A former partner from Magic Circle law firm Freshfields is one of the movers behind a new LinkedIn-style find-a-lawyer site that aims to shake up the traditional legal directories.
At the heart of Top3Legal is a database that currently numbers over 150,000 lawyers in 400 law firms in 140 countries worldwide, with more lawyer profiles coming on board each month.
Each of the listed lawyers has the option to claim a profile, which they then control and edit.
As well as the content provided by the lawyers themselves, clients/users can recommend certain lawyers – anonymously if preferred.
Akin to a “BigLaw” version of Avvo, in that the database is built by amassing large amounts of information about different lawyers, Top3Legal also uses the so-called “freemium” model typical of online profile sites, whereby a standard profile is free, but the company makes its revenue from users taking enhanced profiles.
If lawyers pay for an extend profile they can provide more information, for example work type and sector experience with links to the firm’s website content.
In addition to more established lawyers, the site is pitching to younger lawyers such as junior partners and associates who feature less prominently in the existing legal directories.
As the content is all user generated, no written submissions are required, and there are no interviews or email surveys.
Richard Fleetwood, co-founder, said:
“It was clear from our market research meetings with top law firms and clients that there are real frustrations with the current annual directories process and output – but no alternative.
We wanted to create a simple alternative using tech that puts lawyers and clients in real time control of the content, with no need for submissions or research calls or emails.”
Top3Legal was founded by three UK-based lawyers: Gareth Stephenson, who was a corporate partner for 20 years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Richard Fleetwood, a partner for 20 years at Addleshaw Goddard; and Richard Shoylekov, who was until recently the General Counsel at Ferguson plc.
The name “Top3Legal” is a reference to the functionality of the app in which clients recommend their top three go-to lawyers by work type and location.
Pictured: co-founders Gareth Stephenson and Richard Fleetwood