Legal Trends from LawBasket
84% of small businesses in Africa cannot afford a lawyer...
Now there is LawBasket, an innovative and revolutionary way of financing and delivering legal value to small businesses in Africa. LawBasket leverages insurance partnerships and a powerful platform with lawyers from across Africa to provide people and businesses with practical legal help. Through these partnerships and technology, the company assimilate the costs of legal services into existing insurance products and dramatically lower costs. The founders of the company envision opening up justice to 10 million more people and businesses across Africa by 2030.
The innovative founders of Lawbasket, Simba Mubvuma, Nyasha Makamba and Morton Mabumbo, created this platform to offer ordinary people, such as small business owners, affordable access to justice. The founders felt it was time to reinvent legal services delivery by bringing certainty, convenience and comfort to small businesses that they would get legal help when they need it most. Lawbasket has a vast network of on-demand lawyers who can be accessed remotely through the startup’s platform. Moreover, these lawyers work for a set fee, thus ensuring that small business owners can circumvent the unforeseen legal costs associated with traditional legal service providers. On LawBasket, small businesses can quickly find experts in their area and across the world, allowing them to get legal help without having to separately pay for unforeseen legal expenses. “So often justice is denied simply because the cost of a lawyer puts them out of reach. By using technology, we are connecting lawyers with the people who need them most. Fees are paid upfront and the person on the street finally has a way of reaching a lawyer,” says Mubvama the Chief Operating Officer of Lawbasket.
LawBasket works with insurance companies around the world to integrate existing short term/general insurance (e.g motor vehicle, medical or property) with legal protection insurance. The intuitive platform comprises of a huge database of lawyers and the jurisdictions they are registered. LawBasket’s regular users ranges between African businesses to informal street traders, pizza joints and other tech start-ups. The company also offers an adaptable model of service provision. For those who are not wanting to access the service through add-on insurance cover, a monthly subscription is an option, alternatively one can simply leave a message on their website, https://www.mylawbasket.com/, and LawBasket will soon have lawyer and client in discussion. In addition, signing-up on LawBasket is absolutely free for both clients and lawyers.
You might wonder how this all works. It is quite a simple process: you choose the lawyer you think is well-placed to deal with your case according to their qualifications, experience, and other criteria. As Lawbasket is an African-wide platform, when you choose your lawyer it will be wise to choose lawyers within your proximity – a location feature on the platform will help you do that. While the business is based in Harare, Mubvuma says it is now ready to expand into countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana. The platform was developed by a local tech company, Lexware which offers technological solutions for legal professionals in Africa. Lexware’s Lexware Inc. was founded in 2014 by Simba Mubvuma and Blessing Makuni who were, at the time, law students in Zimbabwe. In seven years the company has grown exponentially in its scope, providing its solutions to some of the largest law firms in Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Mauritius, Mozambique, The Gambia, Reunion, Senegal, Mali, and Rwanda. Even more, impressively Lexware’s and Lawbasket’s co-founder, Simba Mubvuma, was one of four Zimbabweans to appear on the 2018 Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list.