VP, ASSISTANT GC
DENVER, CO, USA
Maggie Warren’s red pen was busy as she read and reread the standard terms, marking up clauses with the passion of someone who can’t abide a run-on sentence. It was her first day at Vertafore, Inc., the Denver-based insurance software company and she was just getting started. The private equity owned company had grown largely by acquisition and there were more than 50 varying templates for sell-side contracts. She quickly realized her first mission: to create a contracting structure that empowered — and protected — the business and sales teams by decreasing legal reviews.
By the end of the first week, Maggie approached her general counsel with a plan to streamline the contracting process. The buy-in was immediate and she got to work pulling together all contracts and ordering documents. “There is no reason a company our size should have 50 different contracts to sell software — even if the software serves different purposes. Software — whether on premise or online, services, APIs and data can be licensed under the same model and same terms,” she states simply.
Having one set of standard terms across the business is not where the work stopped. The legal team took it a step further and uploaded each contract, some more than 20 years old, into a single contract repository, looking at every clause in each contract to assign it a letter grade. Unnegotiated contracts on the standard terms scored an A. Greater risk for the company, such as increased monetary caps for liability, received points and a corresponding grade between B and D. Within months of starting at Vertafore, all sell-side contracts were integrated into the company’s new contract repository which was later integrated with the CRM system. Today, any seller can access the customer contracts directly and now instantly knows the risk associated with a contract without consulting the legal department.
Vertafore’s customers — insurance companies ranging from large carriers to mom-andpop agencies — possess personal information, making them data processors under recently enacted data laws. Maggie, again armed with her red pen, rewrote privacy statements with worldwide privacy regulations in mind, making sure every Vertafore Solution gives the highest level of protection to the customer, the company, and the individual.
Maggie believes in paying it forward by supporting educational opportunities for and alongside other lawyers and law students. She managed an extensive internship program for law students at Vertafore wherein she directly supervises at least one, but sometimes multiple, law students during a semester — creating an “army of future in-house lawyers that are business savvy and can provide sound legal advice at the pace of the industry they serve.”
Maggie’s tenacity was evident early: She started law school pregnant with her second child. After graduating, she decided the best way to be present for her two toddlers was to start her own practice in order to control her workload. “A few years later, I had done about 150 divorces and it was weighing on me emotionally,” she admits. So, she pivoted to in-house work.
Over the years, she’s retained her early spirit of innovation and work ethic and now applies them to the daily challenges of a multi-billion-dollar software company. Now she relishes the diversity of challenges that come her way: “If you’re in-house, you have to be agile, with a passion for continuous learning, and help solve business problems for your internal employee customers as well as your external customers — you have multiple stakeholders in the process and have to work quickly, efficiently, and intelligently. It’s really rewarding to bring issues to resolution and see your work coming to fruition as frequently as I do — and to be recognized for it is humbling.”