Lauren Riley, the solicitor entrepreneur who appeared on ‘The Apprentice’, is launching a bid next week to raise £150,000 for her legal app through crowdfunding.
Ms Riley, who survived until week seven of the BBC1 show at the end of last year, said: “It’s really exciting for us to take this forward and open it up for legal investors.”
The Link App is designed to enable law firms to update clients on cases quickly, using a pre-populated list of standard case updates, or tailoring messages to suit individual needs.
Ms Riley said about 80 small and medium-sized law firms had registered an interest in the product, and, although the app could be applied across the spectrum of services for private clients, she believed it would have the biggest impact in conveyancing cases.
The app is designed to enable law firms to update clients on cases quickly, using a pre-populated list of standard case updates, or tailoring messages to suit individual needs.
Clients are given a log-in which allows them to check the progress of their case, or, if they want to talk to their lawyer, they can request a call-back.
Ms Riley, who works as a freelance family lawyer at Labrums in St Albans, said: “This is about helping shape the future of law. Clients are demanding to communicate via apps, and solicitors are being encouraged to make more use of technology in their firms.”
She said the investment of up to £150,000 was needed to roll out the app on a national basis. She said a lot of investors approached her after The Apprentice was over, with a view to taking a “large stake” in the business.
“A lot of these doors will still be open when the Link App needs significant funding. But these people are not interested in £150,000.”
Ms Riley said the national roll-out was planned for the late summer or early autumn. After a 30-day free trial, customers would be able to buy the app.
She said that she was particularly keen to attract investors who were lawyers or law firms, and they would be offered incentives such as the chance to take an equity stake in the business or a £1,000 credit once they had invested a certain amount.
“Crowdfunding is the ‘go to’ place to raise investment for start-up businesses,” she added. “I’m really excited to offer this opportunity to the legal profession.”
Ms Riley will be speaking at next month’s Legal Futures conference, From Click 2 Client, in association with NatWest and MMA Digital.
Potential investors should visit www.crowd2fund.com/thelinkapp. The link will be live from Monday 8 June.