With services such as Uber and Airbnb bringing immense disruption to the transport and hospitality industries, is it time for New Zealand’s legal sector to experience the same? Peter Jenkins, founder of Expert Solver, says yes.
“The NZ legal profession, like many professions, is facing the impact of technology,” he told NZ Lawyer.
He highlighted Uber’s approach to ride-sharing which has driven up demand for efficient, cost effective service on the road.
The legal space is at the beginning of the same trend, he said.
“This is creating a new demand for business services in the legal profession where you can access the legal services you need, at the right price, anytime and anywhere.”
These online platforms will offer lawyers the opportunity to decide when and how they want to work, he said, adding that these advances were not meant to put legal professionals at risk.
“It is not about threatening jobs,” he said. “Rather, it is about making the process more efficient.”
The best platforms will make it effortless for lawyers to move from one job to the next, building relationships with their clients and ultimately making more money in the process.
He said technology such as Expert Solver aims to reduce the number of unbillable hours while maximising revenue. Billing can also be done behind the scenes with platforms such as this so “lawyers can focus on providing the legal service and not the administrative burden of collections,” Jenkins said.
While software like this is starting to gain momentum in the US online legal space, New Zealand isn’t quite as advanced when it comes to Uber-like legal apps. This may change in the near future however.
“We could see the opportunity to have a similar marketplace in New Zealand; it was only a matter of time,” he said.