According to The Australian Financial Review today, the Australian arm of global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has formed an alliance with local technology startup LawPath, to offer other startups a cut-price option to get the legal side of raising capital and expanding their business in order.
The move is the latest by Australian legal practices to try and position themselves to win more business from the growing band of startups, looking to raise funds.
Under the alliance LawPath will provide packages which give startups access to pre-prepared documentation online. Previously such forms – relating to areas including capital raisings, shareholder agreements and convertible notes; and permanent and contract employment agreements – would have been completed with legal representatives incurring much greater cost.
As part of the packages, startups are also allotted pre-paid hours with a senior Norton Rose Fulbright lawyer, to review and tailor documents.
Norton Rose Fulbright managing partner in Australia Wayne Spanner said attempting to raise capital had typically been the first time that many startups have sought to engage legal advice. However legal firms are looking to get on board with the potentially lucrative startup wave.
"There is no question that all major law firms are thinking about what the legal industry will look like in five to 10 years, and what that means for their businesses," Mr Spanner said.
LawPath meanwhile has previously been viewed as a disruptor to the traditional law firms. Its model of providing pre-packaged legal services online takes some of the bread and butter, form-filling legal work away from law firms.
The startup raised $1.3 million itself last October, and says it has more than 20,000 small to medium businesses using its platform. In the last year it says its revenue has risen by 800 per cent, with customer numbers up 400 per cent.
LawPath co-founder and CEO Damien Andreasen said this particular product had been developed alongside Norton Rose Fulbright, so would not be available through other legal firms. He said avoiding excessive legal fees would make a big difference to startups at a crucial stage of their growth.
"I have been through and done capital raises myself and legal fees starting at $2099 for all of the investment documents you need to raise capital and for four plus hours with a senior lawyer is very affordable in comparison to the traditional model," he said.
If you want to read this article in Japanese, please see the following link:
Subscribe to our English Newsletter