29 October 2012Print This Post

Online pay-as-you-go legal advice service bids to crowd-source £1.5m funding

Quaranta: site tested to destruction

An attempt to ‘crowd fund’ £1.5m for the launch of what is claimed to be the world’s first live online pay-as-you-go legal advice service will begin this week.

Quegal (Question of Legal) will charge users 60p a minute to receive advice from junior solicitors and paralegals.

Though initially follow-on legal work will probably be referred to a panel, founder Robert Quaranta said his plan is to set up a separate law firm to handle this. It will focus initially on eight common areas of law – employment, property, family, criminal, consumer, business, probate and personal injury – and may also apply for a legal aid contract, he said.

Other websites that answer questions are already available, such as Expert Answers and Question the Expert, but do not guarantee an instant response.

Mr Quaranta – an Internet businessman who first set up a legal comparison site, Global-law.com, a decade ago – said he is working with an unnamed magic circle lawyer together with a law lecturer at Surrey University to develop Quegal.com.

He will use this week’s opening to UK projects of Kickstarter.com, a US platform that has successfully crowd-sourced funding of nearly 32,000 projects to the tune of $341m, in his quest for backing, although he said he has also had approaches from venture capitalists.

Mr Quaranta said the proposition has been successfully “tested to destruction” during a six-month trial in which he spent £30,000 on Google advertising around 400 key words. The aim is to raise the money over the next five months before the final stage of development, with a view to going live in a year’s time.

“The rise of those with online access, together with a persistent unwillingness by the profession to regulate quality, reduce costs, simplify advice and offer greater accessibility, will allow the Quegal brand to secure a considerable niche market share,” he said. Mr Quaranta also has ambitions to offer the service abroad.

 


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2 Responses to “Online pay-as-you-go legal advice service bids to crowd-source £1.5m funding”

  1. I hope the legal profession is not devalued by this pay-as-u-go model, accessibility is welcome but it might send the wrong message to those seeking legal advice for, often very personal and important, problems.

  2. Kerry Quinn on October 29th, 2012 at 2:56 pm
  3. so,
    1. a business that has not been set up yet
    2. a website that has not been set up yet
    3. a law firm that has not been set up yet
    4. by a non lawyer
    5. 30000 spent on what?
    6. on a concept that in essence says people will pay as they go for legal advice, hows this different from any other law firm.

    Good luck.

  4. Alex Dick on October 29th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

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