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

Half an hour using a city lawyer costs at least $200, but clients from the newly launched LawPath website can consult a professional practitioner for just $29. In the opposite end of the spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement along with other hefty fees. However, not in the event you engage them from the hour, online, on RecruitLoop.

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

Technology entrepreneurs are using cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services including 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 capacity to afford a legal professional to have a preliminary consultation for little outlay. Customers pay the low fee to inquire about a question, LawPath pockets the fee and farms the enquiry over to an expert lawyer who consults totally free. In turn, lawyers may convert the session in to a agreement for further work, something Lupson says has happened in 50 % 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 be modernised. I do look at it being a disruption although not within a bad way – in a efficiency way. It’s about finding out how the world wide web can facilitate connecting with clients.”

The model finds favour together with the technology sector, he says, from it start-ups comprising 50 per cent of clientele so far.

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

The expression disruptive innovation is commonly used to describe change that improves a service or product in such a way the industry failed to expect.

Because the introduction of the net it’s become increasingly common and happens a large number of times more often than 3 decades 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 in the Gold Coast last month.

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

The web page allows companies to engage independent recruitment consultants by the hour, rather than paying commission with an agency based on the candidate’s salary, whenever a role is filled.

RecruitLoop experienced a low-key launch 18 months ago and was to present an impromptu showcase of the 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 average spend by RecruitLoop customers is $1500 to $2000 per role, which buys 15 to 20 hours of any consultant’s time. RecruitLoop takes a commission as much as 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 via the site and simply 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 and also the west coast from the US and wants to expand into other countries as demand builds.