In what could be the first of many ventures, Taylor Wessing has collaborated with Neota Logic to produce a new app to guide clients through the People with Significant Control Rules (PSC) scheduled to come into force on 6 April.
The venture, led by Saleh Abukmeil, product manager for Taylor Wessing, sees Taylor Wessing’s clients offered an app, accessible from any device, to help decide if they are affected by the new rules and need advice. The PSC requires UK companies and LLPs to keep a statutory register showing who the ultimate beneficial owners and controllers are and the details of their holdings.
After answering ten questions backed by logic, in clear cut cases clients using the app will be advised that they are affected by the PSC; given an outline of the work that is required; and offered a fixed fee arrangement to undertake that work. In other cases, clients may be advised that the firm will consider their answers and revert back to them.
Critically, the app, called ‘TW: navigate PSC App’, is interactive and avoids the often lengthy legal advice sent out to clients by email when there is a change in the law. Abukmeil told Legal IT Insider: “We needed to notify the client about the changes under PSC, identify if they are affected, and assist them should they need it. This approach would quite regularly mean sending out an email, which is static and doesn’t engage the client at all. We wanted an alternative to sending out verbose text.”
Abukmeil, who was already talking to Neota Logic about a potential collaboration when he was approached by a Taylor Wessing corporate partner about the PSC, added: “Taylor Wessing and Neota Logic have been talking for some time about the way in which we can collaborate to create products that assist our clients and make their engagement more pleasurable and user-friendly.”
The app was up and running in under a month from when the corporate partner first approached Abukmeil, who is now talking to Neota about potential further ventures.
Richard Seabrook, European managing director of Neota Logic, said: “Taylor Wessing’s PSC App highlights the potential that intelligent software has to enhance the relationship between a law firm and its clients. Through these kind of smart apps, clients can quickly get a sense of how the rules may apply to their unique business situation allowing for a more focused and valued relationship with their advisors.”