Online barrister service myBarrister last week exceeded its target of raising £150,000 through crowd-funding.
It has now raised more than £163,000 in just over two months from 65 individual investors – the largest of whom has put in £50,000 – on crowd-funding platform Crowdcube. They have 4% of the company in return.
The site connects members of the public directly with barristers, and sought the investment to grow its 100-strong panel ten-fold, expand its call centre and invest further in marketing.
Following the recent demise of Stobart Barristers as a direct access service for the public, myBarrister told potential investors that with other entrants “yet to show any traction, we believe we now have a clean run at market ownership”.
Barrister Ronald DeKoven, the site’s founder and CEO, said: “The support provided by the investors on Crowdcube has been overwhelming. To reach our target of £150,000 in just two months is fantastic news and shows that investors believe in the myBarrister business model as much as we do.
“We were confident we could raise the funds because we believe in the myBarrister proposition. With these additional funds we will be able to accelerate our progress, starting with our new and improved website, due to launch this summer.
“We have ambitions to be the preferred route to market for barristers globally. This vital investment through Crowdcube will allow us to drive the business forward and achieve that goal.”
Last month, myBarrister announced a partnership with legal recruiters Hewetson Shah, which will act as “an ambassador for direct access to the Bar, promoting the value and benefits of the service”.
Mr DeKoven explained: “Hewetson Shah have unparalleled contacts within the legal sector both here in the UK and internationally, and we are certain their influence in the market will be of real benefit to our business move forward.”
Guy Hewetson, one of the founding partners of Hewetson Shah, added: “We have been involved in myBarrister since its inception and we believe this to be the only credible and proven direct access portal to the Bar. It is widely recognised that the two key areas of growth for the Bar lie in direct and international instructions.
“We have noticed an increase in demand for barristers to be instructed directly and consequently an uplift in barristers being trained to accept direct instructions. We believe myBarrister to be a very timely offering for a market that demands a commercially viable route to the Bar.”