Singapore based legal startup AsiaLawNetwork.com has launched ‘Quick Consult’, a service which provides individuals and small businesses with easier and more affordable access to lawyers for S$49. The service covers a broad range of legal issues both individuals and small businesses might encounter, including “divorce and commercial disputes, to filing documentation and everyday legal dilemmas”. Quick Consult also seeks to help lawyers generate more businesses while reducing their marketing and administrative budgets.
“Quick Consult” utilizes an online platform for lawyer-client interaction
AsiaLawNetwork detailed the “Quick Consult” customer intake process in a recent media release: “Appointments are scheduled wholly online. First, customers are guided to choose from a list of lawyers experienced in their area of concern; submit the details and questions surrounding their legal issue to their lawyer ahead of the conversation; select preferred call times, and make payment securely online to confirm. Customers then receive a call from their lawyer at the selected time, and have 15 minutes to discuss the issue. Follow-up discussions and follow-on legal services can be negotiated directly with the lawyer if necessary. Customers are absolutely under no obligation to accept any of these suggested services after their call.”
“Quick Consult” similar, but not identical, to Australia’s highly successful LegalVision
In an email interview for this article, AsiaLawNetwork CEO Cherilyn Tan explained how “Quick Consult” differs from the highly successful Australian online legal services provider LegalVision. (Asia Law Portal has previously detailed LegalVision’s success. Too, we’ve also detailed a similar service in Japan called Bengo4.com, in an interview with Tokyo-based startup entrepreneur Tim Romero.) And notably, a similar legal platform, Singaporelegaladvice.com‘s Call a Lawyer was also recently launched. Users of “Quick Consult” make a choice of lawyers based on having read their profile, Tan explained. And fees are transferred to lawyers via AsiaLawNetwork’s online platform. “We do not only focus on business advice, we cover all areas of law including personal topics”, she detailed.
Tan also explained that “LegalVision hires lawyers, we don’t. We are a neutral platform that allows all lawyers to be listed and to use our platform’s technology to help them practice more effectively.” She added: “We hope to become a tool where lawyers can [generate new clients and] get paid to give advice, like how you’ve got to pay a doctor when you go and see one!”
The future of online legal services in the Asia-Pacific region
AsiaLawNetwork’s launch of “Quick Consult” is a further example of how independent platforms offering legal services are and will continue to blossom in the Asia-Pacific region. While some local regulatory hurdles do exist for the region’s online legal startups, it seems likely that accomodation will be made by local regulators to acknowledge and accept new forms of communication between lawyers and clients facilitated by the internet.