It’s the model that changed the face of how we watch TV and films forever. Now the way we eat dinner, read news, service our cars and even access legal services for business is being transformed. What are we talking about? The subscription economy, of course.
The subscription economy in the UK and Europe is experiencing rapid growth. By 2022, Royal Mail estimates the value of one of the most popular types of subscription services – the box – to be worth £1 billion in the UK alone. Success stories like the Dollar Shave Club in the US – a men’s grooming subscription service that was bought by Unilever for £1 billion in 2016 – have paved the way for start-ups this side of the pond. Canny British companies have found valuable niches and founded subscription-based services to meet growing consumer appetites. If you’re a snack-seeking office worker, you’ll be familiar with Graze, the snacks start-up that has now diversified into a multi-channel food retailer.
Driven by convenience, customer service and competitive pricing, the subscription economy places customer needs front and centre, moving away from the traditional focus on a product or company. Typically, subscription services fulfil three main types of consumer need:
- Replenishment – think razors or laundry capsules
- Curation – popular examples are beauty or food boxes
- Access – commonly software, streaming or in our case, business legal services
Our founder and CEO Toby Harper observed this shift towards the subscription economy back in 2014. Determined to do law differently, he combined the agile and innovative practices he’d seen while working with start-ups in his role as in-house counsel at a venture capital firm, with the rigour of his law training. Toby says: “I wanted to create a ‘legal as a service’ model that was so dramatically different in the way it was priced that it would get people talking.”
Five years on, and Harper James is forging ahead with making law more affordable and accessible to more businesses, including start-ups and early-stage growth businesses (which Harper James was designed to serve). Our game-changing legal subscription model means that clients enjoy unparalleled access to an in-house legal team at dramatically discounted rates.
Our highly-experienced, well-respected lawyer team have mainly worked in Top 100 law firms and can advise on all areas of commercial law. You won’t need to spend time searching for a specialist in a particular field, as we can direct you to our resident legal expert in no time. Our clients tell us that this peace of mind is priceless, especially if they are early-stage or seed businesses, who need advice across a range of business law areas.
We offer three different packages for paying for your legal advice and the most popular one, Enterprise Plan, provides an hour’s advice every month for a year for a modest fixed monthly payment but, more importantly, gives you access to very experienced business lawyers at rates as low as £125 per hour. This legal as a service subscription means you’re spreading the cost of your legal advice. Once you’re onboarded as a client, you can access the support you need immediately.
As we enter our sixth year of operation, our CEO Toby Harper is in no doubt about the reasons for our growth and ongoing success: “What we’ve found is that our clients are happy, our staff are more productive, our overheads are kept low but profitability remains buoyant and it’s all thanks to our innovative legal as a service business model, that’s positioning legal services at the forefront of the subscription economy.”
Subscription legal services are here to stay in the UK’s legal sector and the future looks bright at Harper James, for our growing team and expanding client base.