By Mark Goh
Many people have asked me why I changed the name of the law firm to “VanillaLaw”. Perhaps surprisingly, it has nothing to do with ice cream.
The name change reflected our aim to convey to our customers that while the law can be complex, we are committed to look for innovative ways to make our client’s experience and interaction with the law feel less daunting, such as recommending mediation over a settlement or going to court.
However and since the change, we now face a new problem that we did not anticipate. People actually think that law is so simple that they can “DIY” or that non-licensed LegalTech companies can handle it. It is difficult to convey the message that practising law is actually very complex, but with experience and proper training, a good lawyer can make what is in fact complex, plain and simple – like vanilla!
I am not a fan of taking supplements for my health issues. It is not so much an issue over the safety of the ingredients, because at the minimum our Health Science Authority regulates such things. I have an issue about the “miracle” claims which are made. The people who take care of our medical health are licensed professionals, that means they are governed by an ethical code. Most codes would not allow licensed professionals to make such “miracle” claims.
As I cross the 50 year old mark, I hear friends and relatives vouch emphatically about the effectiveness of some “miracle” drug or treatment, albeit more expensive than consulting the licensed professional. Why do people do this? My guess is that people are hard wired to seek out simple solutions.
People want to hear about “miracle” cures. While it maybe true; people do not want to hear that simple dieting and exercise is the solution.
People want to hear claims that A.I. can beat lawyers in contracts review and drafting. While it maybe true; people do not want to hear that A.I. cannot help negotiate between contracting parties.
People want to hear about businesses who become “unicorns” overnight. While it may be true, people do not want to hear that most businesses fail because they do not have a plan or that the execution of the plan is weak.
The truth which my clients need to hear, is that my teams in both VanillaLaw and GoSME literally toil through blood, sweat and tears to make “Vanilla” feel plain and simple. If SMEs care about the needs of their customers, they have to start changing their mindset and start investing and working hard to make the client experience feel like vanilla!
For jargon-free and simplified legal solutions, reach out to a Legal Biz Friend.