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

Thirty minutes by using a city lawyer costs at least $200, but clients of the newly launched LawPath website can consult a professional practitioner for only $29. On the other end of your spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement as well as other hefty fees. Although not when you engage them from the hour, online, on RecruitLoop.

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

Technology entrepreneurs are utilizing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services such as 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 web page permits people who wouldn’t normally have the ability to afford a legal professional to get a preliminary consultation for little outlay. Customers pay the low fee to inquire a matter, LawPath pockets the fee and farms the enquiry over to an expert lawyer who consults free of charge. In return, lawyers may convert the session in a contract 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 lead generation. Besides, lawyers’ modus operandi is overdue for the re-think, he says.

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

The model has found favour with all the technology sector, he says, along with it start-ups comprising 50 percent of clientele currently.

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

The phrase disruptive innovation can be used to clarify change that improves a service or product in such a way the market failed to expect.

Ever since the advent of the web it’s become increasingly common and happens a huge number of times more often than thirty years ago, in accordance with David Roberts, a vice-president of 77dexrpky Valley’s Singularity University.

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

RecruitLoop founder Michael Overell hopes his venture can give the recruitment sector a comparable jolt.

The internet site allows companies to engage independent recruitment consultants from the hour, as opposed to paying commission for an agency based on the candidate’s salary, when a role is filled.

RecruitLoop possessed a low-key launch 18 months ago and would be to present an impromptu showcase of the system at San Francisco’s Launch Festival for top-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 the consultant’s time. RecruitLoop requires a commission as high as 30 percent.

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

Recruiters are screened before being able to offer their services using the site and only one out of eight gets the guernsey.

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

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