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

Around 30 minutes using a city lawyer costs at least $200, but clients of your newly launched LawPath website can consult an expert practitioner just for $29. At the opposite end from the spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement as well as other hefty fees. Yet not should you engage them through the hour, online, on RecruitLoop.

Technology entrepreneurs use cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services such as law.

Technology entrepreneurs are using cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services for example 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 website lets people who wouldn’t normally be capable of afford a legal representative to obtain a primary consultation for little outlay. Customers pay for the low fee to inquire about a matter, LawPath pockets the fee and farms the enquiry in the market to an expert lawyer who consults free of charge. In exchange, lawyers may convert the session into a agreement for further work, something Lupson says has happened in 50 percent of cases.

Lupson insists the arrangement is win-win, with small business and private individuals receiving professional advice and lawyers generating leads. Besides, lawyers’ modus operandi is overdue for a re-think, he says.

“The legal profession is one of the last channels to become modernised. I actually do look at it as a disruption but not in a bad way – in an efficiency way. It’s about finding out how the web can facilitate connecting with clients.”

The model finds favour with all the technology sector, he says, from it start-ups comprising 50 % of clientele up to now.

“It’s not devaluing [lawyers’] work – they’re more than happy to adopt it,” Lupson says. “They’re up to the loss leader.”

The word disruptive innovation is utilized to describe change that improves a service or product in such a way the current market did not expect.

Ever since the introduction of the internet it’s become increasingly common and happens a huge number of times more frequently than thirty years ago, according to David Roberts, a vice-president of 77dexrpky Valley’s Singularity University.

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

RecruitLoop founder Michael Overell hopes his venture will provide the recruitment sector a comparable jolt.

The site allows companies to engage independent recruitment consultants by the hour, as opposed to paying commission with an agency in line with the candidate’s salary, whenever a role is filled.

RecruitLoop had a low-key launch eighteen months ago and would be to present an impromptu showcase of its 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 a consultant’s time. RecruitLoop requires a commission up to 30 %.

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

Recruiters are screened prior to being permitted to offer their services using the site and merely one in eight gets 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 wants to expand into other countries as demand builds.