Legal Technology Lawyers Automate Document Generation Process with Cognito Forms

Haley N. By Haley N. | January 14, 2022

Having spent years as corporate and finance attorneys, Gene Turner and Allen Li saw an opportunity to revolutionize the legal documentation process, replacing time-consuming manual work with automation.

In 2016, they founded LawHawk to offer businesses document generation solutions using Cognito Forms as a key part of their tech stack.

With their award-winning automation skills and legal expertise, they’ve carved out their own niche in the legal tech community.

From client intake to integrated automation


Of the various types of software LawHawk utilizes, Cognito Forms initially came into play to assist in creating intake tools for potential clients, as well as businesses who expressed an interest in services.

“We’ve been on bit of an evolution since then,” says Turner. “Things changed with the realization that we could generate documents with Cognito Forms and have flexibility around who receives it and which format it comes in.”

We’ve been on bit of an evolution since then. Things changed with the realization that we could generate documents with Cognito Forms and have flexibility around who receives it and which format it comes in.
Gene Turner, co-founder of LawHawk

After progressively building up data collection and document generation capability, Turner began to explore integrations, specifically with Microsoft 365 and the ability to send information and documents to SharePoint for automatic storage. They also adopted the use of Power Automate to manage approval processes and digital signing.

From this, LawHawk began to develop broader solutions for its clients and moved on to creating automated systems for businesses across New Zealand.

Increasing contract efficiencies for commercial construction

When Armstrong Downes Commercial (ADC) came to LawHawk, they needed to eliminate the manual processes of writing, negotiating and finalizing subcontractor agreements.


The old process caused delays, making the process of closing an agreement take between four and ten weeks.

To expedite this, LawHawk developed a new, automated contract form. Now, an ADC project manager provides details on the specific subcontractor agreement, and the system automatically generates the necessary documents for signing.

This eliminated costly delays and closes negotiations faster, saving time and money.

Improving time management with an automated document solution

David Pawson, of Pawson Law, turned to LawHawk when he needed relief from the overwhelming requirements of legal documentation and filing. He simply had more work than hours in the day.

By creating a system using Cognito Forms, LawHawk not only improved the accuracy of Pawson’s documentation, but also created efficiency and time savings.


Pawson can now easily look up clients using the lookup feature and transfer data to another form to create a document, such as a letter of advice or a progress letter.

“There’s so much more information he’s able to gather and structure now. It’s creating more hours in the day,” says Turner.

New Zealand’s largest grocery retailer, Foodstuffs (or “Foodies” for those in the know) approached LawHawk needing to create efficiencies for its legal team.

The Foodies legal team works on such a wide and varied range of activities, they needed to free up time to focus on more high-value, complex and strategic tasks.


LawHawk came up with a solution that automated Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and service consultancy agreements using Cognito Forms.

From LawHawk’s case study, Foodstuffs’ Associate General Counsel, Julian Benefield says, “Previously, NDAs may require up to an hour or more of a lawyer’s time in terms of drafting and other support. This means the NDA automation project may have so far [up to June 2020] resulted in as much as 90 hours in time savings for the Foodies legal team, without any impact on the quality and accuracy of the NDA and the filing processes.”

Given the success of automation to date, the Foodies legal team now has two other major automation projects in process and has generated over 200 NDAs in the past two years.

Using automation software, like Cognito Forms, increases mobility and accessibility in the legal environment and enables legal teams to better support their clients to achieve their business goals.

LawHawk understood the importance of adopting productivity and automation tools. And with their experience in legal automation, they continue to advocate for systems that maximize results while saving time and increasing the quality of work.

“When you see the differences over time, the whole business process becomes transformed,” says Turner.

Learn more about LawHawk and their legal document solutions here.

Haley N.

Haley N.

Haley, the Content Specialist for Cognito Forms, helps customers discover how they can use the product to elevate their business. She knows that when it comes to getting things done, Cognito Forms is the perfect tool. When not at work, you can find her hiking, listening to podcasts, or buying plants.