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BNP Paribas Real Estate adopts Hogan Lovell’s legal blockchain solution

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Hogan Lovells has announced that it has launched DriveChain, a blockchain-enabled platform for document and contract automation, and that the first client planning to adopt the solution is BNP Paribas Real Estate.

BNP Paribas Real Estate is a European real estate leader. The company’s first foray into real estate began in 1963 with the creation of Vendôme Gestion Asset Management. Ten years later, BNP acquired the real estate developer Meunier before merging with Paribas in 2000. The turn of the millennium brought renewed real estate ambition to the Group with the launch of a single property department, BNP Paribas Immobilier, which brought together a number of smaller organizations, including Astrim, Antin Vendôme, Comadim, Espaces Immobiliers, Gérer, Meunier. The company then acquired the real estate services company, Atisreal in 2004. With this acquisition, the group transformed from a local French real estate company to a pan-European leader with a deep understanding of global real estate strategies.

Hogan Lovells is a global legal services provider that offers extensive experience and insights gained from working in some of the world's most complex legal environments and markets for corporations, financial institutions, and governments.

The new DriveChain technology adds structured data to PDFs and Word documents turning them into “smart documents.”

This enables the software used by Hogan Lovell’s clients or their contracting partners to incorporate the document data in the process of generating reports, managing assets—as in the case of BNP Paribas—or conducting due diligence.

A key benefit is the potential interoperability between document management and contracting systems, even when the original documents are not created using the same software, according to Hogan Lovells.

“DriveChain enables peer-to-peer transfer of documents, contracts, and their associated data in a way that increases automation, accuracy, and security,” said Dan Norris, partner and global head of Hogan Lovells’ real estate team. “Because it is accomplished using existing software, clients and their clients can achieve almost immediate benefit from increased document and contract automation and security. Although it was designed in response to a real estate client’s needs, we’ve made it discipline agnostic.”

A key point, Hogan Lovells says, is that the document data is shared peer-to-peer, not stored in the cloud or on the blockchain. The solution uses the Integra Ledger, an enterprise blockchain designed for the legal sector based on Hyperledger Fabric. What’s stored on the blockchain is a document identity and hash, the equivalent of a document fingerprint, plus a timestamp. If a document is amended, it gets a new hash. So the primary role of the blockchain is to authenticate documents. The data is replicated across blockchain nodes that major legal firms host.

For more information, go to www.realestate.bnpparibas.com and www.hoganlovells.com.

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