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Legal start-up sets out vision

A new legal start-up is aiming to compete with small and boutique firms by offering clients the opportunity to create customised legal documents without the expense of hiring a lawyer.

LegalVision, an online legal service and the brainchild of former corporate lawyer Lachlan McKnight (pictured), is hoping to pinch business from lawyers by providing consumers and small businesses with a cheaper alternative.

McKnight said the company’s database includes every legal document that a business is likely to need, such as general business agreements, employment law documents, trust deeds and loan agreements.

The service allows customers to go online and create customised legal documents by completing an online questionnaire.

“Getting access to top-quality legal advice is extremely expensive; I saw this all the time when working in corporate law,” said McKnight, who worked as a corporate lawyer with Freshfields in London and Norton Rose in Hong Kong.

“Small and medium-sized businesses just can’t afford top quality legal services. We are aiming to change this by providing access to reliable, cost-effective and easy-to-use legal services,” he added.

McKnight said the aim of the start-up is to reduce the legal cost burden for small businesses.

“It means businesses can do a lot of the grunt work themselves and not have to pay a lawyer to do it,” he said.

“If the client then feels they need to go to a lawyer to get additional legal advice, they can do that, but overall we cost a lot less.”

LegalVision’s documents have all been drafted by lawyers who have worked at the country’s top firms, according to McKnight.

“If you look at the best work lawyers do, it’s about giving advice … it’s not about putting together bog-standard documents, so it makes more sense for lawyers to come in at a later stage.”

LegalVision will soon be launching their ‘Find a Lawyer’ service, linking customers with lawyers who can provide legal advice at a discounted rate.

"We know there are times when working with a lawyer is the only sensible option,” said McKnight, “we will be providing customers with access to lawyers who can work with or without our documents and provide substantially discounted services to our subscribers."

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