Lawpath, a “one stop-shop” for individuals and businesses with legal needs, has announced the closure of a new funding round, with the full investment coming from Brook Adcock, the founder of the jewellery business Pandora Australia.
Adcock has invested $600,000 into LawPath, which is Australia’s largest online legal services business.
“I look for businesses that are truly disruptive and have the potential to scale, not only in Australia but globally – LawPath is such a business,” Adcock says.
LawPath offers two main services: connecting people with legal issues to lawyers with the right expertise, and a revolutionary new way of documenting legal arrangements at a fraction of the normal cost.
According to LawPath CEO Paul Lupson, the platform greatly reduced costs for its users.
“Using the unique LawPath process people can get their own specific legal document, be it a will, an employment agreement, whatever, produced with lawyer sign-off for 10% to 20% of the cost of going to a normal lawyer,” Lupson says.
Co-founder and head of lawyer partnerships Damien Andreasen says LawPath reversed the way that legal documents were usually created by clients getting the document first (through the platform) and adding specifics before sending it back to a lawyer to approve for a fixed price.
“People can pay as little as $999 for a customised document that would otherwise cost them $10,000,” Andreasen says.
Standard templates at a lower cost (from $49-$299) can also be purchased on the site.
For legal problems that can’t be solved through a document, users of the platform can be connected to the right lawyer for their issue and get a 30 minute consultation for free.
“From a consumer perspective what we’re offering is a simple solution to what was often an overly complicated and expensive problem,” he says.
Andreasen says that they will use the investment to focus on above-the-line marketing and improving their product offering.
On the lawyer connect side of the business, there are over 400 lawyers on the LP network and they are joining at the rate of two or so a day.
In the last year, over 3000 legal questions were dealt with by the website.
“On big days, we can have 40 to 50 legal enquiries coming through the site,” says Lupson.
“We see the opportunity to help both the users seeking legal advice and the lawyers. The users get connected with a lawyer who is both close by and has exactly the right skills for their issue.
“The lawyers love it – we introduce them to quality new clients quickly. Marketing is hard for lawyers – time consuming and hit and miss – we make it easy.”
LawPath charges lawyers between $49 and $89/month for membership and it is free for users.
“We have based the business on some very successful online legal models out of the US, where online legal is hot,” Lupson says. “Google is investing heavily in online legal – as are others.”
As for Adcock, he believes “this is a once in a generation opportunity to change a market”.
“I hope to apply some of the marketing lessons we learnt from Pandora to help LawPath become a household brand in Australia,” he says. “It feels like the right idea at the right time with the right people.”
Other investors in LawPath include co-founder and former head of sales at daily-deal sensation Spreets, Damien Andreasen; incubator Pollenizer; and Nick Abrahams, the APAC technology practice leader for global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. LawPath also has a partnership arrangement with global legal powerhouse LexisNexis.
Adrock connected to LawPath through a Pollenizer pitch night. Andreasen says it took about three months to close the deal, but they were very happy with the outcome and the experience that Adrock brought with him.