If you are yet to engage the services of a lawyer in your Tech start up or personal life then there could be several reasons for this: you are just foolish, ignorant of your rights, a saint who has never had trouble with the law, a lawyer (in which case you are foolish to have yourself for a client) or most likely you cannot afford one. But what if you could get the best lawyer of your choice for say just $10/month?
The need for a lawyer to a person in the ICT industry cannot be understated or enumerated but it can be placed in three categories: Criminal, Civil and Labour. In the first category there are things like piracy cases, in the second category you have things like patent infringement and enforcement and in the last category there are cases involving employer and employee. A lot of people have complained that whenever they unveil their new technology at Tech related events the big companies that attend these events under the guise of providing sponsorship just steal the ideas and produce them as their own and the original inventors are left with no recourse. A lawyer would help you with the patent and copyright registration for your idea as well as enforcing your right to that patent thus preventing the theft or making sure you receive just compensation.
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What does the law say about circumventing Geoblocks in services like Hulu and Netflix? What does it say about hosting a torrent server within Zimbabwe? Does the fair usage law apply here? These are just some of the questions that you might want a real lawyer to answer instead of you rummaging through law books and case law playing the role of a paralegals.
No-matter the need lawyers, like good accountants are expensive, most typically bill between $50-$100/hour/lawyer which is no pocket change. There is a simple answer to the problem-Legal insurance. Most people have a healthy suspicion of insurance companies that goes back to the decade long crisis but over recent years we have had reason to put faith in insurance. There are several companies and packages in the market offering legal cover however I have had occasion to research on two of the players in the legal aid field: Champions Insurance and Gordon Knot. Using insurance has the benefit of cushioning you against the hefty fees that good lawyers like to charge without putting a hole in your pocket or compromising on your defence. Below is a review of some of the packages on the market.
A brief review of some of Champions Insurance and Gordon Knot’s packages.
Please note this is based on my own personal experience and is not in anyway an endorsement of the products detailed below. Nor is this a sponsored article of any sort.
Champion Insurance’s Legal aid Insurance.
For the cost of $10 per month you can get $5000 cover. Champions does not provide you with a lawyer although they can give you a list of recommended lawyers if you ask, you can use a lawyer of your choice and you can file your claim with them and they will pay your lawyer for you. The first three instalments have to be paid when you fill the application form and you will be eligible to file a claim after 3 months. You can also include up to three beneficiaries in your policy but there is a catch: if the beneficiary is 18 years or above you will have to pay an extra 100% premium per each person. They should have discounted this premium to make the service much more attractive. There are other packages available please click here to contact Champions. Like all good business people they are on Whatsapp. You can also visit your nearest Zimpost office and enquire there.
Golden Knot is another local company that offers legal aid cover. Their products include schemes for individuals, family and corporate clients. Their pricing is a little complicated but not difficult to understand. Each package has a limit per case and a corresponding premium amount. For example under individual plans you will receive up to $2000 limit on each case under the premier plan. Visit their website here and learn more about their pricing schemes.
I would recommend Champions if you are a normal Tech start up with the odd legal requirement. Their pricing is not only cheaper but easier to understand. If you are the litigious sort however or are a complex entity that is likely to have numerous brushes with the law you might need Golden Knot to untangle your from that Gordian Knot. Whichever company, including other providers and packages, legal aid cover would be more than handy on a rainy day.
If there are any other companies and packages that you use and would recommend please feel free to leave the details in the comment section.