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Wilson Sonsini Collaborates With Workiva To Automate Form S-1
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Wilson Sonsini Collaborates With Workiva To Automate Form S-1

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has announced that it has collaborated with Workiva to automate one of the most strenuous parts of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) process. The company will leverage technology to automate important aspects of the registration process for companies going public by automating the generation of the registration statement, also known as “SEC Form S-1” or simply “S-1.” The firm is a market leader in advising U.S. technology companies on their initial public offerings.


Preparing a registration statement may take up to an estimated time of more than 950 hours. With the help of the WS-1 platform, the firm will be able to significantly reduce the number of hours required in drafting the same and instead utilize those hours in performing other higher-value work related to the IPO process.

  
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The new automation technology, called “WS-1” will help pre-IPO companies in eliminating low-value drafting work involved in the IPO process. It will also minimize the inefficiencies involved in preparing the S-1. Through the WS-1 application, clients will be able to collaborate with Wilson Sonsini’s attorneys to create an advanced draft S-1. The draft would serve as a single, centralized, and consistent source for important legal points and company data required for the IPO and will also have insights from the firm’s attorneys.


The law firm reports that developing the WS-1 application involved more than 1098 permutations and it is the most complex automation project undertaken by the firm. To date, the new technology has been used for two pilot IPO projects and the same resulted in significant efficiencies in the process. The firm worked for more than a year with Workiva to develop the WS-1. This collaboration between the firm and Workiva will also be showcased at the Workiva Amplify Annual Conference that will take place virtually from today through September 23, 2021. The project will be discussed by Michael Nordtvedt, David Wang, and Brandon Ziegler at a session titled “Know What’s Trending: Trends in Tech and Transactions from Wilson Sonsini.”


Wilson Sonsini has previously also developed other automation tools that help clients with specific business functions, transactions, and compliance and corporate governance issues. These include Neuron, a digital platform for startups to manage their legal processes from formation to exit and SixFifty, the firm’s award-winning subsidiary that productizes legal information including employee handbooks and privacy compliance. The firm has also invested in Lexion, AI-powered contract management software. The firm also has an agreement with Morgan Stanley centered around Shareworks, a capitalization and stock plan platform.

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In 2021 alone, Wilson Sonsini has handled 30 IPOs that have a collective value of $30 billion. This includes the $9 billion direct listing of Roblox on NYSE.

Michael Nordtvedt, Head of Wilson Sonsini’s Capital Markets practice, said, “Many of our clients are digitizing in their fields, and now we’re doing the same in ours, with enormous benefits. This solution addresses some of the biggest pain points for companies going through the IPO process.”



David Wang, Chief Legal Officer at Wilson Sonsini, said, “The WS-1 is a groundbreaking tool for registration statements that integrates the peerless legal knowledge of Wilson Sonsini with the Workiva platform. It extends the automation benefits that Workiva offers to public companies to the very start of the preparation process, where they are sorely needed.”

Brandon Ziegler, Chief Legal Officer at Workiva, said, “With the WS-1, Wilson Sonsini and Workiva have created an extraordinarily powerful application of the Workiva platform. Among many other benefits, it facilitates collaboration among the many internal and external stakeholders that give input on an S-1.”



 

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