In this interview, Zolo Mundur, the CEO of Codelex Legaltech, spoke with Izwan Zakaria, a corporate/IT lawyer from Malaysia, about his law practice and his thoughts about using Lexub.
ZM: Could you please introduce yourself and your law firm briefly?
IZ: My name is Izwan Zakaria, and I’m a corporate/commercial and technology lawyer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I have over a decade of legal experience dealing in corporate and commercial transactions.
Although I enjoyed working on large deals in big law firms, I realised that I enjoy working with entrepreneurs a lot more. I love being involved with new innovations by startups and disruptive technologies.
So in 2019, I decided to start Izwan & Partners (https://www.izwanpartners.com/). We are an innovative commercial and technology law firm. Based in Kuala Lumpur, we act for a wide range of clients from accelerators, venture capitals, bootstrapped startups to venture-backed companies.
As a dedicated technology and startup-focused law firm, we regularly collaborate with local ecosystem enablers like accelerators and incubators here in Malaysia like Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), JomHack, 1337 Ventures, and The Founder Institute. This makes us aware of the landscape and the challenges startup founders face in trying to build a global business from Malaysia.
ZM: What was the reason you shared your document on Lexub in the first place?
IZ: As a technology focused law firm, we constantly look for potential partners to collaborate with, especially when it comes to new technologies and innovation. So we got really excited when we found Lexub! We like how the platform makes it so easy for a lawyer to upload a legal document and share it to others.
Previously, legal documents may only be accessible by larger law firms as they have a “precedents bank” or senior lawyers with many decades of legal experience. Hopefully, with solutions like Lexub, more and more lawyers will get onboard this crowdsourcing initiative where we get to share our legal resources. We believe that a legal marketplace like Lexub may also broaden access for younger lawyers to embark in starting their own legal firm, or even a legal department someday if they are in house, when they can access legal documents easily on the platform.
ZM: What was your first impression of a legal document marketplace?
IZ: I like how the Lexub team have made their platform look so easy and simple! It makes it seamless for lawyers to join and contribute their contents. It shows that Lexub have put in a lot of effort in trying to simplify the whole process and make it accessible for any lawyer to start contributing their ideas and resources.
Lexub has an ambitious goal to create “the largest library of legal documents” across multiple jurisdictions and languages. We really love this concept. For us, collaboration is the way to go for lawyers to stay relevant as we enter a new future of the legal industry.
In my view, lawyers should really work with each other and share resources and knowledge. Being a lawyer should not be a “zero-sum game” as legaltech solutions get better and better in automating content creation like reviewing commercial contracts.
Also, specialisation of legal skills will be the future of lawyering as clients’ needs will be more complex and sophisticated. They will need more personalised and tailored legal advice on their new business models. This also means that they will have more options to choose the best legal counsel that they feel understand them best.
For us, the true value in legal advice is not so much in crafting the perfect legal documents, but also in the empathy and understanding that you provide to your clients.
With Lexub, more Malaysian lawyers should take this opportunity to join and explore how they can also value-add and be encouraged to diversify their current legal offerings by accessing legal resources which they may not have previously.
ZM: What do you think are the advantages of Lexub? Would you recommend it to other lawyers?
IZ: Lexub indeed has an upper hand with its user-friendly design for lawyers. We hope to get more Malaysian lawyers to explore Lexub and join and harness the power of crowdsourcing.
In a recent webinar I attended, I realised that more Malaysian lawyers now realise the importance of technologies when it comes to staying relevant and providing legal services. Online video meeting solutions like Zoom and Google Meet, and cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive; it is only timely that Lexub comes out and carves out its own niche by offering its services to help lawyers license their legal documents.
ZM: Thank you very much for your time and in-depth answers.
IZ: So happy to be given the chance to share some thoughts on how Lexub can help other lawyers in Malaysia and of course around the globe.
Lexub has waived commission fees on COVID-19 related documents. If you're wanting to play your part in helping our communities survive and rebound, feel free to use Lexub as a platform to help lawyers do just that. Simply register and upload your documents.