Zimbabwean legal tech entrepreneur Simba Mubvuma and Africa Legal’s Tom Pearson have comfortable rapport in this easy-to-follow podcast about building access to justice for Africa’s small businesses and start-ups.
Tom probes Simba about how Harare-based LawBasket has found a way for businesses with limited turnover to afford legal support. They also talk through a new idea that is seeing LawBasket work with two major insurance companies to build legal cover into policies.
This is all part of ensuring that as many new businesses as possible are able to access the legal help they need if and when they are in trouble. LawBasket’s achievements have already drawn commendations from the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law when it was awarded second place at its southern Africa regional finals for legal innovation in Johannesburg last year.
“Access to justice is something people talk about all the time – but how do we ensure that a small business can access legal services in a way that is affordable and that fits their needs,” Simba asks.
The first thing is to confront the issue of financing by finding a way to ensure a business can afford to pay a lawyer, he says. To do this LawBasket works with lawyers on the ground across the continent, persuading them to charge a set fee so their potential clients, sourced through the LawBasket platform, know what they are in for, upfront.
Simba then elaborates on how LawBasket is assimilating legal cover into insurance offerings. It’s a formula that can be replicated across jurisdictions, he says, something that LawBasket is looking to progress in coming months.
“One of the challenges we have had is that many people have never used a lawyer before but, by plugging legal cover into other insurance, they can access support if they run into trouble.”
He says they initially found that there was not much uptake on stand-alone legal insurance products but, when it was offered with other portfolios, clients were more open to the add-on.
Join Simba and Tom for this fascinating discussion on using technology to solve the ongoing challenge of creating access to justice for all Africans.
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