Digital law firm arch.law has announced a “strategic investment” in Connectd, a platform connecting startup founders, investors and advisors.
Former DWF boss Andrew Leaitherland, who founded arch.law in 2020, also said the company was looking to expand internationally from the UK and Australia to Singapore in the Middle East. and in North America.
Connectd provides an online “ecosystem” that aims to remove “friction that hinders growth” for startup founders by connecting them with investors and advisors using “smart matchmaking technology”.
Mr Leaitherland said that in addition to investing in Connectd, arch.law has partnered with the platform to create ConnectdLegal, which helps start-ups with essential legal documents.
If they needed help beyond the standard templates, they could access legal advice from lawyers by becoming stand-alone clients of arch.law, who would bill them where possible on a flat-rate basis.
Mr Leaitherland said: “You can build everything under one roof, but sometimes it’s easier to work with other people who are good at what they do.
“It’s very targeted at creators of start-ups and SMEs. They can’t afford high hourly rates.
“We are here to support them on their journey and really hope we can take them all the way.”
He described Connectd as being primarily UK-based, but said it was looking to expand into Europe, North America and the Middle East.
Mr Leaitherland said arch.law is also keen to expand internationally, particularly in Singapore, Dubai, the rest of the Middle East and North America.
The firm announced the purchase of the Australian group Nexus Law in December last year. Like arch.law, Nexus was a dispersed firm, with 15 lawyers based across Australia.
Mr Leaitherland said his strategy for arch.law was to combine “the best lawyers with the best technology on an international basis”.
Having spent “much” of his time at DWF on international expansion, he had a “good network and good entry routes” for arch.law to operate at this level.
Expanding internationally did not mean acquiring expensive overseas offices, as the vast majority of arch.law’s legal work was done from home, backed by “collaboration hubs” under leases to short term or the use of coworking spaces.
In April this year, arch.law launched arch.ia (the ‘ia’ for investment acquisition) for UK and international investors in UK property.
Mr Leaitherland said his law firm had ‘deconstructed’ the process of buying property for investment purposes, studying the ‘pain points’ and finding the best solutions, using the latest technologies.
He said arch.ia was just one of many specialized services launched this year. For wealthy individuals buying property as a home there was arch.convey, for those who needed help with attorney fees there was arch.costs, and for business owners who needed of a will but with other documents such as a shareholders’ agreement, there was arch. .protect.
Meanwhile, arch.recover, which will be launched in the coming weeks, will help customers with cash flow problems and recover the money owed to them.
Mr Leaitherland said he did not expect the current economic uncertainty to change arch.law’s strategy, which was based on a three to five year forecast.
“Law firms are not fully recession proof, but they are much more recession proof than other types of businesses.”