More than 600 solicitors and barristers have signed up to the online marketplace for freelance lawyers set up by LOD that goes live today.
Spoke.law, which was unveiled in May with the aim of recruiting at least 500 by launch, allows law firms and in-house teams that need short-term extra resource to hire freelancers on a day rate via a website.
Simon Harper, co-founder of LOD (formerly Lawyers on Demand) and creator of Spoke, told Legal Futures that around half of the 600 were existing LOD lawyers looking for another channel to work providers, while the rest were a mix of niche practitioners, barristers and those working with other ‘new wave’ flexible law firms. Only a quarter of those who applied were taken on
He said barristers and sole practitioners did not see themselves as LOD lawyers but were “happy to participate in the freelance law market”. He added that Spoke gave barristers direct exposure to in-house teams.
Mr Harper around 50 clients have pre-registered for the service or assisted with beta testing, including major telecoms networks, law firms, international banks and fund managers. Clients involved in the testing phase indicated that they would use Spoke to handle both general overflow work and for specific expertise.
He continued: “Spoke is about opening up the flexible legal market and from today legal teams can intelligently and easily search a wide range of lawyers and hire them on simple terms.”
Spoke manages the billing process for clients using the site, and charges a service fee. The lawyers set their own rates.