There is a structural problem in the UK legal industry of perceived over-charging of clients,” says LawBite founder Clive Rich. Add to this the fact that lawyers are too slow, and speak in an alien language which only they understand and you have a massive gap in the market.
The LawBite solution is an online legal service providing simple law for small companies . The market is vast: there are five million small and medium-sized businesses in the UK; over half of them (53 per cent) do not use a lawyer; the other 47 per cent do use lawyers but resent paying so much and wish there was another way. LawBite has a pleasingly radical manifesto:
The law is for everybody;
Value to clients comes before value for lawyers;
Everyone has a right to understand the documents that they sign;
LawBite keeps small companies safe and sound at a price they can afford; and
LawBite can restore trust in the law
LawBites jargon-free, affordable documents cover a range of legal needs. Its platform (recently out of beta) provides editing, sharing, e-signing and storage tools so users can negotiate and complete documents online with their contract partners, in real time. All LawBite documentation and advice is provided by qualified lawyers, giving users professional reassurance at a fraction of the normal price (50 £80 per cent less than traditional high street rates, says LawBite). Sure, there are other online legal offerings but, say LawBite founders Clive Rich and David Vines (both ex-lawyers), none has LawBite’s combination of features, and none is dedicated to smaller businesses. The firms raised decent funds: 210,000 in cash and kind from angels (including technology incubator, Innovation Warehouse); and a further 240,000 (in ten days!) via crowdfunding. The big vision is to democratise the law. Next stop: international franchises.
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