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Canadian Law Firms Collaborate With OpenLaw on the Ethereum Platform to Automate M&A Escrow Agreements

Even though Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin thinks the term “smart contract” is a misnomer for the technology he helped build, a pilot project by Canadian law firms in collaboration with Consensys’ OpenLaw and GenesisB is creating a solution that is getting closer to the name’s literal meaning.

OpenLaw collaborated with major Canadian law firms Bennett Jones LLP, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, and Stikeman Elliott. During the six-month pilot project the law firms worked with consulting firm GenesisB to create “smart” legal templates on the Ethereum blockchain that could automate M&A escrow agreements. This automation was possible by using smart contracts to code multiple M&A clauses, including items related to indemnification, payouts, and basic disputes.

Source: Blockchain Platforms, SoftwareReviews

Our Take

Blockchain and smart contracts technology has for a long time been seen as a coming disruptor in supply chains. However, one of the key benefits of smart contract technology is self-executing code on the blockchain that can not only help eliminate middlemen but also eliminate manual paper processing and tedious administrative work. Hence, it’s conceivable that any line of business or work currently that involves multiple parties and requires administrative processing can be augmented or replaced with smart contracts. This pilot that’s currently being explored by these major Canadian law firms suggests that smart contract technology is getting ready for prime time outside of supply chains.

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