Put Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke and American marketing expert Don Peppers in a room, get them to discuss business in front of an eager audience, and there’s bound to be some sort of reaction.
For Bond Law alumnus Warwick Walsh, that reaction was quitting his job and setting up Lawcadia, a company which is changing the way businesses interact with their legal service providers, and can already count Westpac and the Gold Coast City Council among its clients.
Mr Walsh and three of his Lawcadia colleagues outlined their company’s journey when they spoke recently at Bond University. All four were previous Bond University students.
Mr Walsh said he decided about five years ago that he did not want to be a lawyer for the rest of his life, and would rather start a business.
The first steps down that path came when he attended a business forum in Sydney, examining the future of work.
After hearing Wozniak, Bernanke and Peppers speak at the forum, three months later Mr Walsh quit his job to start up Lawcadia.
He said Lawcadia provided cloud-based software to sit between clients and law firms to manage engagement, scope and budget, with the aim of delivering process improvements, alongside analytics and reporting.
“We felt the pain around the way lawyers manage scope and budget and the need for clients to get more and more value in what is globally a low-growth world, was big enough for people to actually change the way they engage lawyers.”
Mr Walsh said business-to-customer technology companies like Google, IBM and Facebook had changed the dynamics around business interactions, and as millennials and people from that sector made their way into the world of business, it would change the way traditional businesses operated.
He said the need to do things differently was no reflection on those people already working in the legal industry.
“I think lawyers are very, very good at what they do, they provide good service, but lawyers in law firms now, they generate their own leads, they do their own selling, they have to get work through their network, they have to chase their own accounts.”
Mr Walsh also noted that many lawyers were not trained in project management and did not keep their clients up to date on where their fees were up to.
“The one thing that we’ve always had in our mind is that we’re trying to create a better legal industry.”