Having shaken up the industry of bricks-and-mortar retailing, technology entrepreneurs are utilizing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt pricey professional services for example law and recruitment.

30 minutes with a city lawyer costs at least $200, but clients from the newly launched LawPath website can consult a specialist practitioner just for $29. At the opposite end of the spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement as well as other hefty fees. However, not if you engage them by the hour, online, on RecruitLoop.

Technology entrepreneurs are using cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services including law.

Technology entrepreneurs use cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services like law. Photo: JESSICA SHAPIRO

Paul Lupson is chief executive of Lawpath, a start-up financially backed by Ludson who recently successfully exited budgetplaces.com, technology lawyer Nick Abrahams, partner at Norton Rose Australia, and technologist Andy Rose.

Lupson says the internet site lets people who wouldn’t normally be capable of afford a legal professional to obtain an initial consultation for little outlay. Customers pay the low fee to inquire about a question, LawPath pockets the charge and farms the enquiry out to a professional lawyer who consults free of charge. In turn, lawyers may convert the session right into a contract for further work, something Lupson says has happened in 50 % of cases.

Lupson insists the arrangement is win-win, with small company and private individuals receiving professional advice and lawyers lead generation. Besides, lawyers’ modus operandi is overdue to get a re-think, he says.

“The legal profession is amongst the last channels to become modernised. I truly do see it like a disruption yet not in a bad way – in a efficiency way. It’s about discovering how the net can facilitate connecting with clients.”

The model has found favour using the technology sector, he says, along with it start-ups comprising 50 per cent of clientele to date.

“It’s not devaluing [lawyers’] work – they’re very happy to take it,” Lupson says. “They’re up for your loss leader.”

The word disruptive innovation is used to explain change that improves a service or product in such a way the current market failed to expect.

Because the advent of the web it’s become increasingly common and happens thousands of times more frequently than 30 years ago, as outlined by David Roberts, a vice-president of 77dexrpky Valley’s Singularity University.

“Disruption is all that matters by using a start-up,” Roberts told delegates with the Australia Association of Angel Investors conference about the Gold Coast recently.

RecruitLoop founder Michael Overell hopes his venture will give the recruitment sector the same jolt.

The website allows companies to engage independent recruitment consultants from the hour, as an alternative to paying commission to a agency in line with the candidate’s salary, every time a role is filled.

RecruitLoop possessed a low-key launch eighteen months ago and was to present an impromptu showcase of their system at San Francisco’s Launch Festival for high-tech start-ups earlier this month.

The annual event includes competitions judged by IT and venture-capital heavyweights including Rackspace’s Robert Scoble and Google Ventures’ Wesley Chan.

The typical spend by RecruitLoop customers is $1500 to $2000 per role, which buys 15 to 20 hours of your consultant’s time. RecruitLoop has a commission of up to 30 percent.

For clients, it’s a saving of 80-90 per cent on fees charged by recruitment agencies, Overell says.

Recruiters are screened prior to being allowed to offer their services using the site and merely one in eight has got the guernsey.

“We’re being really tough about maintaining quality,” Overell says.

The organization uses 50 recruiters across Australia, New Zealand, Dubai along with the west coast from the US and intends to expand into other countries as demand builds.