Laura Story is Director of Information Services, Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy in Atlanta.
|LIVEDGAR, a product from Global Securities Information for SEC research, has joined the growing number of vendors offering methods to access and organize information in ways that meet the unique information needs of your organization. Rather than creating a software product with a limited selection of hardwired options and links, GSI is creating LIVEDGAR Web pages that are highly customized.
Powell Goldstein has traditionally used LIVEDGAR for a variety of specialized research projects. I was approached by Scott Killingsworth, Co-Chair of our Intellectual Property and Technology Group and member of a growing e-Commerce practice, to expand our in-house document collection for e-Commerce and other Internet- related business. We turned to LIVEDGAR’s search and customization features to create not only the collection but also an ongoing practice tool to maintain and enhance the collection over time.
|Our attorneys needed ready access to the entire range of contracts that companies doing business on the Internet may enter into: “In our niche, specialized legal skills are a given – so we try to differentiate ourselves with a better understanding of the client’s market, its competitive environment and the trends and innovations in that environment. This lets us ask the right questions and tailor advice to the client’s reality. To do this in a fast-moving area like e-commerce, it’s very important to keep a finger on the pulse of a wide variety of players, not just our own clients. These new databases give us a unique window into the collective experience of the companies that are piecing together the Internet economy, deal by deal” explained Killingsworth. Our strategy was two-fold: 1) create an in-house database of contracts and agreements that are downloaded and easily accessible by our attorneys, and 2) create an access method to customize our research on the entire range of SEC filings. I teamed up with LIVEDGAR to develop both an in-house database of documents and a highly customized LIVEDGAR Web page for our attorneys.||
“These new databases give us a unique window into the collective experience of the companies that are piecing together the Internet economy, deal by deal.”
Powell, Goldstein LiveEdgar Intranet page
|SEC filings, especially annual reports (10Ks) and initial registration statements (S1s) are the ideal source for a collection of this kind. Recent IPOs by many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and portals have produced a wealth of examples of material contracts unique to this industry. After examining the exhibits of SEC filings by the larger ISPs and major portals such as AOL, Infoseek, and Excite, we developed an initial list of types of agreements to review. These agreements, which included strategic alliances, license agreements, Web hosting agreements, and co-branding agreements, are generally listed as exhibits to S1 registration statements. Using the LIVEDGAR full-text search engine, I created a search strategy for these filings, selecting “Exhibit” as the type of document. LIVEDGAR’s Research Library, which includes over 400 pre-formatted searches, was used to locate some of the most common documents, such as advertising and licensing agreements.|
|These documents were next downloaded and saved in PC Docs, our document management system. PC Docs Project Folders feature allows us to collect and share documents by a selected group of attorneys. Our e-Commerce project folders are arranged by agreement type, and already contain over 40 subfolders with over 200 documents. The E-commerce database is also designed to include our own work product, and can be accessed and developed by attorneys in both offices.
To keep our e-Commerce library refreshed with new filings, we have established several watches on Livedgar for new IPOs by companies engaged in e-Commerce or other Internet related activities. For example, many of these companies have names ending in “.com,” such as Varsitybooks.com, so one of our watches is on companies with this ending. The exhibits to these filings contain the newest types of agreements in this industry, and keep us abreast of new issues that may surface for our clients.
In addition to our PC Docs library, we also have a highly customized Livedgar research page for Powell Goldstein attorneys. The page includes pre-formatted search strategies for the broadest categories of e-commerce documents we have collected internally. Because these types of documents are not available in the main LIVEDGAR research library as pre-formatted searches, our attorneys now have a unique research tool that is easy to customize. The search queries can be modified by industry, date, filing type, and by word searches.
Our LIVEDGAR representatives worked with us to create a page with information that our attorneys needed, such as instructions for downloading into PC Docs, how to order a LIVEDGAR password, and links to our account representatives. We also have links to all SEC filings by our largest clients, which reduces the number of redundant requests for filings, saving our attorneys and clients time and money.