BlackBoiler, a company whose AI-based technology automates the review and mark-up of inbound contracts right in Microsoft Word’s Track Changes, is today launching a redesigned platform with an enhanced user interface and a new tool that helps companies automate the creation of contract playbooks. 

The new platform can be used as a standalone product or as part of a contract lifecycle management implementation.

The playbook builder eliminates the need for extensive training of BlackBoiler, a process that required users to provide BlackBoiler with examples of past contracts that a company had reviewed and marked-up.

Instead, a user can build a playbook directly by answering a series of questions related to the type of contract.

The company is also introducing a new user interface designed in partnership with legal technology development and design firm Theory and Principle. It includes a dashboard that provides a snapshot view of recent activities, contracts reviewed, clause libraries, users, and analytics. (See featured image above.)

BlackBoiler says the new dashboard gives even non-technical users a smooth entry point to automated contract markup so they can get up and running in minutes.

The playbook builder allows users to create custom playbooks by editing sample text.

“The new features dramatically reduce the time it takes to implement and gain value from BlackBoiler’s proprietary technology, allowing legal teams to quickly drive efficiency and reduce risk in their contract review process,” said Dan Broderick, cofounder and CEO.

Highlights of the version released today include:

  • No training data required. The redesigned platform allows users to log in and tell BlackBoiler how they want to edit contracts without having to provide historical contracts, which should allow quicker implementation.
  • Users can quickly build a negotiation playbook right on the BlackBoiler platform to drive their automated contract markup using the new playbook builder features.

BlackBoiler’s AI technology is designed to automate the redlining of contracts and speed the overall negotiation. The technology gets “smarter” with use, to the point where the company says it can reduce contract review time by more than 70 percent.

Until now, that automated markup required users to either provide examples of how they had reviewed and marked-up contracts in the past or provide BlackBoiler with their existing playbook.

Users can also upload rules they have already written and use BlackBoiler’s picker to choose which to add to a playbook.

In a recent interview, Broderick said that process sometimes caused friction for customers. Some were reluctant to share that historical contract data before they had fully evaluated the BlackBoiler platform. Others simply lacked easy access to all those past agreements.

“So what we wanted to do was put all of this, the ability to build playbooks that power negotiations, into our clients’ hands, instead of us having to do it for them or them having to go find the data.”

With the playbook builder feature, a user edits example texts to build a playbook. These can be of three types:

  • Point edits at the sentence level, such as that “wordx” should always be changed to “wordz.”
  • Full sentence or paragraph inserts, such as that “this sentence” should always be inserted before “that sentence.”
  • Full sentence or paragraph deletions, such that specified language will always be deleted.

All of these edits can be saved and named with descriptions and comments.

In addition, users can import rules that they have already written, using a “picker” to select the ones to add to a playbook.

Once the user has created a playbook, the user can upload contracts to review, and BlackBoiler will mark them up according to the rules in the playbook.

BlackBoiler says its client roster includes AmLaw 25 law firms and organizations within the Fortune 1000. The company holds 11 patents in the U.S. and is currently pursuing additional IP protection in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.


Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.