Our firm wins prestigious price at the FT Innovative Lawyers awards!

The Financial Times publishes an Innovative Lawyers report annually. This ranking has some very prestigious awards connected to it. In the category “Innovation in the business of law: new products and services”, our firm won, with the product Unpaid. The award was presented during a ceremony in the Natural History Museum in London on the 4th of October, 2017.

When we travelled to London to attend the ceremony, we didn’t expect to win at all. Even though we take pride in Unpaid.be, these awards are usually a get-together between internationally renowned firms and we estimated our chances of winning to be quite low.

But low and behold, it turned out to be an evening to never forget. The jury praised the originality and innovativeness of our solution and proclaimed us winner in our category.

Why is this special?

  • For the first time in the 11-year existence of this ranking (and award), a Belgian law firm was able to capture this prestigious prize.
  • We were shortlisted out of 1006 candidates from all over Europe, indeed no small feat.
  • Followed up by a very strict selection, executed by a London audit firm (RSG).
  • #LegalTech (or #lawtech) is a fast growing sector with a lot of buzz and as Belgians, we should take pride in the fact that we take the lead in this sector.

 “Start small, think big” (Steve Jobs)

For our firm, this is the cherry on the cake, the culmination of years of innovation and modernization in the legal sector. Besides Unpaid.be, we also recently launched a GDPR assessment and started research to analyze the usefulness and effect of chatbots in our industry.

Online platform

We have been selected and won with the www.unpaid.be service: “a smart platform for debt collection”.

Unpaid capitalizes on a legislative amendment and allows companies to force payment of unpaid invoices legally, without court intervention. Unpaid.be clients don’t need to visit a court anymore, but they will receive an enforceable ruling.

Everything 100% arranged online. You will only need to fill in your dossier once on the website and everything will be processed automatically. Quite innovative for a law firm, isn’t it!

As a result of this innovative business model, the service is almost for free as well. There is no need to pay commission (as is the case with a debt collection agency) or to pay lawyer fees (because they don’t need to visit the court anymore).

The bigger picture

Preceded by many industries before her, the legal industry is ready for the digital revolution (#legaltech #lawtech). Paying an (expensive) hourly wage for a job a computer can also do, is entirely outdated. By automating the process, Unpaid.be is able to handle a much bigger volume, resulting in a steep decline of the price.

It’s not only the digital aspect alone.

This platform allows us to meet the client’s desire for more transparency and practicality of legal matters. A few mouse clicks will deal with a dossier, without time-consuming consultations at a lawyer’s office or  with excessive paperwork. We are currently in the process or direct integration into accountancy programs, making the process even more convenient.

Making the legal profession more modern and customer oriented has been a preference of Minister Koen Geens as well. A platform like Unpaid.be has been made possible in part to legislative changes he made.

Teamwork

 We owe gratitude to all our firm’s employees as well as our partners at Unpaid (GDW Gent and Eps&kaas), for their faultless commitment and indefatigable energy to bring a fresh breeze to the legal industry.