Last week, I had a chance to talk to Michael Green, Founder of CaseHub, a crowdsourcing class action legal startup that is certain to make waves in the legal sector by disruption of the status quo. He has just finished raising his seed and about to launch this summer.
CaseHub is essentially a startup that will test the theory of democritisation of the UK legal sector by building class action lawsuits. "At present," Michael tells me, "people affected by (low-value) harmful practices that affect millions of people rarely take the issue to court. There is a time, knowledge and cost barrier for one person alone to fight it out, and no clear co-ordination mechanism to make the process more efficient. Also, the courts involved in lower-value cases don't set precedent, so companies can continue lurking in the legal grey areas forever. Finally, it is rare for a regulator to get people compensated: after a crisis hits the media, they tend to look to how to improve things for the future."
CaseHub will crowdsource lawsuits so that the population of the UK's working class, precariats and the technical middle class will have a voice in litigation which previously would've been unavailable to them due to a lack of financial resources. The cases will also be run in courts that can set precedent, getting the law clarified in the process.
Michael's potentially disruptive startup, CaseHub, will address wide, systemic issues (rather than one-off accidents, sometimes pejoratively labelled 'ambulance chasing'). However, Michael doesn't necessarily see his startup as being entirely disruptive as much as it is offering a much-needed service for large groups people who have previously been ignored by politicians. There is also an aspect of job creation; by building class actions, CaseHub acts as a lead generator for lawsuits that have hitherto been untested: creating more work for law firms and barristers. I mentioned to Michael that in the US that lawyers have a high rate of unemployment due to saturation in the market. (As a side note: according to this article, out of 1 million lawyers in the US, only 3% of them are employed.)
Michael, himself, is a fascinating, iconic figure of a Founder. He had previously developed online games, reaching millions of people across the web and later graduated from University of Cambridge with two first class degrees in law. He was also recently featured in the Economist just a few months ago.
Michael Green's CaseHub presentation at Entrepreneur First 2015 Demo Day
Although, I've always been sceptical of the cult of the young entrepreneur, after speaking with Michael, as a 22 year old, he seems quite sanguine and has the aura of a contemporary Alexander Hamilton, with a very particular vision of how the legal system will change in the UK and beyond. My bet is that CaseHub will be one of the first startups to disrupt a sector that has long been in need of being disrupted: the outdated, cumbersome, legal sector.
By Sierra Choi, Director of Marketing