Startup Corner: F-LEX in focus

Self-labelled as the “task rabbit for law firms and in-house counsel”, F-LEX provides law firms with on demand paralegals through a set of web and mobile apps. Founded by a trio including Legal Geek founder Jimmy Vestbirk, F-LEX is notably providing paralegal resource to a law firm to supervise their AI software.

How would you describe your company to a friend?

It is the “task rabbit” for law firms and in house counsel to allow them to have access to pre-vetted law students studying their law degrees or law conversion courses. Through our platform, they can request a student into their offices with as little as 2 hours’ notice to assist with their work.  As a solicitor, there were many times that I just wanted more hands-on deck and I could see a pool of students at Kaplan Law School outside my office and always thought, if only I could quickly contact them. It should be a win win scenario as the student gets to gain experience as they study and the law firm gets some assistance on a flexible, on demand basis.

And if you had to describe it to a techy? 

A set of web apps and mobile apps which allow paralegals to manage their profile and availability as well as law firms and GC’s to submit their requirements and review available paralegals. It utilises a wide range of web technologies and SaaS systems as well as Machine Learning to match paralegals and clients requirements. 

When were you founded?

We were founded in early 2016.

By who?

Mary Bonsor (lawyer), James Moore (technologist) and Jimmy Vestbirk (Lawtech guru)

Who are your key managers/senior execs?

We have a panel of advisors: Tony Williams, Damon Parker, Serena Wallace-Turner and Ian Dowson

What is your growth strategy? 

We will be moving to other cities in the UK throughout 2017.

Have you received investment?

Yes. Our investment has been from a range of angel investors who are prominent lawyers, legal innovators and ex managing partners.

Who are your target clients?

Our target client is any legal department who needs assistance, whether that is a law firm, in house Counsel or start up.

Have there been any key changes in direction since you were founded?

We have realised that there is huge potential through GC’s too, as most companies have an in house team who do not have the financial resources that a law firm may have and therefore are keen to have flexible paralegal assistance when they need help. 

What are the key challenges you face in your market?

Technology becoming too advanced and not needing paralegal assistance to do the more junior jobs, such as AI machines. However, I like to think, that paralegals may still be needed to run and manage these machines. We actually have a client who uses our paralegals to check the work that the AI machine is doing when it reviews commercial leases.

What are the most exciting developments you’ve seen in your market in the past year to 18 months? 

Lawyers, who are renowned for being risk adverse, beginning to open up to the idea that technology may assist the legal sphere to increase efficiency and productivity.

Tell us something that people don’t already know about the company?

The name F-LEX was thought up by an estate agent who is a friend of one of the founders.