One of the platforms is NewLaw.ro, which was recently launched following an initial investment of 50,000 euros, and the investments continue, according to Ziarului Financiar.
“The “new law” philosophy is very dear to me personally. Besides, we interacted with her some time ago. I think it was around 2019 when, in a rebranding process, we brought this concept to Romania for the first time. Then, because that’s how things worked, we had to return to the “old law”, as they say, collaborating with another team of lawyers, we returned to the old philosophy, but now, after almost five years, we are bringing back in the foreground the concept of «new law» and I hope that from now on we will continue in this philosophy for a long time”, Bogdan Ilie, lawyer and founder of NewLaw.ro, said during the ZF IT Generation show.
The platform was launched in March by the law firm NDI Law, which aimed to bring together over 100 lawyers at the national level in the first year of operation, given that one of the platform’s objectives is remote collaboration. The initial investment in the development of the platform was 50,000 euros, an amount that will be supplemented up to over 80,000 euros during this year for the promotion of NewLaw.ro and the legal services offered through it.
“For the current year, we will continue to support ourselves from all points of view. We are not thinking of contracting an external financing for the first year at least. We will support all costs internally, depending on the evolution. Depending on how things will evolve, we will certainly need to bring new and larger investments. And then, to the extent that the internal possibilities will not allow us, we will probably also call on external sources, but for the first year we proposed that all the costs be supported by us, because we really believe in this project and we want let’s grow”, he specified.
Within a week of its launch, about 20 customer requests were registered on the platform. “What we want is that in each county and in each specialized area we have a maximum number of two, perhaps with the exception of three lawyers. Hence the idea of quality, not quantity, because there are fewer lawyers and the desire will automatically be to deliver a higher quality service. (…) For the first year of operation of the platform, we want to create a network of lawyers throughout the country, and our target is around 100 lawyers”, said Bogdan Ilie, stating that at the moment there are 13 active lawyers in the platform, and six more requests are in the process of analysis and registration because all lawyers are carefully selected. “We want the lawyers registered in the platform not to be assigned to more than two areas of specialization. I firmly believe that a lawyer cannot do all areas, cannot be good in all areas of activity of the lawyer and then either do civil law or do criminal law. If he does civil law, he also does family law and probably another quite related area, he cannot do five areas of activity and be good at all of them. So once again: we don’t want quantity, we want quality”.
But how does the NewLaw.ro platform work? Clients who need legal assistance enter the platform, create an account, and then fill out a form with their contact details and the problem they have to solve in brief. Once the request is submitted, it is verified by the platform administrator. If additional details are needed, the administrator addresses them directly to the client, then, when the problem to be solved becomes concrete, the field to which it belongs and the geographical area, the request is assigned to a lawyer specialized in the respective problem, who practically takes over the request for resolution. “The actual assessment process is not automated. In principle, it is filtered from the moment the request is formulated, but it is also filtered through the perspective of the client, who most of the time does not have legal training, and then it is possible that the problem he has is mistakenly classified as an area of specialization. And then a human filter is needed”, pointed out Bogdan Ilie, adding that it is also possible to send documents through the platform, and the client can talk to the lawyer in the chat section. Once the connection between the client and the lawyer is established, the lawyer can very simply make the financial offer, the collaboration contract and the invoice in the platform, and the client can make the payment online.
“We automated the contracting part, the drafting part, the drafting part of the legal assistance contract. Likewise, there are separate fields for individuals, legal entities, where only the customer’s personal data is entered. The legal assistance contract is generated automatically, a framework legal assistance contract is created. Later, depending on the client’s request, we draw up a financial offer which, after acceptance, becomes an annex to the contract. In the financial offer, the object of the contract to be carried out by the lawyer is described. We have also automated the part of drawing up the invoice, respectively the payment through a payment processor”, he mentioned. The use of NewLaw.ro is free for both clients and lawyers, the platform charging a commission only when the legal assistance contract is signed and the financial offer is accepted.
“From the revenue perspective, things work as follows: clients come to the platform, they are charged a fee, and from that fee, a percentage of 10% is withheld by the platform’s partner civil society of lawyers. From the percentage of 10%, 2-5% will be paid to the platform for development costs, promotion costs, further development costs and practically in this way we thought to monetize, to make the business work”.
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