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Working Partner: Dragon Law

Dragon Law aims to empower businesses to take ownership of the way they manage legal. Dragon Law’s technology unbundles complex legal documents into a step-by-step, guided question-and-answer interface, giving business owners the ability to self-service legal contract drafting.

Through their platform, users have the ability to share, e-sign, and store their legal documents in the cloud, and make informed decisions about engaging additional service providers, making it a single, integrated system for you to manage your needs.

We speak to their Marketing Manager Shermin Oh about must-knows when it comes to startups and the law, as well as the future of the legal industry.

What should every startup know about the law?

Founders don’t often have legal on top of mind when starting up – there is just too much to do and too little time, and legal falls to the bottom of the priority list as a result.

What founders don’t realise is that making the early investment to lay out right legal fundamentals will later serve as an accelerator that fast tracks processes as your startup hits newer milestones. You don’t want to lose out on a potential candidate while you scramble for an Employment Agreement and work out how shares should be vested. You don’t want the freelancer you engaged to claim ownership over intellectual property you paid him to create. You also don’t want your beer buddy to think he owns 50 per cent of your company because he threw out some ideas when you had one drink too many. As funny as this may sound, there are real cases like this that have caused fundraising discussions to stifle. Any VC will think twice about putting money on the table before you get these legal issues sorted.

The bottom line is you can never afford to be too careful, too diligent, or too prepared up front.

What actionable tips and advice can you offer to scaling startups and international businesses that are setting up their offices here in Singapore?

If you are looking to start up in Singapore, you must know that Singapore has topped the charts for Ease of Doing Business rankings for the last decade now. The good news is that, there is no lack of available information online that an aspiring startup can use to evaluate and research anything from business registration, finding premises, recruiting, to government assistance schemes. The challenge, rather, is piecing these sources together in a manner that is relevant for your business.

We recommend that startups work with a trustworthy professional service provider. The startup community in Singapore is vibrant and close­-knit – beyond standard service offerings, look out for a service provider’s ability to connect you to an extended network, such as banks, investors, accountants, and lawyers. This will save you an incredible amount of time in vendor selection!

Could you speak more about the impact of technology on the legal industry and how you see this playing out further into the future?

We believe technology will force greater transparency into legal service providers. Customers today are savvy, educated, and better ­informed when making purchase decisions. This accessibility will bring more power into the hands of the customer, taking the speciality out of legal services. End­ users want to be more empowered to self­-service, be their own experts, and decide to engage a lawyer only when they need to.

The future of law will be highly­ driven by artificial intelligence, as machines continue get smarter each time they are fed with data. I learnt at a recent pitching event that at least 60­ to 70 percent of questions posed to customer service centres are repetitive. In the time you are reading this, a robot will have speed­read entire chapters of legislation, cross­referenced them with a history of precedents, and provided accurate forecasts of the outcome. For now, our client services team manages incoming enquiries via our live chat – but they could very well be supported by AI very soon!

This year, Dragon Law will be rolling out services in additional jurisdictions, pioneering more initiatives to value-add to the small business community, and generally making greater enhancements to their app to make their users’ experience managing legal even more seamless.