A low-cost legal document preparation service

31 Oct 2018
Alasdair Taylor

SEQ Legal was set up 10 years ago. Its purpose was to help small businesses, especially IT and internet businesses, to deal with day-to-day legal and contractual issues: drafting standard T&Cs, avoiding compliance pitfalls and negotiating with their own customers and suppliers alike.

Within its first year, the SEQ Legal business began to offer two distinct services: downloadable legal templates and affordable professional drafting and advisory services. This dual service allowed for template customers who needed extra help to become clients, and for professional services clients to discover the virtues of DIY legal services.

In time, however, my professional services practice work outgrew the SEQ Legal model, and in November last year I re-enrolled as a solicitor and moved that practice into a technology and data privacy law firm in Oxford, ClaydenLaw. Since November, SEQ Legal has not undertaken any drafting or advisory work.

To reflect the increased costs of working through a law firm, and also the marketplace more generally, my hourly charge-out rates have increased this year – but that has left me unable to help some potential customers: those who are not willing or able to do the work adapting templates for their businesses, but equally are not prepared to pay boutique law firm fees.

To fill this gap, SEQ Legal is now offering a new low-cost document preparation service.

The service will work like this:

  • Let us know you’re interested in the service (you can use this form).
  • We will send to you a short pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ), which you’ll need to complete and send back. The purpose of the PQQ is to establish whether the service really is suitable for you.
  • If the service is suitable, we’ll ask you to agree to our own T&Cs and pay the relevant fee in advance. (See below for example fees.)
  • Once the fee is paid, we’ll send you a detailed questionnaire for completion.
  • Within 7 days following receipt of your completed questionnaire, we will send to you the completed and proof-read document.

In many cases, this should be the end of the process, but we recognise that you may make further changes to your document at the end of this process and might want us to check those changes. We therefore have a standard scale of fees for doing these additional checks. (Again, see below.)

In order to keep costs down, there are some specific limitations to the service – it is not equivalent to instructing an expert lawyer to prepare your documents.

  • First, we won’t provide specific legal advice with this service. For example, if you ask us to prepare a website privacy policy, we may suggest some data retention periods, but you will be responsible for ensuring that these are legally and practically right for your business.
  • Second, all contact relating to the service will be via email, with no telephone contact.
  • Third, SEQ Legal is not acting as your lawyer. SEQ Legal is not a law firm, and accordingly the service does not fall under the regulatory competence of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA).

Initially, we’re offering the service for website legal documents. If it’s successful, we’ll add more document categories over time.

The standard fees for the service are:

  • Website privacy policy – £300 + VAT
  • Terms and conditions for selling goods via a website – £300 + VAT
  • Website terms and conditions of use (no ecommerce) – £200 + VAT
  • Website terms and conditions of use (including ecommerce) – £300 + VAT
  • Document check and correction – £100 + VAT per 1000 words or part thereof

These fees are subject to review.

If you’d like to try out the service, please do get in touch.

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