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.
Having discussed in the above posts some principles which startups and small businesses should bear in mind when dealing with legal documentation, this post will address some of the more common contractual landmines — practical tips on some specific terms and conditions to look out for.
Template and automated legal documents are increasing in popularity.
For years there have been many websites offering standard contracts for download. Most of these have a US/European law focus, but the past couple of years have seen some similar services launched in Asia.
Some of these websites offer a very comprehensive collection of legal documents which address the needs of startups and small businesses in particular — everything from NDAs to equity investment agreements are available for download, usually with a fee.
My cover slide for this part of the workshop reads: “Be very very very very careful when using standard contracts” — I’m not sure whether I should have added a few more ‘very’s to statement.
Business owners should be extremely cautious when using these legal documents.
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).
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.
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.