April 24, 2019

Estonians created the world’s first sharing economy based legal service platform

Starting from today, anyone needing legal assistance in Estonia will be able to use HUGO.legal, a new sharing economy based legal service platform. It is the first sharing economy based legal service platform using artificial intelligence, to match people who need legal help with the best lawyer for their case.

The innovative service redesigns the entire legal landscape and fundamentally alters the availability of legal services – in the same way that Uber changed the concept of taxis. HUGO.legal allows lawyers to be hired quickly, easily and at half the average market price.

HUGO.legal is a startup founded in Tallinn that allows customers to book legal services with a couple of clicks, regardless of the time or place. Work also becomes more flexible for lawyers; in addition to the more flexible use of time, they don’t have to spend time finding clients –  HUGO.legal performs that job for them.

According to Artur Fjodorov, the author, founder and CEO of the HUGO.legal idea, there are a large number of people around the world who are in need of legal aid, but cannot afford to hire a lawyer. On the other hand, there are a large number of good and active lawyers who simply lack adequate employment. ‘We have created a platform where these two groups meet. We are also working on artificial intelligence, insofar as certain questions posed to lawyers can be resolved systematically, without the intervention of a human being. All of this brings quality legal service even closer to clients and makes it much more affordable,’ confirms the creator of HUGO.legal.

Co-founders that have joined the team this year are Erki Pisuke (COO) and Märt Pikkani (CTO). At present, there are 18 people working in the company and there are more than 50 validated lawyers with Master’s level degrees in the network of lawyers.

The core of the platform – the basis for the development of the artificial intelligence HUGO is the goal to solve cases that are systematically similar and to create repeating patterns based on them. According to Artur Fjodorov, people often believe that their problematic situation is unique; however, when experience and a systematic approach are applied, there are definite patterns which can be seen in those situations, and using those patterns makes finding a solution many times more efficient. During the initial development phase, HUGO is able to answer simpler family law related questions, while in the case of more complicated matters the question is quickly directed to a human lawyer.

HUGO.legal grew out of Eesti Õigusbüroo OÜ. In connection with the plan tomove on to three external markets this year, the company was given the new legal name of OÜ HUGO. The name of Eesti Õigusbüroo will remain as a trade mark and our previous service – 2 hours of free and discounted legal service in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice – will continue.

Over a period of two years Eesti Õigusbüroo has successfully brought people  in need of legal help together with a lawyer on more than 18,000 occasions and, based on feedback, 92% of clients are satisfied with the service they received.

The development of the legal aid platform HUGO.legal and its entry into foreign markets is being financed by the risk investment fund Superangel, the partners of which are the successful technology entrepreneurs Rain Rannu, Veljo Otsason and Marek Kiisa. Their investments include, for example, Bolt (previously Taxify), Pipedrive, Veriff, and others.