How Do Online, Virtual Deal Rooms Work?

While the story doesn’t directly involve a litigation matter, the IntraLinks video “45 Days to Find a White Knight” provides a splendid example of how an online, virtual dataroom can facilitate the distribution of documents between clients and outside counsel.

The story recounts how Carl Icahn announced a hostile takeover bid of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which prompted the Fairmont shareholders to frantically shop around for a better deal.

The professionally produced short video interviews general counsel from Fairmont as well as attorneys from Fairmont’s outside counsel in Canada, McCarthy Tétrault.

My favorite parts of the video are where the McCarthy Tétrault attorneys are talking about the limitations they struggled with in the past with “paper” datarooms (i.e. requiring the client to physically, and inconveniently, visit the storeroom) and how with a virtual dataroom, the client can look at any document right from their desk. The documents can even be secured so that visitors can only read the document and nothing else.

The attorneys also reported that they saved on copy costs by uploading digital documents, and they were able to track exactly what documents that potential buyers viewed when they were invited into the system.

In the end, the CD backups of the 150,000+ document database effectively acted as their “disclosure statement.”

The video is obviously a fluff marketing piece for IntraLinks, but the story is a golden example of how technology can triumph in the practice of law.

Link to video.