Legal IT Newswire: June 29th, 2017 – Disruptive legal tech innovator, Linkilaw, today announces its acquisition of Lawyerfair, creating the UKs largest legal marketplace and delivering the most comprehensive, cost effective and flexible dedicated legal service offering for SME and Start Up Business. Under the newly formed business, Linkilaw will deliver an average client cost saving of 75% across its services and deliver the most competitive legal service rates available yet on the UK market.
Linkilaw’s Streamlined tech-drivem legal offering gathers the necessary information gtom clients to make the on-boarding process and the selection of work smoother and more time efficient, and through it’s marketplace model Linkilaw significantly reduces the expensive overheads that most startups end up paying for when getting legal work completed. The firm is also working on further artificial intelligence solutions to continue to drive cost savings and deliver the most competitive client offering on the market.
The technology enables Linklilaw to match clients to specific company legal practitioners according to service requirement, available budget and, critically, on fixed rate terms. It will deliver a market first, efficiency and accuracy in legal service/client match provision and greater accessibility to the specialist legal knowledge and financial flexibility required by growing UK businesses. It also further consolidates Linkilaw’s position and growth in the rapidly expanding UK Legal Tech market as UK legal business is poised to face a wave of deep innovation over the next few years.
At the moment, Deloitte report that 77% of law firms surveyed do not use technology in-house legal tasks at the moment – but in 5 years times, of the same cohort, 52% will be using technology in their in-house tasks.
If this proves to be true, this could save many bootstrapped start ups a lot of money on their legal fees in the future.
Although a lawyer’s expertise is essential in the vast majority of legal transactions, Linkilaw believe that technological innovation within the legal sphere will result in streamlined legal processes – making a lawyer’s job smoother, simpler and faster. This also benefits the consumer – reducing the cost of legal services for businesses without shrinking lawyers’ profit margins.
In 2016, 5.5 million businesses operated in the United Kingdom – and the vast majority of them were classified as small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are responsible for 47% of the UK private sector turnover and employ the majority of the private sector workforce.
Promising companies struggle to grow domestically and expand internationally and are taken over by larger – often foreign – firms at a significant discount to their potential. As new businesses across the United Kingdom are created, unfortunately so are legal disputes. In May 2017, YouGov reported that UK SMEs suffer with 8 legal issues per year and are collectively losing £7 million an hour as a result of neglecting their legal obligations.
Besides legal issues having a direct impact on the deaths of businesses, owner’s’ lack of legal acumen has been seen to discourage investment into their businesses. When more than half of start ups looking for loans are rejected by conventional funding sources, the inclusion of legal preparations could prove decisive in a start up’s ability to find funding externally, as the odds are already stacked against them. The legal disputes that many businesses, in particular start ups, face are largely avoidable – and are proving expensive not only for the founders of these failed companies but also for the economy.
Linkilaw also believes that the Legal Industry is at a pivotal point in its history and needs to innovate; not only to support entrepreneurship and a growing awareness and understanding of business law amongst business owners, but for its own benefit too.
Alexandra Isenegger, CEO, Linkilaw, said, “The UK legal sector is out of touch with and failing the needs of ordinary business. They don’t understand start up culture and there is a complete mis-match in service provision and pricing models.
Alexandra Isenegger, CEO of Linkilaw, states: “Many bootstrapped start ups have suffered with the injustice of either paying thousands of pounds on legal fees, searching the internet for irrelevant templates or simply foregoing legal work altogether. This leaves founders unable to understand the legal obligations they have to their business and is putting the potential of great ideas in jeopardy.”
She continued, “At Linkilaw we have streamlined our service model to deliver fast economically-viable legal solutions that will save time and money for small business owners, provide guidance and support their growth when they most need it.
Public trust in lawyers has been reported to be as low as 42% in recent years, and in at least 30% of cases where a respondent did not consider using a solicitor. Whilst Legal Executive Institute reports that the Legal Industry (contrary to the increase in business creation and commercial legal disputes) actually loses $66,672 (£51,860) per lawyer per year due to a decrease in productivity.
Many components affect public trust of legal sector and productivity of lawyers, but process definitely has an impact – and unfortunately, the Legal Industry is rife with archaic processes which include unnecessary inefficiencies and bureaucracy. This increases the time that legal professionals spend working on a case and ultimately is causing a domino effect and subsequent increase in the cost that a start up founder spends on legal protections.
Disruption in the Legal Industry has stopped being n option and has become a necessity as research from YouGov has shown that 77% of those surveyed stated that price of legal fees influences where they look for legal services. This was the second largest factor, as expertise influenced the decision of 85% of respondents.
With the marketplace model, the relationship between a client and a lawyer can see major improvements due to:
- 1. The savings of time seen as a result of the client’s’ legal queries and its developments kept in centralised locations online.
- 2. The reductions in legal costs as a consequence of fixed fees generated by lawyers competing for the cases they are most qualified or more interested to work on.
- 3. A strengthened trust in the lawyer as they were ultimately chosen by the client on the basis of expertise, personality and cost.
Founded in 2015 by Alexandra Isenegger, Linkilaw began as ‘The Legal Marketplace’; a unique model that worked by ‘linking’ clients to the most suitable legal professionals for a case. The marketplace proved successful – creating a network of hundreds of experienced lawyers that were eager to work on a variety of cases in a variety of fields whilst escaping the traditional constraints that come with working in a law firm.
Since 2016, Linkilaw has expanded its marketplace, and has become the recognised “Legal Platform for Startups’ – becoming the one-stop-shop for start ups looking for legal advice and legal services. By combining the marketplace with a legal in-house team specialised to work to their needs, the company has provided many hundreds of emerging companies with lawyers, legal documents and even free consultations.
Although the UK economy is growing faster than many other nations and is the birthplace of many successful businesses, recent data shows that it lags behind the US and other leading economies in growth. This difference has been labelled by many experts such as Sherry Coutu as the “Scale-up gap”.
Scaling companies drive economic growth, job creation, and productivity in the longer term. With this, entrepreneurially friendly innovations in the UK’s Legal Industry have the potential to support UK SMEs in their bid to innovate on national and international scales – leading to a lengthening in the lifespan of start-up and scale up in businesses.
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Notes to editors
Founded in 2015 Linkilaw is the UK’s first tech-driven legal marketplace that specialises in the SME and start up business sector. Its innovative use of artificial intelligence and machine learning delivers vast operational efficiencies that enable considerable savings to the client and the most competitive price point on legal work currently available in the UK market.
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