Vodafone offers business customers access to legal help

Thornton: Our mission is to make the law accessible

Mobile telephone giant Vodafone is now offering access to legal services to its 500,000 business customers after signing a partnership with unregulated legal business Sparqa Legal.

Vodafone business customers can sign up to the Sparqa platform via its VeryMe Rewards app – the first time it is offering legal services – and will receive £50 credit towards the services on offer.

Sparqa, launched last year by barrister entrepreneur Andrew Thornton, offers a wide range of DIY business contracts and documents, as well as Q&As and guidance, for small businesses.

Users pay as they go or pay £25 a month plus VAT (or £240 annually). For example, a toolkit for handling a disciplinary matter – including a how-to guide and a pack of 16 documents a business is likely to need – costs £75. Website terms of use cost £25.

There are also plenty of free documents, including what businesses needed to furlough staff.

If users want to speak to a lawyer, they fill in a questionnaire and Sparqa matches them with a chambers, which should contact them within a day with a list of potential barristers and estimated rates.

If the user goes ahead, the relationship is direct with the barrister, who bills separately for their work.

Earlier this year, Sparqa struck a similar deal with online bank Revolut, with Revolut Business account holders receiving £50 credit.

Mr Thornton, a barrister at Erskine Chambers, also founded FromCounsel, a legal knowhow service for lawyers used by many top law firms.

He said: “Our mission is to make the law accessible and empower businesses to fulfil many of their legal requirements themselves. We believe passionately that armed with the right tools, and resources, smart business managers can produce many of the simple legal documents they require. They can also find out about their rights, obligations and the best course to take.”

“Our latest partnership with Vodafone is a brilliant step to extending our product offering amongst the business community, helping companies to progress and thrive with cost-effective legal solutions.”

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