I am very thankful to the Globe and Mail for once again mentioning us in Bar Talk last week. On August 24, 2011, in an article entitled “Torys snags Bennet Jones globetrotter“, Bar Talk wrote the following:
Google invests in legal startup
While most eyes were on Google Inc.’s recent purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., the search-engine giant also recently made waves with a move into the nascent world of Web-based legal services.
Google Ventures plans to plug $18.5-million (U.S.) into a U.S.-based company called Rocket Lawyer, an online provider of legal forms, such as contracts and wills. It also matches participating lawyers with clients seeking online advice.
The move has some in the profession talking about the coming Web-based transformation of legal services. Speculation has been looming that LegalZoom, another U.S. online legal services provider, will go public, according to Forbes.com.
Similar Web services have been springing up in Canada, too, such as My Legal Briefcase and Dynamic Legal Forms – whose founder, Toronto lawyer Michael Carabash, says on his blog that he, too, had approached Google for capital and was rebuffed. (He was also rebuffed on the CBC-TV show Dragons’ Den.). The idea, some legal visionaries argue, is to use technology to break down the mahogany-panelled doors of the profession and do to the law business what TurboTax has done to accounting, or, perhaps, what iTunes has done to the music industry.”
The first thing I should say is that we are a small Canadian company trying to improve access to justice for everyday Canadians. The fact that we are being mentioned on the same page as giants RocketLawyer and LegalZoom is just plain incredible.
Next, the blog that Bar Talk is referring to with respect to being rebuffed by Google is this one. In that blog, I wrote in part:
By the way, a few months ago, I reached out to Google for private investment, but I think Canada is too small a market for them at the present time (presumably, they had their sights on Rocket Lawyer, so a deal with us wouldn’t have been good timing).
If you consider getting no response from Google being “rebuffed”, then Bar Talk is right. I just assumed that they didn’t have time to look into little old Canada because they were too busy doing (at the time an unannounced) deal with RocketLawyers.com, who is much bigger than us (and which has partnered up with LexisNexis’ www.Lawyers.com). By the way, we have an relationship with www.LawyerLocate.ca which does similar stuff here in Canada.
Also, with respect to Dragon’s Den show, the ramifications of being on it were huge (and still ongoing). You can see my afterthoughts here. Indeed, most of the people who watched it don’t know the full story (due to editing and backroom drama). Due to a confidentiality agreement, I won’t be able to speak word one until a few more years I might even write a book about it.
Anyways, thank you Bar Talk for the mention!