Two new online matchmaking services for legal professionals claim to offer tickets to survival.
Springboard.net is described as a LinkedIn-style social network for solicitors. Its founders say it allows members to tap into a national network of new business opportunities, control and manage leads, refer work and track cases 24 hours a day. The service includes a system to allow solicitors to quote directly to clients from their websites.
Registration is free. Founder Dan Hodges, a former business development manager at law firms, said the network has registered 50 law firms in three weeks.
‘With work from traditional channels in increasingly short supply, firms need a new way to attract new business while still being able to retain margins,’ Hodges said.
Meanwhile, myBarrister, an online service matching clients to barristers without the need for a solicitor, will launch this week.
The dating website-style service is the brainchild of former Shearman & Sterling partner and dual-qualified US lawyer and barrister Ronald DeKoven.
The site matches individuals and businesses looking for legal advice with specialist barristers in their area. It can also be used by solicitors looking to instruct counsel.
Barristers pay an annual £1,200 subscription to create their own profile on the site. No commission is charged on fees received and the site is free for clients to use. It is open to barristers who are qualified to do direct access.
Director Bruce Webster said: ‘The high street law firm is evaporating and traditional law firms are getting bigger and are less interested in private client work.’