Australian legal startup Lawcadia provides clients with a “new way to find, engage and manage law firms”, as its’ CEO & Founder Warwick Walsh explains in this new interview:

What is Lawcadia and what inspired its’ founding?

Lawcadia is a new way to find, engage and manage law firms that promotes accurate, transparent pricing and accountability without compromising service or quality.

I have worked across multiple jurisdictions as a corporate lawyer and experienced first-hand many of the challenges faced by both companies and law firms. After 15 years in the industry I saw an opportunity to improve the way that legal services are procured by companies and to provide new opportunities for law firms to win work outside of existing relationships.

The name “Lawcadia” is inspired by the Greek word “arcadia”, which refers to an idyllic place of natural beauty, peace and simplicity, often compared to the philosophical ideal of Utopia. Many of the values that drive Lawcadia forward derive from this: a strong belief in honesty, integrity and simplicity.

Lawcadia is currently operating in Australia.  Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?

Whilst we are currently focusing on building a client base of Australian companies, many of these companies have legal matters in other jurisdictions, and this is why we also have law firms registered with Lawcadia who are able to provide advice across Hong Kong, China, Singapore, UK and USA.

In 5 years’ time we hope to expand our focus to cater to the needs of companies in many of these jurisdictions, including having offices in these locations.

Who are Lawcadia’s founders and investors?

I am the founder and CEO of Lawcadia. I have worked at Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst) in Sydney, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Olswang in London and most recently McCullough Robertson in Brisbane. I also have considerable experience in the Asian legal market, having advised numerous Asian-headquartered companies on investments and acquisitions in Australia in recent years.

Lawcadia’s Chief Marketing Officer also played a pivotal role in the strategic direction of the business and the development of the brand.

To date, Lawcadia has been seed-funded by myself.

I have also appointed to Lawcadia’s board, Chairman, John Paul, and Director, Andy Hill. I have had a long association with both John and Andy, who bring excellent leadership and strategic capabilities to the management and future direction of this business. John is a management consultant, and Andy was the CEO and co-founder of a global supply chain analytics company.

What makes Lawcadia a good resource for lawyers?

Lawcadia addresses problems in the legal profession for both in-house legal departments as well as for law firms.

For companies, the primary issue that Lawcadia addresses is a lack of transparency over legal fees. With our Procurement Tool, in-house counsel can very quickly get visibility over which law firms are interested in their work and receive detailed proposals which can easily be compared. After engaging their chosen law firm, Lawcadia’s Financial Reporting Tool provides transparency over their legal spend for the life of the matter, and our Rating System encourages accountability for both pricing and service.

For law firms, the key issue that Lawcadia helps solve is winning new business – this is the number one challenge for law firms. Essentially, Lawcadia acts as a new sales channel for law firms to access clients that they otherwise would not have the opportunity of engaging with.

What inspired you to be a startup entrepreneur, and what advice do you have for aspiring startup entrepreneurs?

The opportunity to create and build a unique business that no one else in the world has tried to build before inspired me to leave legal practice and start Lawcadia.

My advice for aspiring start-up entrepreneurs is to question the way that particular industries work, and then ask whether there is a better way to do things. Then, look to create new businesses from these ideas, rather than looking to copy what other companies are doing.

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley edits and publishes Asia Law Portal and is the author of A Comprehensive Guide to the Asia-Pacific Legal Markets. He provides writing, editing, research and strategy services to the corporate and professional services sectors.

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