LexixNexis, part of the RELX Group which claims to be one of the world’s largest information solutions providers, has recently launched Lexis® Practical Guidance, a technology based solution that will guide start-ups in understanding and following legal procedures and frameworks. While the commercial roll out is planned in July this year, we had an exclusive chat with Karen Taylor, the Executive Director with LexisNexis Asia on the launch and the need for having legal solutions for startups in India.
Here are some excerpts:
Q: Tell us about your business
A: We provide legal solutions to law firms and businesses, along with access to a huge repository of information from multiple sources through a surprisingly simple interface. The idea is to make all this information accessible online on a simple platform that professionals can understand and make use of on their own.
Q: What are the practical applications of your services?
A: The services we provide help:
- Help lawyers win cases – Online access to legal documents that they would have to otherwise go through manually, such as judgments, legislations, commentaries and analyses from industry experts and procedural knowledge,as well as legal know-how, can make them more efficient and provide them with access to great legal content easily, which facilitatesthe whole legal process.
- Reassure investors, so that they can confidently know whether the startup they plan to invest in is legally safe and sound.
- Help startups save themselves against potential losses from future litigation.
- Help companies understand law and compliance needs better and manage business risks more effectively.
Q: What’s the history of your business?
A. W We are a big data company and big data pioneers. We help people manage and make sense of vast amounts of data. We started off as a content publishing company about two centuries back and launched one of the first online legal solutions back in the 1970s,to which customers had access via a private telecommunications network. We are constantly changing and investing further. Our systems canidentify patterns and relationships in huge volumes of data. What we are witnessing right now are many companies with disruptive business models in areas such as A.I., Fintech, Analytics and Big Data. Given the size of our global organization, we are an incredibly entrepreneurial company. It’s not just search and read, where you look something up and get 10,000 options. Lexis® Practical Guidanceis the next step in research – a work flow solution. We guide people through a legal process. Even for very experienced lawyers, it can be really difficult to access authoritative and updated knowledge on all matters all the time. What Lexis® Practical Guidance does is it guides you along the way with access to all the relevant materials in one place.
Q. What will a company benefit from legal advisory?
- Company foundation – Legal consultancies can help during company formulations and sort legal paperwork and contracts along with rules for employees and partners
- Equity stakes – Help decide what sort of shares should be split.
- Protecting intellectual copyright- What we see today is that a lot of start-ups are started with new ideas and new ideas need to be protected. Sometimes people don’t even think about what kind of legal issues they should be prepared about, they just do it, they speak to their pals at incubators, but they don’t actually consultant a real professional lawyer. So often they don’t even know how to protect themselves. Indian startups don’t want to spend a lot of money on legal resources, but the fact of the matter is if they spend some in advance they potentially secure their future from losses and major problems in the future. Lexis® Practical Guidance can help law firms provide advice to startups faster and more cost-effectively.
- Supporting the overall legal framework in India, Lexis® Practical Guidance helps reassure investors that their investments are legally sound and protected.
Q: How’s the startup scene in India and abroad different in terms of legal issues in India?
A: I can’t speak on too much detail in India but I can certainly compare it with Hong Kong where I’ve spend a lot of time. Startups lack enough lawyers in India, and often start businesses without an adequate legal checks or consultancy at all. But they should so as to make investors also feel safe. For startups, they have the opportunity to get better funding if they’re legally secure so the investors also know it’s safer to invest in the particular startup.
A lot of foreign companies want to invest in India and some are unfamiliar with the legal framework.We help them understand Indian laws, compliance needs, regulations and legal procedures better to establish and run their businesses more efficiently. Solutions like Lexis® Practical Guidance help them understand Indian market trends and legal practice. Similarly, if Indian startups intend to go global, Lexis® Practical Guidance provides them access to key legal requirements for international markets.
What is the legal backing of your startup, do you have an inhouse legal advisory team or do you seek help as and when required? Let us know in the comments on our official Facebook page Entreprenuer India