Former associates of the big 4 and leading Ukrainian law firms have set up a very unusual law firm.
Its charter capital is formed in bitcoins, legal matters are managed according to an agile methodology, all lawyers are equity partners in the company, and their main services are to provide outstaffing and dedicated legal teams.
“There is less competition for products in the world, and more competition for leading people. We are far behind the global trends as a country, but our technology industry is not. Ukrainian IT outsourcing companies serve leading software vendors, and many Ukrainian technologies like Viewdle, iBlazr, Petcube, Looksery are well- known globally.
“What we actually did was adapt Agile project management to a legal practice. A team of three people can work happily to perform due diligence in a week, while earlier it took five people to do the same thing in a month. Mind you, working nights and weekends is something we’d like to avoid,” CEO & co-founder, Dmytro Gadomsky says, explaining the need for agile project management.
Axon Partners uses Zappos’ approach to organize workflow – it sidesteps the classic corporate hierarchies. In addition to that, the company used Bitcoins to form its charter capital, which is a novelty for Ukraine and probably for the majority of other countries around the globe.
“We work with many clients who deal with cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and the Ukrainian bitcoin stock exchange is one of many. In Ukraine, Bitcoins are in the “grey zone”, since the National Bank of Ukraine still neither recognizes it as money nor as a form of property. By forming our company’s authorized capital in Bitcoins, we want to show to both state authorities and business that bitcoins are legal,” says Nazar Polyvka, a сo-founder and partner.
They might look a bit hipsterish in their promo-video, but still, with a list of high-profile clients like BlaBlaCar, Innovecs, Egar Technologies, Prozorro, Hosting Ukraine, 908.vc, Stanfy, VDNG-Tech on board, and together with their background in top-tier Ukrainian and foreign law firms, they should be taken seriously.
“Maybe we’re a little bit of a strange company for the Ukrainian market and our casual style is unacceptable to classic law firms. But we’re not trying to copy anyone on the market, we want to be ourselves: technology driven lawyers. Our aim is to do business on the edge of jurisprudence and hi-tech, and we love working with clients who share our passion for technology,” says Den Beregovyi, LL.M, a co-founder and partner.
Hi-tech is already shaking up traditional legal services. Such platforms as LegalZoom and RocketLawyer are the most widely known examples of legal services for the 21st century. Global firms like Axiom and regional ones like Fondia have already broken down the stereotype of how a law firm should work, and what it should look like.
“Things happen rapidly nowadays. With IBM Watson, Symantec Clearwell eDiscovery, and hundreds of legal startups, traditional legal services will change dramatically. We believe that only people-oriented companies with no corporate hirerarchy can appreciate the changing environment and lead the innovation,” says Bogdan Duchak, a co-founder and partner.
Adapted from publications by Kyiv Post