervention for general counsel.

Businesses are about to confront a tidal wave of urgent questions from suppliers, customers, partners, employees, and others, they warn, the answers to which are buried in thousands or hundreds of thousands of commercial contracts. Unfortunately, they say, most companies don’t know what’s in their contracts or even, in many cases, where those contracts are.

“We woke up a couple weeks ago and realized, there is no time,” Harris and Guettel wrote. “Our clients, you, are drifting through these pandemic rapids, focused on more important issues like the immediate safety and sanity of your employees, heading right for a cliff.”

What has led to this situation and what can corporate counsel do about it? In this episode of LawNext, Harris, who we previously interviewed in Episode 56, returns to LawNext to share his analysis and advice.


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