8 September 2014 - [USA] How Fair is Your Contract? Find Out in Seconds
If you are an independent designer, IT developer or consultant who has been given a contract to sign as part of accepting a project, what are your options? You can try to analyse the contract yourself, ask a lawyer to advise you or do nothing and hope for the best. Now there is another option. You can simply upload the contract to an automated service and receive suggestions in under one minute. Click the image below to visit LegalSifter and read more at Techcrunch.
15 August 2014 - [USA] An Innovative Pricing Concept for Legal Services
A small law firm has come up with an innovative way of charging for legal services. A table determines the hourly rate to be used. The table is based on a family's income and the number of people in the family. For example, if there are 4 people in a family which has annual income of $47,700 then the hourly rate will be $65.00. See below:
Read article at The Atlantic Visit the firm's website
24 July 2014 - Wevorce
If Video does not display try this link to ABC News site
24 July 2014 - US Law Firm To Compete with E-Discovery Vendors
click image below to read more
17 July 2014 - US$25 Million Equity Investment into NetDocuments
8 July 2014 - In Sweden, Bypassing the Entire Expensive Court System
”Swiftcourt targets individuals and SME’s, in order to provide them with a possibility to solve disputes without costing a fortune. Today many businesses don’t even solve their disputes because of the high legal costs and long processing time in the District Courts.”
Click image below to read more
3 July 2014 - Rebooting Legal Education - Startup Legal Garage (California)
3 June 2014 - End of "Tick Box" Mandatory CPD – in UK
The UK Solicitors Regulation Authority has brought to an end the era of “tick box” mandatory CPD/CLE.
“Firms and solicitors will have to sign an annual declaration pledging their commitment to continuing professional development instead of completing the current 16-hour mandatory requirement, the SRA has said,” reported The Law Gazette.
"The policy and regulatory change ... is now awaiting final approval from the Legal Services Board ..."
Click image below to view a video that covers the reasoning behind the change
19 May 2014 - An Innovative Online Compensation Service
Legal services (and quasi-legal services) are being unbundled and offered online. Typically, when offered online, they avoid hourly billing. Sometimes it is surprising to find out what new services are being offered in this way. Click the image below to find out more about a service that helps obtain compensation for airline passengers.
10 May 2014 - Creating Legal Documents as if They Were an Open Source Software Project
(section starts at 36min)
27 April 2014 - Mitch Kowalski Speaks About The Legal Reformation
17 April 2014 - Avvo Raises US$37.5 Million and Could Expand into Australia
Where are you going to expand outside the U.S.?
"Places with English-based systems. We're looking for places where there are public records, high usage of court system by everyday people, and a large number of lawyers. We’re looking for big demand, consumer utilization... also access to records because with ratings we try to be an honest broker of information..." Read more
Read more also at Avvo and Geek Wire
Listen to interview of Mark Britton, founder and CEO of Avvo
1 April 2014 - Cloud Practice Management Platform Clio Raises $20 million (Canadian) Plus New Features
"We’re very proud to announce that, as of today [25/3/14], Clio has closed a successful Series C funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, valued at $20M. BVP, an early-stage investor in companies such as Skype, LinkedIn, Yelp, Pinterest, and more, adds Clio to an impressive roster spanning 103 years and 108 IPOs..." Read more
Also WSJ Blog and Version One Ventures and New Features
20 March 2014 - Small Firms Form Temporary Global Alliance and Win ($US25B) Multinational Client
Nike gives the tick to working with small firms in
alliance rather than with one big global firm
Nike (with annual revenue in the vicinity of US$25 billion) has selected an alliance of smaller law firms rather than a single multinational firm.
The ‘Alliance for Nike’, as it is known, advises Nike on matters such as sports marketing, commercial contracts and disputes, intellectual property issues, labour law and real estate.
“Establishing a Nike Alliance, under the leadership of our Dutch partner [law firm] Kennedy Van der Laan, means being able to retain the firms that most fit Nike’s needs in each jurisdiction, gaining efficiencies, driving convergence and increasing spend predictability. In addition, the Alliance for Nike is a powerful catalyst for our European legal team talent development, says Fabrizio Mecozzi, Vice President and Europe General Counsel at Nike.
The Alliance for Nike consists of 21 law firms in 17 jurisdictions, and continues to expand. With the Alliance for Nike as a successful example, Kennedy Van der Laan now offers Customized Alliance to other multinationals seeking a customized solution for their legal services.
Read more at The Lawyer and at Kennedy Van der Laan
7 February 2014 [USA] - New Software Will Guide You Through Settlement Negotiations
Read more at forbes.com and visit website at
24 January 2014 - [USA] - Is it Viable to Offer a Legal-Type Service for Under $25?
Isn’t it the conventional wisdom or simply common sense that you can’t offer a legal or legal-type service for $25 or less?
Apparently the founders of a new service weren’t aware of this conventional wisdom or they were aware and ignored it anyway.
Based in San Francisco, the name of the service is Fixed. It helps people contest parking fines.
How it works:
1. Take a photo of the parking fine
2. Upload it to the service
3. Provide some additional information in a structured way
4. Fixed does the rest
5. If the fine is dismissed then you pay Fixed a fee calculated at 25% of the value of the fine, which might be a fee of $25 or less
6. If it is not dismissed then you don’t pay Fixed anything and you still have your parking fine
We don’t have any information about the financial success of the business. At the very least it is a reminder about how imagination, technology and structured business processes have the ability to undo conventional wisdoms, regardless of whether this particular service is applicable for Australian conditions.
website screen shot - click image to visit site
7 January 2014 - [USA] - Big Business Invests in Online Legal Documents Market
Intuit and Docstoc
US-headquartered software company Intuit (US4.17 billion revenue in FY2013) announced last month its agreement to acquire Docstoc Inc.
Docstoc describes itself as an online destination to start and grow small businesses, hosting the best quality and widest selection of professional documents and resources including expert videos, articles and productivity tools to make every small business better.
The company offers more than legal documents although they are a key part of its product offerings.
Docstoc was founded in 2007 and in December 2013 had a team of 50 people.
According to Docstoc’s blog on the acquisition: “The acquisition will help Intuit expand its offerings to solopreneurs, self-employed and independent contractors. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 22 million entrepreneurs looking for assistance to start and grow their businesses. Combining Intuit’s powerful brand, customer reach and small business savvy with Docstoc’s platform, broad content and popular tools will ultimately help more small businesses succeed.”
Intuit has a presence in Australia and is most widely known for its QuickBooks accounting software.
Permira and LegalZoom
On 6 January 2014 it was announced that the private equity fund Permira will acquire US$200 million of equity in LegalZoom.
"LegalZoom is the clear leader in the huge untapped market for small business and family law,” said Dipan Patel, a Principal at Permira. “The Company has strong brand recognition, a unique value proposition and a proven track record. We’ve been impressed by the team’s development of multiple successful subscription products, which, in less than four years, now represent more than 30% of revenue, growing in excess of 35% per year. We are excited to back John Suh and his talented team at LegalZoom as they continue to lead this emerging industry."
"The Permira funds are a fantastic partner for this next chapter of LegalZoom's growth,” said John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom. “They share our passion for creating modern customer-centric legal solutions that help businesses and families save both time and money. They also have an unusual knack for helping industry leaders extend their market leadership."
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