A new online service for family and immigration clients is launching today, giving them access to lawyers at prestige firms such as Withers and Farrer & Co.
Founder Tetiana Bersheda, a Ukrainian lawyer based in Geneva, said she wanted LexSnap to help “thousands of people” reduce their legal costs in a “very substantial way”.
Ms Bersheda said she developed the idea for LexSnap after attending a legal tech conference in London, and by April this year she had raised over £500,000 in funding from her own resources and two individual investors.
She said the legal tech world in the UK was more advanced than elsewhere in Europe, but start-ups were focused more on the needs of small businesses than individuals.
LexSnap features answers to legal questions, priced from £4.99 to £200, video tutorials with solicitors at Withers, Macfarlanes, Farrer & Co and Shoosmiths, and access to lawyers to answer more detailed questions for a fixed cost. It can also connect users to a solicitor who can represent them.
“Many of the answers to the basic questions asked by clients are the same,” Ms Bersheda said. “There are many situations where the people involved are special but the situation is not special.
“Where people need to see a lawyer, we are making the relationship more efficient by giving the client some basic knowledge. It will make their first meeting smoother and more effective.”
Ms Bersheda said she emigrated from the Ukraine to Switzerland at the age of 16, before being admitted to the Bar in Geneva and doing a Masters in commercial law at Cambridge University.
She started work at one of the large Swiss law firms, before setting up her own firm, Bersheda Advocats, in 2010. The firm, based in Geneva, specialises in international commercial law and arbitration.
She told Legal Futures she was planning to move to London if LexSnap was a success. She said the firm currently employed a developer and a web designer in London, along with a number of contractors and more developers in Kiev.
Ms Bersheda said law firms would be able to market their services on a free basis and would only pay once a client had been introduced to them for more than initial advice.
Lawyers will bid for work through the site, but unlike other sites, Ms Bersheda said LexSnap would choose the best lawyer for the client.
“There are other platforms which connect lawyers and clients, but the client is left alone to make the choice…
“I’m expecting a big variety of users. It’s not about providing cheap legal services, but the best quality available, with the best technology.”