One of the most often questions we get at StartupsHK is: Can you introduce me to a startup friendly lawyer?
As a first-time founder, you may not be too familiar on the legal aspects of your startup. In fact, you’re probably keen on focusing on business and product development instead. That’s where legal startup Dragon Law comes in.
Combining technology with know-how, Dragon Law provides a suite of legal services for startups that struggle or would like to spend less time in that area. The first layer of their subscription-based services is very hands-off, where startups will have access to Dragon Law’s legal document builder that draws from an online library of startup-friendly templates. ‘The Starter Package’ (rolls out by the end of this year), might appeal to the entrepreneur that just needs a simple contract drawn up with the occasional customer support via email.
The second layer would appeal more to entrepreneurs that need a legal helpline here and there, but also want to avoid paying astronomical hourly fees for a lawyer. ‘The Professional Plan’ lets startups reach out to the Dragon Law team of lawyers and paralegals for email and telephone support on an ad-hoc basis. The third layer is targeted more so toward SMEs with larger documentation requirements. Visit their website for pricing details.
For those startups that need that extra layer of legal care, Dragon Law also offers fixed-price referrals to Hong Kong law firms. This service would be for those that need documents drafted up by a lawyer or need a contract reviewed, but can’t afford hourly rates. According to former lawyer and Dragon Law’s founder Daniel Walker, a regular law firm charges roughly $4,000 per hour – which is not a cost that your average startup can front.
Prior to starting Dragon Law, Walker (pictured left above with chairman and Nest co-founder Jacob Fisch) ran another legal startup ‘Lawyers Without Ties,’ a Hong Kong-based legal consultancy for startups, SMEs and global firms. During that time, he realized the problem with charging startup clients the hourly rate. “The problem with ‘Lawyers Without Ties’ was we couldn’t get away from the big, big problem which was charging for our time. It gets expensive, it’s not transparent and you can’t tell a client how much it’s going to cost because you’re charging or your time,” he said. “So how do we get away from that model? We leverage technology so it becomes the reason to use the service, and we offer a flat-rate pricing.”
Besides having the entrepreneur’s best interests at heart, the Dragon Law team also draws from a deep well of experience as they have six lawyers on board (commonwealth, Hong Kong and PRC lawyer mix) as well as legal assistants well-versed in dealing with technology and small businesses. According to Walker, any new lawyers brought on board will be trained to deal with small companies specifically.
Having been quietly plugging away at their legal startup all year, Walker and his team have already soft launched and taken on their first batch of clients. “Our first focus is on documentation for Hong Kong but we are concurrently looking at documentation for the big markets in Asia, with a focus on the key commonwealth markets. Our plans are to follow our clients to make sure we’re always there, wherever in Asia they are,” said Walker.
Besides software and a legal team primed to support startups, Dragon Law also offers help in other areas such as business trademarks and company formation. Be one of the first to try out Dragon Law here!
Dragon Law on Startbase.HK: Dragon Law
Daniel Walker on Startbase.HK: Daniel Walker