Andreas Fung and Raz Szaplinski recently launched Trade Promotions and Lotteries (TPAL) in a bid to disrupt the legal industry by providing automated compliance advice and services to organisations launching chance-based promotions or competitions.
“Essentially what we’re doing is we’re disrupting the lawyers,” Mr Fung told Lawyers Weekly.
When organisations want to run a chance-based competition, they must retain a separate permit for each state where required, and they must comply with the rules and regulations in states where permits are not required.
TPAL offers fixed-fee packages that simplify the process of obtaining permits. It also automatically generates terms and conditions for the competitions.
“What our website does is basically streamlines the process, takes over the role from a lawyer and essentially enables the user to apply for these permits through one online consolidated single form,” Mr Fung said.
“We’ve taken on the lawyers to a very large extent because the traditional method, of course, is a client would engage with a lawyer, the lawyer would apply for each state permit and draft the T&Cs, but that can be very costly and it’s certainly not instant.
“So what our system does is it really addresses that whole client engagement issue of wanting it resolved quickly and wanting it quite cost effectively.”
Mr Fung said the platform will cut out the middle man and enable organisations to do it themselves hassle-free, making lawyers obsolete in the process.
“In a way, the lawyers are our competitors and there are law firms around the country that specialise in this particular area,” he said.
“So we’re changing the landscape, both for the customer because they’re now finding something that’s faster, cheaper, better, and also for lawyers we’re a threat because we’re certainly commoditising what they do to a large extent by reducing prices and automating what they do.”
While TPAL is competing with lawyers, Mr Fung said he recognises that bespoke advice is sometimes necessary.
“There’s always a need for what lawyers do for more bespoke services and that’s why we have the partnership with ClarkeKann,” he said.
“Whilst our service is self-contained, automated and does the job, there’s always a case whereby a customer will want to go beyond the system and get some more bespoke advice and that’s when we refer the work to them.”
A related service also launched by Mr Fund and Mr Szaplinski is randomdraws.com.au, which also removes the need for a lawyer in selecting the winners of chance-based promotions.
“With the random draw side of things, quite a significant number of lawyers help their clients with the random draw for independence purposes,” Mr Fung said.
“The system that draws the winners typically needs to be government approved and our system is government approved, so what we’re doing here that’s different from the lawyers is that we’re a much more cost-effective self-service random draw system.”
“So again, [we’re] changing the landscape a little bit from an old school process to something much more modern.”