Wednesday 21 August 2013 by Michael Cross
British consumers are as ready as their US counterparts to go online for cut-price legal forms and services, the UK subsidiary of Rocket Lawyer claimed today.
'We've found the UK pretty much the same as the US in terms of documents requested, and people's willingness to try it,' said Mark Edwards, vice-president and general manager of Rocket Lawyer UK. He was speaking at the end of what he called the venture's 'beta' phase.
Rocket Lawyer's website allows members to create legal documents from online templates and to have one free 30-minute consultation a month with a lawyer from a panel of firms, plus a discount on further consultations.
As part of the launch, the venture has offered three days of free services for new users. Edwards (pictured) said he was considering extending this period to a week, following the so-called 'freemium' model of businesses such as online video provider Netflix.
So far the most requested online legal document is the tenancy agreement, which accounts for about half the usage, Edwards said. Online demand has also been strong for business plans, general power of attorney and non-disclosure agreements.
About 20% of subscribers have so far gone on to seek legal help from one of the 20 firms on Rocket Lawyer's panel. These were picked from '50 or 60' firms that expressed an interest, Edwards said, and he is no longer looking for new panel members.
Over the coming months the business, a wholly owned subsidiary of San Francisco-based Rocket Lawyer, will be 'ramping up marketing', Edwards said. The company is also considering opening up services in Scotland and Northern Ireland.