LexpertEase is Nepal’s first and only legaltech platform. In this interview with Asia Law Portal, LexpertaEase Founder Kailash Panday explains the firm’s focus and what inspired its’ founding, how technology is impacting Nepal’s legal market, LexpertEase’s local and international services offer and its’ goals for the future, the focus of his own legal practice, and what inspired him to become a legal startup entrepreneur.
What is Lexpertease?
LexpertEase= Lex(i.e. Legal)+Expert+Ease
LexpertEase is Nepal’s first and only legal tech platform that provides various legal solution in a simple, transparent and cost effective manner through a network of our verified lawyers. It aims to be the Nepal’s legal tech pioneer to provide innovative approach towards promoting access to justice. As one of the fundamental rights ensured by the constitutions of the countries across the world, law seems to be an area enjoyed by mighty and rich while the poor are effectively denied the access to justice.
There is this saying in Nepali “garib lai ain dhani lai chain” which literally translates to comfort for rich and pain for the poor people meaning the law grinds the poor while it favors the mighty and rich. LexpertEase seeks to democratize the access to legal information and increase awareness among the service seekers and marginalized people who are in need of justice so that they can make informed legal decisions and have easy access to the best of expertise available. LexpertEase will make this possible through its technology platform where it shall partner with the legal professionals across geographies and jurisdiction to strengthen their practice and expertise and accordingly help them serve their clients in a transparent and cost effective manner. So, LexpertEase is a two way approach with service providers and the service seekers at the core of its offerings.
Our long term vision is to develop LexpertEase as the “Law Firm of the Future” with global presence where lawyers across the world collaborate through this technology platform under the common umbrella of “LexpertEase” where focus of the legal professional is to collaborate and provide cost effective solutions to legal service seekers.
How is technology impacting Nepal’s legal market?
There is no industry or profession that has not been impacted by technology today. The legal profession, however, is one of the passive adopter of technology worldwide and the Nepalese legal market is more conservative in that aspect. The use is limited to eliminating the manual work. i.e. instead of writing or typing on typewriters, we use word processors to draft documents. However, there hasn’t been a material impact in terms of extensive adoption of technology except few aspects where we do have a system in place that allows lawyers to access the weekly and daily hearing schedules of various courts online and we have an online repository of case laws and regulations. Where the world is talking about adopting AI and blockchain, we are still at a nascent stage. So, the future certainly looks promising given the current development where LexpertEase wants to be a pioneer in setting up a precedent as to how the legal industry can transform itself through the use of technology rather than being a passive adopter.
Lexpertease in based in Nepal but also serves an international legal market. Tell us about the various Lexperease services offers.
Our vision is to grow LexpertEase as the “Law Firm of the Future” with global presence. LexpertEase through its web platform (www.lexpertease.com) and android OS based mobile application (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tenorbits.lexpertease) currently has the following offerings:
- Allows users to ask legal queries and get them answered from the verified lawyers in the platform
- Allows lawyers to create a profile and collaborate with lawyers across geographies
- Allows users to book an appointment with lawyers
- Provide a host of legal resources including laws, regulations, case laws, court applications templates etc.
- Provide legal updates
What has been the reception for Lexpertease among consumers and lawyers?
The initial reception has been mixed bag of enthusiasm to skepticism. We understand this feeling and have accordingly framed our roadmap to grow at a steady pace. As already outlined above the legal industry is a late adopter in terms of new technology and here we are trying to transform a passive adopter as a proactive transformer.
What inspired your journey as a legal startup entrepreneur?
Being a legal practitioner, I have always been enthusiastic as to how technology impacts the legal sector. Lack of collaboration among the legal professionals and scalability issue in the traditional firm set up was one of the pain points during our law practice. Even in a small geography like Nepal, we have clients that require us to initiate legal cases at the lower courts scattered over the country which calls for collaboration. However, there is no system where the expertise or experience of a lawyer can be verified and it solely depends upon the recommendation of someone we know from a limited network. This is when we thought about expanding and enrolling lawyers in our network by expanding in a traditional way which again required capital investments and having those lawyers in our roll requiring regular outlays. In our further research this was not only the problem for a service provider like us but also for the service seekers. Either they had to go to a big name lawyer even for petty cases paying a hefty fee or had to be satisfied with a lawyer (who may or may not have the expertise in a particular area) to handle a case (usually recommended by friends, families etc. ). Not only at a domestic level, this problem is also persistent on an international level. There are referral networks globally but are either too expensive or ineffective at most. This is when we planned to explore the use of technology to transform the way people access legal service and the legal service professionals delivered the services.
You’re also an attorney with Lex Advisors in Nepal. What is the focus of your practice?
I am a corporate lawyer coming from a finance background. I am also a Chartered Accountant. Before switching to law, I worked in finance domain including accounting, controllership and investment banking for almost 5 years. Therefore, the focus of my practice is corporate and financial laws where I am primarily engaged in investment structuring for cross border investments, merger and acquisitions, project financing, taxation and corporate compliances.
What are your goals for the future of Lexpertease and your own legal practice?
As an aspiring legal tech entrepreneur and also a legal practitioner, I have to wear several hats for now. With LexpertEase hitting the road, I am focusing more on it and accordingly devoting my time and expertise. For LexpertEase, our plan is to expand and increase its adoption among the legal professionals and service seekers at a steady pace and simultaneously enhance our offerings so that we become one stop platform for legal services and information. As far as my own legal practice is concerned, I plan to transition to corporate litigation from the corporate advisory practice.