The Corporate Banking Legal Marketplace, or CBLM, is a marketplace which helps corporate borrowers to find the right legal representation for their financing needs.

Why does it exist

According to market studies, some 10% of corporate loan borrowers in the $10m – $50m range have poor legal representation, if at all. They are big enough to need specialist representation without necessarily having the experience to pick the right law firms.
This has traditionally adversely impacted the speed and cost-effectiveness of the transactions and ultimately, the customer’s experience. Some transactions have even completely broken down due to inexperience on the part of the borrowers and their legal counsel, negotiating unrealistic terms while missing opportunities in other areas.

Most lending institutions have in the past tried to match these clients with better qualified corporate debt legal specialists, but these recommendations can frequently be met with suspicion as the parties are negotiating across the table. In some cases the choices offered may not represent the best value option for borrowers.

Skillsapien, in collaboration with the featured law firms and a select group of top Australian lending institutions, has launched this online portal in order to empower borrower customers to make more informed decisions, by themselves.

Finance Law is a highly specialised field, and we recommend that corporates always appoint a recognised Finance Law expert when negotiating with a lender, to ensure successful completion of their financing agreement, avoid wasted legal fees, and minimise management time. All legal experts featured on the CBLM are highly recognised Finance Law experts, specialising in negotiating and documenting financing agreements on behalf of corporate clients.

What does it offer

The CBLM portal is designed to offer arms-length, yet highly qualified legal specialists via an online marketplace portal. Featured lawyers are profiled with their:

  • Credentials, experiences
  • Past client testimonials, new client feedback ratings
  • Other relevant collaterals such as Whitepapers; educational materials; etc.
  • Pricing

Borrowers can short-list and ask questions digitally, they can even request a quote from one or more lawyers simultaneously. Most importantly, they get to leave a feedback rating at the end of the engagement, subject to their satisfaction.

Skillsapien gets paid a success fee by the lawyers when a transaction is confirmed. Borrower clients pay nothing.

Disruption & Better Outcomes

All participating law firms on the portal believe this is a disruptive change to how the industry currently operates. Until now, borrower clients that suffered a terrible experience has very little recourse for alternatives.

With an online marketplace, having both parties know that there is a feedback rating coming at the end of engagement, gives the borrower client a huge leverage to ensure satisfactory completion, and profoundly tips the bargaining power to the side of the client.

That is a worthwhile outcome to aim for.