Having shaken up the world of bricks-and-mortar retailing, technology entrepreneurs are utilizing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt pricey professional services including law and recruitment.
Around 30 minutes having a city lawyer costs no less than $200, but clients of your newly launched LawPath website can consult a specialist practitioner only for $29. In the opposite end of the spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement along with other hefty fees. Although not when you engage them by the hour, online, on RecruitLoop.
Technology entrepreneurs are using cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services for example law.
Technology entrepreneurs use cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services such as law. Photo: JESSICA SHAPIRO
Paul Lupson is chief executive of Lawpath, a start-up financially backed by Ludson who recently successfully exited budgetplaces.com, technology lawyer Nick Abrahams, partner at Norton Rose Australia, and technologist Andy Rose.
Lupson says the site allows people who wouldn’t normally be able to afford a lawyer to have an initial consultation for little outlay. Customers spend the money for low fee to ask an issue, LawPath pockets the charge and farms the enquiry over to an expert lawyer who consults for free. In exchange, lawyers may convert the session right into a agreement for further work, something Lupson says has happened in 50 per cent of cases.
Lupson insists the arrangement is win-win, with business and private individuals receiving professional advice and lawyers lead generation. Besides, lawyers’ modus operandi is overdue for a re-think, he says.
“The legal profession is probably the last channels to become modernised. I actually do see it as a disruption but not inside a bad way – in an efficiency way. It’s about understanding how the net can facilitate connecting with clients.”
The model has found favour with the technology sector, he says, by using it start-ups comprising 50 percent of clientele up to now.
“It’s not devaluing [lawyers’] work – they’re very happy to consider it,” Lupson says. “They’re up for your loss leader.”
The term disruptive innovation is commonly used to describe change that improves a service or product in ways the market did not expect.
Considering that the development of the net it’s become increasingly common and happens a huge number of times more often than 3 decades ago, based on David Roberts, a vice-president of 77dexrpky Valley’s Singularity University.
“Disruption is perhaps all that matters with a start-up,” Roberts told delegates on the Australia Association of Angel Investors conference about the Gold Coast last month.
RecruitLoop founder Michael Overell hopes his venture will offer the recruitment sector the same jolt.
The website allows companies to engage independent recruitment consultants by the hour, instead of paying commission with an agency depending on the candidate’s salary, each time a role is filled.
RecruitLoop possessed a low-key launch 18 months ago and was to present an impromptu showcase of its system at San Francisco’s Launch Festival for high-tech start-ups earlier this month.
The annual event includes competitions judged by IT and venture-capital heavyweights including Rackspace’s Robert Scoble and Google Ventures’ Wesley Chan.
The standard spend by RecruitLoop customers is $1500 to $2000 per role, which buys 15 to 20 hours of the consultant’s time. RecruitLoop requires a commission of up to 30 percent.
For clients, it’s a saving of 80-90 % on fees charged by recruitment agencies, Overell says.
Recruiters are screened prior to being able to offer their services through the site and simply one in eight gets the guernsey.
“We’re being really tough about maintaining quality,” Overell says.
The corporation uses 50 recruiters across Australia, New Zealand, Dubai as well as the west coast in the US and offers to expand into other countries as demand builds.