Daniel van Binsbergen, Co-Founder, Lexoo: Startup Q&ALast Updated: October 1, 2018
Daniel van Binsbergen, Co-Founder of UK-based legal services for business startup Lexoo spoke to AGENT about his vision of using tech to do for law what Airbnb has done for hospitality, and Uber for transport.
WHILE Daniel van Binsbergen, co-founder, Lexoo, was still a senior associate at an international law firm, he was obliged one day to charge a client £40 for leaving a voicemail. It may not have been the only catalyst to set up his own business—a tech-driven platform that helps startup businesses source and hire legal services—but it certainly struck him as an example of how law could be practised differently.
And so, in February 2014, he and his co-founder, Chris O’Sullivan established Lexoo, which he proudly regards as a new way of ensuring that business can avail of legal services without bumping into the frustrations of uncertainty about price, and about whether the lawyer you hire is properly qualified to represent you.
Daniel is not only seized by the ethics of transparency, but also speaks passionately of the potential of tech in the legal field, which he says has done little to keep pace with the digital revolution. He confidently declares that by using disruptive technology, Lexoo has the potential to become the Airbnb or Uber of legal services.
Grand ambitions, then. So it’s our good fortune that Daniel found the time to get comfortable in the AGENT Startup Hotseat and answer our questions about his career to date.
1. Very simply, what does your company do?
Lexoo is the number one platform for finding, comparing and hiring business legal services in the UK. We negate the two most common frustrations that arise when dealing with lawyers: Firstly, are you paying the right price, and secondly, does the lawyer have the right experience?
We do this by providing a selection of transparent, fixed fee quote options from our panel of prescreened lawyers, combined with hundreds of customer reviews, in under 24 hours. If your business needs a lawyer, you can get in touch with Lexoo!
2. What was the ‘Eureka!’ moment?
“I knew that law could be done differently…”
Before Lexoo, I practised as a lawyer in the City for six years. There wasn’t necessarily one moment that stood out above the others, but I do distinctly remember having to charge £40 after leaving a client a voicemail.
Charging clients for every 6 minutes of work is just one example of how I knew that law could be done differently. I’m excited about how Lexoo is democratising the legal services market and essentially makes law more accessible.
For example, it’s always been hard to gauge how much you should be paying your lawyer. To give businesses an idea of what they should be paying, we recently published a price index that shows the average quoted prices for different legal matters.
3. What were you doing before starting?
I was a senior associate at an international law firm, working in London and Amsterdam. I really enjoyed practising law — there were some great puzzles and great colleagues — but I always had the desire to start my own business.
Whenever I read anything about the emerging tech start-up scene, I felt this rush of excitement. Throughout my career, I saw that law was doing little to keep up with consumers’ shifting expectations in the wake of the digital revolution. Technology is disrupting so many industries—there’s Airbnb for hospitality, Uber for transport and now Lexoo for law.
4. How are you funded?
We have raised over £1.1m to date from a number of investors, including Forward Partners, the London Co-Investment Fund, Lean Investments, as well as a number of angel investors such as Jonathan McKay (chairman of JustGiving), Duncan Jennings (founder of Vouchercodes), Robin Grant (WeAreSocial), and others.
5. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs starting their own company?
I probably spent too much time planning out what I wanted to create, instead of just immediately engaging with the market. So I feel I could’ve moved quicker had I, for example, just started connecting startups to the right solicitors using a spreadsheet before building any product.
So I would advise others to jump into testing their idea as quickly as possible with prospective customers.
6. What item do you never leave the house without?
I’m quite addicted to my new Jawbone UP step counter!