Rocket Lawyer, the Google-backed US online legal document service, has taken the next step in its plans to launch in the UK this year by opening a London office and recruiting a senior member of the LexisNexis team to lead it.
Mark Edwards is promising to make the law more accessible in the UK than ever before.
Mr Edwards, who ran the legal business development team for LexisNexis UK, has been named corporate vice-president and general manager of the UK division. Imran Shariff has joined from BSkyB as head of operations, while the company has been advertising prominently for a head of legal. In all up to 10 people could be recruited to the office.
Rocket Lawyer founder Charley Moore said: “Many people in the UK have been underserved by traditional legal services. Combine that with the current economic recovery and cuts to government legal aid, and it is even more compelling for us to offer an affordable alternative. We’re thrilled to have Mark Edwards at the head of our UK service because of his experience and his shared passion for our mission.”
Mr Edwards was previously a user experience consultant, working in various industries including telecommunications and
health. He has a computing degree, a masters in user experience, and a PhD in artificial intelligence.
He said: “I’m delighted to be joining Rocket Lawyer at this time. Our mission to provide affordable services that are easily accessible online is something I believe in passionately. We will bring the law to more people and businesses in the UK than ever before. And I’m delighted to be joining a world-class team who are best placed to deliver on this promise to the UK.”
Lawyers will shortly be able to sign up to provide services to Rocket Lawyer customers.
It will not cost practitioners anything to sign up to Rocket Lawyer on two tracks. First they can list themselves with a profile. Users will find and contact them for their legal issues. The lawyer can charge freely for whatever time and services they provide.
The other service is ‘Rocket Lawyer On Call’, for customers who have purchased monthly/yearly legal plans and benefit from services akin to having a lawyer on retainer. The customer will create a document and a lawyer will review it for free. The lawyer can then try and sell other services to the customer, and if successful have to discount their published hourly rates by 50%.
Customers will be able to rate lawyers and their ‘score’ will be the default mechanism for listing them when users search for legal assistance.
This website revealed last week that two separate investigations into online legal advice have recently begun.