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Internet Legal Document Service Launched

WELLINGTON, 2 August 2000: A new service providing legal and other documentation over the internet, was launched today, by on-web law company Owlcentral Limited.

Through its Owldocuments (www.owldocuments.com) web site, subscribers will be able to assemble a large number of plain English legal, accounting, insurance and other documents. These include company incorporations, wills and family trusts as well as employment contracts, sale and purchase agreements, property leases, commercial contracts and a range of other personal and commercial documents.

Law firm Hesketh Henry has entered into a strategic alliance with Owlcentral to provide legal precedents and legal oversight to Owldocuments. Hesketh Henry will be an initial commercial user of Owldocuments. Finance assurance company, Sovereign Limited, has entered into a strategic alliance for the development of insurance related products.

Owlcentral (www.owlcentral.com) Chairman, Mr Rod Gates said, “Owldocuments revolutionises the delivery of legal and other services, because professional services firms such as lawyers, accountants, real estate agencies and others will be able to generate their standard documents at a fraction of the cost of drafting original documentation or manipulating existing precedents.

Owldocuments will transform the assembly and delivery of legal and other documentation services by releasing professionals from the low value tasks of constructing and assembling documentation. This leaves professionals to do what they are best at in advocacy, exercising good judgement and providing sound advice.

By way of example lawyers and other professionals will produce a commercial lease using the owldocuments site and complete the task in under 10 minutes, at a cost of approximately $75.00. This will significantly improve the economics of providing commoditised repetitive documentation.
The Owldocuments software platform was designed to imitate the process of engaging a professional adviser from the initial briefing through document origination and completion.

Utilising active server pages (ASPs), Owldocuments asks the same questions a professional adviser would ask to prepare documentation. The ASPs then prepare the document tailored to the exact specifications of the user.

The ability to create highly intelligent, effective documents complying with latest precedent and legal best practice and incorporating an active client interface is a considerable improvement on other services that generally provide standard forms little or no interactivity or customisation.

For customers requiring access to legal advice, Owldocuments provides a ‘hot link’ to Hesketh Henry on a user pays basis. As Owldocuments expands to other legal jurisdictions documents and legal ‘hot links’ will be localised ensuring best local law and practice is provided.

“The key to the Owldocuments service is the proprietary software platform driving the system. This technology, called docdolittle™, was created by Owlcentral and a worldwide patent application has been made to protect Owlcentral’s ownership of the technology.

“We are unaware of any products anywhere in the world that can deliver personalised, plain English business documents to the unique look and feel of the Owl system, including simplified help pages and step-by-step explanations at each stage of the document creation process. This is one of Owldocument’s most important points of differentiation.

“Owldocuments has been designed to conform to all common law jurisdictions. With minimal change we will be able to roll out the system in jurisdictions such as Australia, the United States, Hong Kong, Canada and the United Kingdom.

“We expect to launch Owldocuments in Australia in the first quarter of next year and from there we will gradually launch the system worldwide,” Mr Gates said.

In December 2000, when the first stage of Owldocuments is completed, it will contain ten ‘product suites’. These will include: Business Suite (i.e. incorporation documents, partnerships and contracts); Property (i.e. buy sell agreements, residential and commercial landlord agreements); Trust and Estates (i.e. family trusts, wills, power of attorney and matrimonial property agreements), and; Employment (i.e. employment contracts, performance management and employment procedures). Other suites will be added in the coming months.

Mr Gates said Owlcentral would be seeking second stage equity funding of up to $1.5 million through a private placement of equity to fund the expansion of Owldocuments’ product suites and launch in Australia.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Mr David Cam
Chief Executive
Owlcentral Limited
Tel: +64 9 374 0905
Mob: +64 21 711 008 Mr Mike Drogemuller
General Manager
Shandwick International
Tel: +64 4 472 4190
Mob: +64 25 448 530


Editors Note:

Owlcentral Limited was established in December 1999 to apply the use of its proprietary software, docdolittle, for the automated assembly of legal and business documents through active server pages (ASPs). Owlcentral is the holding company for Owldocuments Limited, Docdolittle.com Limited, Owltech Limited, Owl Financial Services Limited (the application of Owldocuments within the insurance sector), computer training company Accelerated Computer Training and Australian subsidiary Owlcentral (Australia) Pty Limited.


Owlcentral Limited

Owlcentral Limited is a New Zealand-registered holding company for the following wholly owned subsidiaries: Owldocuments Limited, Docdolitte.com Limited, Owl Financial Services Limited, Owltech Limited, Owltraining Limited and Owlcentral (Australia) Pty Limited.

Owlcentral Limited was established in December 1999 to develop and commercially produce an internet project that aims to improve the way in which legal and business services are delivered. The docdolittle process of document assembly, over the internet using active server pages (ASPs), was found to have applications beyond Owldocuments as it can be modified to provide an efficient alternative to existing methods of document assembly.

Subsidiary companies were therefore established to segment the potential business operations that have emerged within the project. Owlcentral Limited intends expanding globally – initially within countries with common law legal systems.

Its major shareholders are the promoters of the Owl (On Web Law) concept together with a small group of private investors.

For more information visit Owlcentral’s website at: http://www.owlcentral.com.

The subsidiary companies:

Owldocument Limited

This wholly owned subsidiary of Owlcentral Limited provides an automated range of commercial and personal legal documents via its website: http://www.owldocuments.com using docdolittle technology.

A strategic alliance has been formed with Auckland law firm Hesketh Henry for the supply of legal precedents, testing and signoff of the product as well as its regular updating. Hesketh Henry has also been contracted to provide online help to subscribers.

Owl Financial Services Limited

This wholly owned subsidiary of Owlcentral Limited has formed a strategic alliance with Sovereign Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASB Bank Limited, to develop Owl Financial Services online insurance service.

Users of the http://www.owldocuments.com site will soon be able to variously select insurance, investment and mortgage products purchase for themselves, or act as intermediaries for others. This site also utilises the unique docdolittle technology.

docdolittle.com Limited

The software platform docdolittle was designed especially for Owldocuments Limited as existing commercially available software solutions could not intelligently integrate sophisticated internet ASPs to the high level required.

The software platform contains a unique code that controls the flow of data and processes it into the relevant components throughout the owldocuments system.

The intellectual property for this software platform is held by docdolittle.com Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Owlcentral Limited, and has considerable potential as a stand alone package.

Owltraining Limited

The business of Accelerated Computer Training Limited (ACT) was acquired by Owlcentral Limited to harness the synergies and intellectual property inherent in the company that developed, under contract, the docdolittle platform.

This company provides Owlcentral Limited with computer consulting and training opportunities for corporate clients.

This wholly owned subsidiary’s website can be viewed at http://www.act.co.nz.

Owlcentral (Australia) Pty Limited

To facilitate its expansion into Australia, Owlcentral Limited has incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary in that country.

Rodney Gates
Chairman
Owlcentral Limited

Rodney Gates (62) has had over 30 years of experience in diplomacy, specialising in international trade and dispute mediation.

He is principal of Gates Consulting Limited and provides international commercial advice and dispute resolution services.

Rodney had a distinguished career in the diplomatic service, culminating in his appointment as New Zealand’s ambassador to Japan. Prior to this, he held diplomatic postings in Europe, the United States and the South Pacific.

He maintains his interest in international trade and law through his involvement with the Japan New Zealand Business Council, of which he is deputy chairman, the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, Auckland Institute of Technology and the Taiwan New Zealand Business Council. He lectures on international commercial law at Auckland University.

A graduate of Auckland and Victoria universities’ law schools, Rodney also holds a Masters of Business Studies in dispute resolution from Massey University.

David Cam
Chief Executive
Owlcentral Limited

David Cam (37) has had 16 years of investment experience as an owner of companies in the automotive, medical, forestry and property industries in New Zealand and overseas.

He has completed successful acquisitions, expansion and development, of various property, forestry and service-related companies in Australia, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.

More recently he has been involved in the property investment through the Uniview group of companies. These companies own the rights to construct a number of commercial and residential complexes in Auckland city and environs.

He has been involved in the development of Owlcentral Limited from the outset, particularly in advising on the development of company structures and business strategies.

Educated in Australia, David now resides in Auckland with his wife and two children.

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