30 November 2018

Over there, over here, prepaid concept to hit UK

UK firm Slater & Gordon teams up with US company to pilot app offering consumer legal advice for 'a pony' a month.

A new app is to be rolled out in the UK, giving users the full range of consumer legal advice and support is being touted at £24 a month, a pound short of ‘a pony’ in English money slang.

Pilot phase

The app, called LegalDefence, currently being piloted, will be rolled out early next year. The app is a sustained attempt to establish the concept of pre-paid legal services in the UK, which has been around for some time in the US. The app has been developed by LegalShield, a US company founded in 1972 by Harland Stonecipher. A company profile explains, in 1969 he ‘had an epiphany. He found himself financially unprepared for the legal costs he incurred from a car accident, even though it wasn’t his fault.’ Today, LegalShield has 1.75 million memberships covering 4.375 million lives and 140,000 businesses. The legal advice will come from consumer law firm Slater & Gordon, supported by an artificial intelligence-based chatbot called Gordon. Pricing was decided after market research. Martyn Beauchamp, chief customer officer at Slater & Gordon said ‘our partnership with LegalShield increases access to justice at a fair price and means we can offer UK customers an unrivalled level of choice and convenience, all from the palm of their hand.’

Beachhead operation

LegalShield is reversing the Mayflower journey, establishing its beachhead operation in Plymouth, UK. Members can take up a subscription covering the member’s spouse/partner, dependent children under the age of 16 and children in full-time education up to the age of 23 living at the same residence. It also covers children with disabilities at any age living at home. The user may access advice as often as they want, and access a suite of legal documents to personalise and download, and Gordon the chatbot will deal with common problems and learn in the process. If more sophisticate advice is needed, members get a 25% discount on Slater & Gordon’s “standard billing rate” and other discounts.