Last week Swiftcourt was released, an online service aiming at using technology and crowdsourcing to slash costs of juridical services. The first version, targeted at smaller business, has now been made public.
Swiftcourt has been mentioned in multiple sources in the last couple of month, and managed to be winner in the Swedish Venture Cup as well. We asked Johan Hedén Hultgren a couple of questions about the service.
What does Swiftcourt do?
”Swiftcourt targets individuals and SME’s, in order to provide them with a possibility to solve disputes without costing a fortune. Today many businesses don’t even solve their disputes because of the high legal costs and long processing time in the District Courts.”
The service uses a special arbitration clause, aptly named the Swiftcourt Arbitration Clause. The arbitration clause can be integrated in any contract or transaction, both before and after a dispute arises. It enables access to the Swiftcourt dispute resolution platform where the dispute will be solved in just 6 weeks at a low cost. The verdict itself will be directly enforceable.
“We are very proud of this. This gives individuals and SME’s means to act upon disputes on lower amounts, creating access to justice.”
How much is the cost difference between solving a case with Swiftcourt and solving it in court?
“We are currently only launched in Sweden. Here a process in the district courts for a dispute on as low as 50 000 kr [approx € 5300] will cost you around 50 – 100 000 kr [€ 5 – 10 000] and take you between 1-2 years to reach a verdict. With Swiftcourt you will have the verdict in 6 weeks and only risk to pay 2 500 kr [€ 265], which you in addition can claim that the other party should pay if you protect your own claims. That is less than the application fee to the District Courts! If you still want your own lawyer, the quick and easy process will drastically reduce the costs to between 5-20 000 kr. You can also choose to buy the legal advice directly on the Swiftcourt platform, which in this case gives you a total cost of 5 000 kr.”
The numbers are impressive, but we understand that most SME don’t even bother going to the courts with claims, even if they might be substantial sums for the business. This will be a challenge for Swiftcourt to change, but by reducing the costs so dramatically they are hoping to do just that.
“Swiftcourt offers a way to solve a dispute far more effective than the ordinary way and lowers the barriers in order to let you protect your claims on your on in a limited period of time.”
What are the main advantages of Swiftcourt?
“To actually have access to justice at a reasonable price. With Swiftcourt, you will solve your dispute in 6 weeks or less. You will also be able to speak for yourself without needing a lawyer, so the costs of legal counsel will be drastically reduced.”
Using Swiftcourts arbitration clause gives costumers access to Swiftcourt platform and it’s process of crowdsourcing the legal work.
”A dispute is nothing more than a cost for a company. It is time-consuming and takes away focus from what is really important, the core business. It will probably take you 1-2 years to reach a verdict in the District courts, and that is a headache to have when you should be focusing on your business.”
What are some upcoming plans for the service?
“Swiftcourt will be integrated as a Ad-on-service providing a safer trading environment on different online transaction platforms. Swiftcourt also aims to offer incubators and other business organizations a possibility to insure their startups/SME’s against future disputing costs.”
Swiftcourt itself is part of the THINK lean startup incubator, so we could expect to see them in action there in the future.
Currently the service is only available in Sweden, but the plan is to change that as soon as reasonable possible.
“With the launch now we aim to verify our concept and business model. If we see that it works out as planned, we will aim to expand within one year.”