By Eko Prasetyo
The legal sector in Indonesia has welcomed a new player that combines legal services for small and medium enterprises (SME) and startups with the technology sector, creating the first digital platform for contract drafting and review, as well as law services in Indonesia, under the name kontrakhukum.com.
Rieke Caroline SH, MKn, founder and director of KontrakHukum, shared her journey in the legal and technology fields since the startup was established in 2016, aiming to create awareness of law in these sectors.
The former TV host said the platform connects legal supplies and needs. “Our team’s strength is in the curated lawyers and notary, as curated means we have certain standards to be fulfilled by lawyers joining our forces,” Rieke said.
The lawyers, she continued, should come from the mid-senior levels from the top ten law firms in Jakarta, under the principle of unknown disclosure, as their names are not revealed. They have to pass a drafting test to assess their competence before stepping into the interview sessions.
“This also applies to the notaries we have invited into our company. They should be accustomed to various types of contracts when we receive requests from our clients with only a short processing time,” she added. Kontrakhukum.com now has 50 lawyers and 20 notaries working with it as the work continues to grow.
In terms of product development, Rieke is adamant about combining the serious-but-boring sector of law with the catchy realms of digital technology to become legal-tech, better known as “legatech.”
Her platform, she said, allows people to register their companies without meeting the notary in person. “They only have to fill in a form on the web and we will produce the pricing based on their needs. The pricing itself will be final and transparent. Clients can observe the progress of their project through the web,” Rieke elaborated.
“We are trying to shorten the timeline and distance (for clients) by using a cellphone or a laptop to acquire our legal services. We also disrupt the industry with the transparency kontrakhukum.com provides, including fixed product prices, clear product descriptions and timelines, and curated lawyers as our legal resources.”
Rieke insists her company is not competing with conventional law firms. “Put it this way: we are targeting the sectors they (law firms) do not include as their market, which are the startups and SMEs,” she said.
Since 2016, kontrakhukum.com has been educating the SMEs and startups, while in 2018 it is reaping the harvest. “So, it is about educating the market and serving those untouched by these major law firms. It is a niche and lucrative market.”
Rieke’s passion to educate people on the law came from her personal experience, as her father went bankrupt during her elementary school days. “My father used to be a trader and won a good contract from a party that had a legal department. He thought the opportunity was there, so he jumped in without carefully reading the contract articles. “There was a condition that made the clauses in the contract obsolete so he lost his share. If he had used a legal service at the time, we would have been able to save some parts that were ours. Unfortunately, we had to submit everything and he went bankrupt,” she recounted.
She was able to continue her education and graduated with Magna Cum Laude before continuing to a master’s degree at the University of Indonesia. She felt the need to understand all contracts and legal documents, as well as clauses. “This can be seen from our products at Kontrakhukum.com and others have said our contracts sufficiently protect our clients.”
Her days as a journalist also assisted her in establishing the company, as she had established her credentials and networks. “One of the obstacles I had was to convince the lawyers to join my cause, as I was only known as a journalist at the time, not a lawyer. Now, we are at the final stage of due diligence to obtain an investor,” she said. “We have been using the power of networking to produce references, first clients, and more.”
In the future, Rieke aims to add more products, in addition to the three currently available: contracts, creation of business entities and brand formation. “We will have online notary services, online representation for businesses such as export-import deeds, online licenses from the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) and Indonesian National Standards (SNI), online services for foreign employees and many others,” she said.
After having catered to over 1,800 companies within just two years of establishment, Rieke still plans to focus on startups to accelerate their products and improve their qualities. The law, she is convinced, is a lucrative business when combined with the technology sector.