A lawyer-matching service to be launched by a Manchester solicitor next month aims to recruit 15,000 to 20,000 clients by the end of the year.
Kid Harwood, a director of Wildings, said LawBid wanted to change the “balance of power” for consumers looking for legal services, so solicitors contacted clients.
“All clients have to do is articulate what the problem is,” Mr Harwood said. “Solicitors then contact clients through the portal, but the client’s identity is not revealed until he or she chooses a solicitor.
“The site is unique in that it puts the client directly in contact with the solicitor, without the need for any middle person.
“It saves a lot of time for clients and a lot of money for firms already spending large amounts on digital campaigns.”
Mr Harwood said the site would be funded through annual subscriptions by solicitors, paying £295 for a standard package of five cases per month and £495 for 10 cases per month. Solicitors can get a single case per month for free.
He went on: “When it comes to marketing, solicitors are far behind, especially with digital, and they pay companies exorbitant amounts for digital marketing, SEO and adword campaigns.”
Mr Harwood, who specialises mainly in personal injury litigation, said he was the sole director of LawBid, which was not linked to Wildings, and he had funded the site himself. He said he had a staff of five people, including two programmers, a content and marketing specialist.
He said the idea came about “simply through listening to clients” over the years. “Clients using Google can get hold of a list of four to five solicitors, but they have to call them to explain what service they’re after.”
Clients uploading their case requirements can set personal parameters such as geographical location, and an algorithm matched the case with the most suitable lawyers. Lawyers registered with LawBid can view the case, request further information and decide if they want to offer their services to the client by bidding for the case.
The site also offers clients a review-based rating to help them with decision-making. The website is set to launch on 1 August.