The law firm model has fundamentally remained unchanged for centuries. Firms in expensive offices employ large numbers of lawyers with clients expected to foot big bills to cover those overheads irrespective of what services they actually need.
But there is another way.
In 2014, M&A lawyer Daniel van Binsbergen launched Lexoo. Lexoo operates an international network of highly experienced lawyers on a low overhead basis. Its proprietary technology platform brings its 800 plus lawyers and 4,000 corporate clients together.
“The worldwide corporate legal market is huge – worth over $400 billion,” says Daniel. “It’s an important part of the economy and every business’s life, but it’s not working in a way that makes either the lawyers or clients happy.”
Lexoo’s online platform enables businesses to source quotes from high quality and individually vetted lawyers and small boutique law firms across 55 different countries. Today, Lexoo transacts some £3m in legal fees every year from is clients around the world.
So how does Lexoo work?
“It is remarkably simple,” says Daniel. “A business with a legal requirement speaks to our legally trained account management team, who will then approach typically between three and four most appropriate lawyers in the Lexoo network to quote.
“Quotes will usually take between one and two days, with the business instructing their preferred lawyer directly, with Lexoo taking a small percentage.”
Lexoo personally vets all of its lawyers on its network and actively encourages clients to leave feedback. And unlike other networks, Lexoo allows businesses to instruct a lawyer on a single matter, rather than for a set period of time.
“Our low overheads mean that businesses pay less whilst our lawyers earn more,” explains Daniel. “And the coordination through our technology platform mirrors much of the infrastructure found in large legal practices.”
One of the features that stands Lexoo apart is the seniority of its lawyers – typically partners and senior associates from top-flight firms – and the workflow technology employed by its platform. Some 13 data points including employment history, subject matter expertise, client feedback, and response times filter into algorithms that match the best lawyers to a client project.
“When I was a senior associate, some 80% of the revenue I was bringing into my firm went to the partners and the building,” says Daniel. “Our model and technology platform does away with all of this, significantly reducing fees.”
But it is not just about reducing fees – its lawyers value the flexibility it offers and the increased earning potential.
“I was frustrated in my career in private practice,” explains Daniel. “particularly with the lack of connection between effort and reward. Our lawyers have greater direction over their careers without having to sacrifice a good income.”
And the Lexoo model is gaining quite a lot of interest from very large, international businesses looking for a new way to engage with the legal industry.
“We have over 4,000 business clients of all sizes,” says Daniel. “But we are particularly excited by the interest shown in our model from some of the world’s largest and most innovative businesses, including eBay, JustEat, World Remit, Vice, Ocado, Travelodge, and Monzo. They value the experience and fee proposals, but also the way our lawyers can manage their own careers.
“Whilst we are unlikely to replace the big law model entirely, we have shown that there is a different and better way to engage with the legal market.”
Chris O’Sullivan, CTO and Co-Founder
Daniel van Binsbergen, CEO and Co-Founder
Article written by Matt Baldwin, Managing Director of Coast Communications. Coast is a full service public relations consultancy.