Startup Corner: LawBid in Focus
How would you describe your company to a friend?
LawBid is an online legal matchmaking system that makes it quicker and easier for clients to find the right solicitor for their needs.
And if you had to describe it to a techy?
LawBid is a web application built with latest trending technologies and programming languages, providing a high-level of security, performance and robustness. The site is built around usability and was developed to give users choice and transparency when searching for a solicitor.
When were you founded?
LawBid was launched in August 2016.
The concept was created by Solicitor Director of Wildings Solicitors, Kid Harwood (pictured). Having worked in the legal sector for over a decade, Kid wanted to address the concerns and that many clients had when looking for a solicitor and to make access to legal services easier for all.
Who are your key managers/senior execs?
As well as being the company founder, Kid Harwood is the director of LawBid.
What is your growth strategy?
LawBid offers an alternative but progressive way of finding a solicitor. By offering the client choice, transparency and simplicity, we give users an experience that they simply cannot get elsewhere in the legal sector.
Whilst beneficial to clients, LawBid is equally focussed on providing an effective system for solicitors to secure new instructions and communicate with clients. LawBid has plans to roll out a range of subsidiary legal services to enhance usability for our solicitor members.
Have you received investment?
The development of the LawBid system has been privately funded by Kid Harwood.
Who are your target clients?
LawBid has a nationwide community of solicitors registered to our system who provide services for both businesses and individuals.
We connect clients with solicitors who specialise in a variety of different legal services. A wide section of the public now utilises web-based comparison sites before making purchases, LawBid targets these consumers who seek transparency, simplicity and choice when searching for a solicitor.
LawBid was developed, in part, to address certain issues that were being overlooked elsewhere in the legal sector. For this reason, user feedback and an open attitude to change is extremely important to the development of LawBid.
Have there been any key changes in direction since you were founded?
Our plan to open our system up for barristers is our most notable development since launching. As well as securing new client instructions, we intend to allow solicitors to find and instruct barristers through LawBid.
Using a similar model to the client focused side of the system, solicitors will soon have easy access to high-quality barrister services.
What are the key challenges you face in your market?
Broadening the mind set of solicitors, many of whom have practised in similar, if not the same ways throughout their whole career, to try a new way of acquiring client instructions online can certainly be a challenge.
However, it is great to see so many commercially aware and client focused solicitors acknowledge the benefits of the LawBid system and join us in providing clients with a more transparent way to find a solicitor.
What are the most exciting developments you’ve seen in your market in the past year to 18 months?
In the last year, we have seen an increasing number of sites and systems make their mark on the legal sector.
Working in legal tech, it is extremely exciting to see the impact that technologies such as AI are having on the way legal professionals work and how clients seek advice.
The most exciting developments we have seen in the last year are the collective efforts of solicitors, entrepreneurs and developers to bring innovation into the sector.
[LawBid last year announced that it would be launching in Ireland in October 2016 and in August this year announced the hire of Edinburgh communications specialist Simon Walton to oversee the rollout of the service in Scotland.]
Tell us something that people don’t already know about the company?
We give our registered solicitors the opportunity to offer their services pro bono and provide legal aid where applicable.