Swedish start-up brings one-stop business law advice shop to UK

Beck-Friis: We’re not a law firm, we’re a tech solution

A Swedish start-up which aims to provide a one-stop shop for the legal needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) launched in the UK this week.

Olga Beck-Friis, chief operating officer of PocketLaw, said her ultimate goal for the online service, based in Stockholm, was to become the top provider of “everyday legal services” to SMEs in Europe.

PocketLaw, launched in Sweden at the start of the pandemic in April 2020, offered an “all-in-one comprehensive platform for legal support”, including guidance, document generation, company-specific templates and a contract management system.

Ms Beck-Friis said SMEs needing advice from a lawyer in the UK are referred to London-based EBL Miller Rosenfalck and discussions are taking place with other law firms interested in working with PocketLaw.

Since its launch in Sweden, Ms Beck-Friis said the start-up had seen “very significant traction” in the market and was now used by 1,500 companies, having raised £1.3m in its first funding round.

She said the service was already helping several of its Swedish clients which had a presence in the UK. It has also recruited two UK lawyers, who worked for it remotely, as part of a team of 20 people, also including Swedish lawyers and tech specialists.

“We always take the perspective of the company and want to help them with everything legal in their life journey.

“We’re happy to introduce experts where necessary. We’re not a law firm, we’re a tech solution.”

Ms Beck-Friis studied at Cambridge University and became a management consultant at McKinsey, while her childhood friend Kira Unger, the chief executive of PocketLaw, was a lawyer at Swedish firm Mannheimer Swartling. They founded PocketLaw in 2018.

Victoria Kopylob, a Swedish lawyer and PocketLaw’s chief commercial officer, said the pandemic proved to be “an enabler for us” after the launch last year, as some companies grew “even faster”, taking advantage of customers stuck at home, while other “struggling businesses” needed legal support.

“Our ambition is to support businesses to grow, while taking away administrative complexity.

“Many lawyers are worth their weight in gold, but they need to be used in the right way. We agree on standard rates, and use a lot of fixed fees.”

PocketLaw uses a subscription model to charge for most of its services. Ms Kopylob said it was up to clients to agree the actual fee with lawyers when they needed specialist advice.

Ms Beck-Friis said use of the internet in Sweden was probably more advanced than the UK and, although the legal tech market was not as large as London, Stockholm was a thriving tech centre, which helped PocketLaw recruit staff.

She said PocketLaw was planning to open a physical office in London in the autumn.

She added that after the UK, the firm intended to expand into other European countries, with the ultimate goal of becoming the “number one” legal tech player in the SME market.

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