Christie’s General Counsel Brings Efficiency Through Technology

The Company

Christie’s is an art business and a fine artsauctionhouse, currently the world’s largest, with sales for the first half of 2012, some $3.5 billion, representing the highest total for a corresponding period in company and art market history.

The Case for Contract Automation

Prior to adopting ContractExpress, Christie’s created all of the company’s sales and auction contracts, including its seller’s and private sales agreements, from standard templates, which members of its legal team modified manually to fit distinct requirements. In lieu of the countless hours its lawyers spent deleting, copying, and pasting custom language, the organization now uses a master agreement within ContractExpress and has fully automated the development of each document.

Faster Sales

This practice is particularly useful since Christie’s operates internationally and requires contracts applicable to the laws of various jurisdictions. And, given that the company’s clients are predominantly individuals, rather than corporations, it is imperative that its sales professionals have the ability to complete transactions quickly before buyers experience a change of heart concerning a particular purchase. While the legal department is the only authorized user of the tool, Christie’s is evaluating company-wide access to ContractExpress to ensure consistency in its entire portfolio of transactions.

In lieu of the countless hours its lawyers spent deleting, copying, and pasting custom language, the organization now uses a master agreement within ContractExpress and has fully automated the development of each document.

Karen Gray

General Counsel and Chief of Staff - Americas, Christie's