Malaysian Bar Council’s scrutiny of Dragon Law continues legal innovation debate

Legal innovation in Malaysia image

On 1 June 2016, legal startup Dragon Law announced its entry into the Malaysian market, with a promotional launch offer of free access to their suite of legal documents for a limited time. Dragon Law first launched in Hong Kong in January 2015, and in Singapore in the second half of 2015.

For now, users in Malaysia will be able to find and customise legal documents, sign and share the documents electronically, and organise and store these documents in the cloud. Users in Hong Kong and Singapore have access to various other services, including personalised training, access to a legal drafting help desk and legal clinics, invitations to seminars and events, and legal support from the Dragon Law team and their network of lawyers. The subscription packages for Malaysia have not been announced, but the pricing in Singapore starts at SGD175 per month.

On 12 June 2016, a story in The Star (Legal start-up’s services scrutinised by Malaysian Bar) reported that Dragon Law‘s entry into Malaysia has come under the scrutiny of the Malaysian Bar. It was reported that Malaysian Bar President Steven Thiru has confirmed that Dragon Law‘s services were being studied.

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The complete series: DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — the end of lawyers?

We’ve come to the end of the series of posts based on my presentation at The End of Lawyers, the Future of Law, which was the launch event for the Collective of Applied Law and Legal Realism.

Those who think you can complete a conveyancing transaction without a lawyer please raise your hands.
Those who think you can complete a conveyancing transaction without a lawyer please raise your hands.

My overall conclusion is that obviously conveyancing lawyers aren’t going to be redundant anytime soon, but I’m hopeful for changes which will make the conveyancing process less of a maze. Certainty and clarity will be good for everyone (including lawyers).

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Ideating the future — how DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions can become the new reality

This post is the final post in the series.

Please read the following earlier posts for context:

  1. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — can we really do it without lawyers?
  2. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — why some people think you don’t need lawyers in a sale and purchase of property.
  3. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — understanding the basics of a sale and purchase property.
  4. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — sale and purchase and loan agreements.
  5. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — time for a reality check.

From what we’ve discussed so far, it’s obvious that currently the ideal is very far from reality.

The conveyancing ecosystem in Malaysia means that a non-lawyer intending to complete a sale and purchase agreement without a lawyer will end up entering a maze. It’s dangerous, it’s complicated, and it’s impossible.

Ideating the future of a conveyancing transaction.
Ideating the future of a conveyancing transaction.

I’m sure that the organisers know this — that “DIY conveyancing” isn’t possible now. But the purpose of the project is to ideate solutions for the future.

What needs to change for DIY conveyancing to be possible? Hopefully CALR and others can come up with some solutions. Here are my quick thoughts before everyone gets to ideating.

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DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — time for a reality check

This post is part of an on-going series. Please read the following earlier posts for context:

  1. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — can we really do it without lawyers?
  2. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — why some people think you don’t need lawyers in a sale and purchase of property.
  3. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — understanding the basics of a sale and purchase property.
  4. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — sale and purchase and loan agreements.

The earlier posts provided a very quick tour of what’s involved in a basic sale and purchase of property.

We had an ideal earlier about conveyancing being essentially about swapping the keys for money — but what is the reality?

The ideal from an earlier post:
The ideal from an earlier post: “Let’s swap! Who needs lawyers anyway?”

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DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — sale and purchase and loan agreements

This post is part of an on-going series. Please read the following earlier posts for context:

  1. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — can we really do it without lawyers?
  2. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — why some people think you don’t need lawyers in a sale and purchase of property.
  3. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — understanding the basics of a sale and purchase property.

THE SALE AND PURCHASE AGREEMENT

Having considered all of the basic issues which would arise in a normal sale and purchase transaction, we come down to the most important document — the sale and purchase agreement.

Taking the attendees through basic conveyancing issues.
Taking the attendees through basic conveyancing issues.

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DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — understanding the basics of a sale and purchase of property

This post is part of an on-going series. Please read the following earlier posts for context:

  1. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — can we really do it without lawyers?
  2. DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — why some people think you don’t need lawyers in a sale and purchase of property.

In the previous post, we’ve seen how the over-simplified concept of the conveyancing process — the ideal in their minds — leads some to think that it isn’t necessary for lawyers to be part of the process.

Let’s now take a quick tour of some of the basic issues that come up in a conveyancing process so that we can appreciate the reality of a sale and purchase transaction.

Those who think you can complete a conveyancing transaction without a lawyer please raise your hands.
Those who think you can complete a conveyancing transaction without a lawyer please raise your hands.

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DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — why some people think you don’t need lawyers in a sale and purchase of property

I explained the background to this conversation about “DIY legal documents” and the Collective of Applied Law and Legal Realism (CALR) in an earlier post — “DIY legal documents for conveyancing transactions — can we really do it without lawyers?”

As mentioned in that post, I was invited to speak at the launch event and was assigned the session title — What’s wrong with conveyancing and corporate law work?

I’ll be writing about what I shared in relation to conveyancing in four parts (beginning with this post):

  1. Why some people think you don’t need lawyers in a sale and purchase of property.
  2. Understanding the basics.
  3. Sale and purchase and loan agreements.
  4. Time for a reality check.

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