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A senior lawyer, a complaining client and my startup….(Legalcounter.com)

Legal Costs and my Startup

    10 seconds. This is the maximum exposure I ever had with my father’s office. Imagine my surprise when one day he says,”you will work for me now.” (Notice “FOR him” not “with him”) “Do your MBA-client thing. You don’t do anything anyways” he said. Matter of fact, I did do something actually, I was preparing to launch my own legal startup, but to my parents, my relatives and my ex-g.f. it was “NOTHING.”

    So a few days later I found myself in a chit fund office, establishing client relations, pretending to enjoy a horrible cup of tea and emptily musing if I should take this client away from my father for my own startup, unknowingly an evil grin must have flashed on my face, which the Client mistook for an appreciation for his office tea.”Good No?”

(TIP: When one of the director’s of a diversified business firm asks you if the Tea is good, you always say yes. Criticize his service and he will smile, criticize his hospitality and you have a personal vendetta to deal with.)

   “yes uncle” I said. “Sir” was way too formal and distant according to me. Abruptly he said”Whaat is this? This too much?” He was talking about the bill. This was a bad sign, the bill was only for legal notices, a subsequent bill for Case filings was to follow. “Uncle this is the same as always,C.V. uncle knows about this” C.V. uncle being the director who usually handles all the billing formalities. “No No, your service is too expensive”

Senior lawyers charge exorbitantly, my father for some reason doesn’t even with his list of impressive clientele, So I felt a bit puzzled at this show of outrage. I have known several junior lawyers who would charge twice of what I just billed. So I placated him somehow promised a phone call from my father and left with the proverbial spring in my step.

I needed to turn around my startup Idea, fast. You see I had just realised that;

1. Businesses prefer senior lawyers so they could have an assurance of expertise.
2. They don’t like that the senior lawyers charge so much.
3. Any business naturally likes to have the best service at the least price possible

So My startup should provide legal notices from senior lawyers at a very low cost and with great service and this how my startup was born. Allow me to introduce  www.legalcounter.com
Pre-litigation services for businesses with a constant requirement for a large number of legal notices.

In simple words:
We send Legal notices, drafted by senior lawyer’s with over 15 years of extensive experience, at a very low cost, within a 3 day deadline.

Target customers:
Firms like co-operative banks and Financial or any institutions who have to send large number of notices and so incur very high costs.

Any other B2B service with only pre-litigation service, Will firm’s buy this Idea:
No Idea. Realized that such a service could reduce costs by 45% so just went ahead with it.

I invite you all to comment on the service and other things you wish. I would very much like any suggestions on the website from professionals as it was made by myself with the aid of YouTube tutorials. Thank you.

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15 Comments

  1. Hi Rahul,

    Thankyou for replying. I agree with all your points and the fault is my own, I didn’t mentioned all the specifics as I thought the Introductory post would be too lengthy.

    1. I believe you have assumes I am an MBA trying to cash in on the law business. I have been learning and drafting legal notices from 6 years even before my graduation, and after my MBA I am currently pursuing the LAW course (2nd year.) So I am well versed with Drafting Legal notices.

    2. I don’t have any templates but let me explain how I will do it in three days for business client’s Imagine a Financial Institution who sends 20 notice to loan defaulters. The only information which differentiates is the name of the person, loan details and any exceptional information. This could easily be done in three days,would you force yourself to draft a new notice for same subject matter? If that same Business asks you to send a notice to one of its vendor’s or on some other subject then things change and then you have a draft a new notice. Am I wrong?

    3.“Client was furious and wanted to initiate litigation asap.” It is a pre-litigation only service. Any client who approaches is first informed about it that we don’t do court proceedings. Not only that each and every client is warned that a legal step would sour the relation. And I don’t have any templates for notices, If I believe it will need more than 3 days(which is for business only by the way) I would inform the client likewise. you see rahul, If legal notice is the only service I offer, then I cannot afford to provide a mediocre service in that,can I?

    4. The amount which I quoted will never be accepted by a senior lawyer for preparing a notice from scratch. But as I have pointed I am well versed in that task myself and a royalty is paid to a senior lawyer for going through and approving such notices.  One of such senior lawyers is my father himself who have a personal interest in me and the quality of service I provide, considering some notices will go out on his letterhead with his signature & seal on it, Its his goodwill on line too and he seems unfazed by his fee structure. Also I have never seen him refer any notice templates.

    5. “Let’s suppose a client pays you and you send the notice. Do you seriously believe that such template notice will even have an iota of an impact in dispute resolution?” No I don’t. But again I repeat .NO TEMPLATE NOTICE. I don’t have any templates for individual matters, never needed one.

    6. “So effectively, you are trying to make quick bucks out of clients who will eventually have to opt for court proceedings. This is simply pathetic. Clients are smart and they will quickly realise what you are offering is of no value at all.” Ok now this a bit offending,but let it be, you are a passionate person. Rahul I don’t intend to practice in courts yet I have secured an admission in law, only so I could provide a better service, I believe it would help me. Clients are smart and that is exactly what I am counting on. People who wish to duel it out in courts will never approach me, think about that. And those who would approach me, it would be my responsibility to see that “a quick buck ” isn’t being made on their expense. I sincerely hope that I prove you wrong one day, I sincerely hope that I provide a quality of service which even you will approve of. I am really grateful that you spent all this time on my post, I am well aware how pressed leading lawyers are for time. Thanks a lot, you gave me one more goal today.

  2. I wished for feedback about the website and placement and such. About the pricing quotes, I understand your point. But please understand, there are people who wish to send only notices just to see if that single notice would help them,kind of their last hope and they will never enter a posh office like yours or any senior lawyer’s that I grew around. The disclosed price is what makes them comfortable. Either this would be disruptive for the sector or it would end quickly. I intend to see it through either end. Rahul once again, Thanks a lot.

  3. First of all, thanks to Asha for pointing me to this thread. You are the most wonderful editor and site admin I know.

    Hi Rahul, I am a former lawyer – currently running a legal education startup. I must congratulate you on your model. It is a brilliant idea. Of course, this is disruptive and a lot of lawyers who charges exorbitant amounts to draft notices will be very unhappy with what you are doing. Still, low price cannot be a valid objection to what you are doing. However, providing quality legal notices can be a challenge here at that price, and you can certainly find technological fixes to reduce costs per transaction. You should also check out Vakilsearch which does similar low cost legal services.

    All the best! I think we should meet up sometimes 🙂

  4. Hi Mr. Mukherjee,

    I do know about vakilsearch.com. Mr. Mukherjee I am feeling the whiplash already. I do realize that lawyers won’t be happy but times are changing and several legal professionals  stand by me, well aware that Its going to affect their practice too. I would definately like to meet for guidance.My email Id is sarvesh@legalcounter.com. I ckecked out the IPleaders website, rockstars indeed.Thankyou.

  5. Please add the profiles of lawyers you are using if you can. Also, you need to structure things in a way so that you do not end up violating BCI rules.
     
    I’ll catch up with you if I visit Mumbai.

  6. Yes, BCI rules doesn’t allow the direct or indirect marketing of advocates in connection with any service. I also can’t state their credentials or experience in relation with commercial service so couldn’t add a page. I will try to find a way. I have taken some measure for BCI Rules already. Thankyou for the feedback.

  7. Your whole business idea seems to revolve around undercutting. Most of your customers will be angry people making whimsical choices. If I am a businessman who is serious about litigation, I see no reason why I would choose an online service to save some money, over an experienced law firm that can also help me with litigation.

    I am sure large companies who have to send out numerous notices also get bulk discount from law firms. So that’s not really an untapped goldmine.

  8. This is not an online service. I merely introduced it through my website. The bulk discount still doesn’t come close, I have researched. Ofcourse there will be angry clients like you mentioned, at that point we will try to make them see reason and make them understand limitations. Anyways, if there is no space for an idea like this, the market will take care of the concern itself, but right now, I am gonna go ahead on pure gut instinct.

  9. I don’t like the plan, but I do think there is a market for this.

  10. Sarvesh Bhai ….The TIP was Mindblowing !!. Best of Luck for the venture. This looks good. Business in India work on Credit – Well a lot of them. Companies go bust, Payments get defaulted and there is always a need from time to time to send in the notices to show the legal muscle. To come from a Bigger Lawyer makes the case stronger. But why do I feel that this Service is good only until it’s hidden ? 😉 [ May be I am just trying to understand your Model but, my point is you are getting people better lawyers at cheap price so that whoever the notice is served to should think this man is not afraid to spend money on legal hassles. And any person who has that kind of change(money) has to be BIG so no point fighting him and people come to settle. If people know that the notice is acquired cheaply it “might” lose value. Also, I just think people would want the same Lawyer who sent the Notice to fight if things go ahead from the “Notice Stage”. That won’t come cheap. But you have already said that we will only be with you until the notice is served. And we advice you against going to court. But still if you want / have to you are on your own. Don’t you think that might be be troubling for people.

    I might be sounding vague but I hope you understand what I am trying to convey.

  11. I have just launched it, I am sure it will change a lot wit the feedback from clients and thinkers like you. I know the clients for which it would be beneficial, that’s all I have going for me. Thank you for the feedback though, will keep me on my toes.

  12. Yes I understand,

    The people who wish to follow with litigation will not approach me.

    My target customers are firms who need to send large number of same subject notices. (Eg a loan default notice)

    Also, there are small businesses who don’t want a litigation, too much hassle and they can’t afford it. These businesses feel that one legal notice may change things for them, or else they are ready to give up anyhow. That would be my forte, to give everything for that ONE legal notice. My Model will undergo many changes, the intent will not. Cheers!!

  13. Yes I can add contact details and so on but only as an information, I cannot publish such information to pull clients or to market any legal service. I myself am officially employed as the Manager, Client Relations. BCI rules have been considered rahul, Thankyou.

  14. how are things coming along at legal counter, sarvesh??

  15. Not too bleak :), orders are trickling as of now. Thank you for asking Asha.

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