As Angus Kidman (@gusworldau) outlined in a 2013 profile in Australia’s Lifehacker, “LawPath is Australia’s largest and fastest-growing legal platform…connect[ing] people and businesses that are in need of legal assistance to the right lawyer who specialises in their area of need.” LawPath (@LawPath) is among a growing number of Asia-Pacific Region legal startups that, over time, appears likely to increase. I had the opportunity to interview LawPath Co-Founder Damien Andreasen, via email, about the inspiration and driving force behind LawPath. Here’s a transcript of that interview:
What inspired the founding of LawPath?
“Like a lot of Region Legal Startups , LawPath was inspired by necessity, frustration and opportunity. Founders Phil Morle (CEO of Pollenizer)I have been involved in launching several companies, usually with limited or no funding.
The frustration came from having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees when we were just setting out, it’s prohibitively expensive creating a business’s structure to limit your risk and liability with legal documents. Businesses should spend the money they use to get their legs in order on developing an MVP instead. Or hiring resources to help accelerate the growth of the business.
Ultimately registering companies, protecting IP, and creating shareholders agreements are all a necessity, a necessity that comes with an extraordinary price tag.
Starting several business, we noticed that the legal process was easily replicable. The contracts we had drafted for each of the businesses were almost identical, aside from a few individual clauses or elements that varied based on the business’s objective. The reality was that the firms were charging us hundreds of dollars an hour to do data entry into a boiler plate. The same boilerplate the vast majority of firms used.
It wasn’t long before we realised we could create huge efficiencies by using smart technology. which allows us to provide online legal services at a fraction of the time, cost and complexity of the traditional model.
With 2 million businesses in Australia, and a legal industry valued at $21 billion per year. We realised how big the opportunity to commoditize legal services was.”
How would you describe LawPath’s value-add for companies?
“It’s an easy sell, our platform provides fast, affordable and more importantly, easy-to-use legal products and services usually at 1/10th the price of a traditional law firm.”
We offer over 170 different legal products ranging from creating trusts, company and trade mark registration, to almost any legal document needed to start or run a business.
We also give our customers access to a curated network of over 577 of Australia’s best lawyers. Who will give you a free consultation when you connect via LawPath. Online legal products won’t always provide you with the right solution. In those times we want to help our clients connect with the right lawyer with the experience and expertise to help them.
Who are LawPath’s key team members?
“We’re still a relatively small team and every member is key to the success we’ve had to date. We’ve got experience with some of the biggest and best tech companies and startups in Australia. The world includes BigCommerce, Tom Waterhouse, Minter Ellison, Getty Images, Spreets and Pollenizer.
We also have an amazing Advisory Board boasting experience working at C level in companies. Including Apple, Oracle, Stanford, Google and NASA…
In my experience the team is everything, you can have the best idea in the largest market with unlimited demand. You can even have millions in funding, but without the right team you’ll never successfully execute.”
The Asia-Pacific legal market is growing rapidly, where do you see LawPath offering services in Asia in the next 5 years? In the next 10 years?
Andreasen: “Thanks to our partnership with the Global leader in legal content and technology LexisNexis. We built ready-to-scale into international markets from day one.
Our platform has been built in a way where we can swap out our precedents for local precedents and we will likely start with countries with a legal system based on common law.”