Legaltech offers new perspectives to legal professionals. And many of them are created by entrepreneurs with law degrees!

This is the case of HELLIA, co-founded by Charlotte Pons. Originally, Charlotte was a real estate lawyer. She has worked in the private sector and then in the public sector. One day, she decided to open herself to new experiences! In 2017, she took a year of studies in digital marketing and discovered the fabulous world of start-ups. From that moment on, her professional life changed: she co-founded a legaltech and became a freelance content marketer.

We went to meet her to learn more about her company, but also her podcast "Charlotte's diary", in which the multi-casual entrepreneur meets professionals from the legaltech world.

Interview with Charlotte Pons, entrepreneur and Legaltech podcaster

You have co-created a legaltech called HELLIA, which is a rental management tool for private landlords. Can you tell us more about it?

I co-founded this company with partners. For the moment, we have laid the first brick: we have translated into algorithms all the law of July 6, 1989 to offer the lessor a personalized lease that complies with the law, with the possibility of signing the lease electronically.

In concrete terms, the user enters his or her data and, depending on the situation, we suggest the exact information to be inserted. HELLIA will of course evolve and offer other functionalities. Our Legaltech is intended to become a Swiss Army knife (automation of the receipt, reminders, verification of the tenant's file, etc.) to accompany and facilitate the lessor in his rental relations.

We talk to a lot of rental investors and we have noticed that they take time to look for a property to invest in or to find their real estate loan. But, once they are owners, most of them find themselves facing management difficulties. They think they can solve the problem by finding solutions that seem logical, but unfortunately are legally unfounded. Very often, the "just about" situation gives rise to conflicts, which maintains the mistrust between landlords and tenants.

So, I would say that removing the "almost" to pacify rental relations is our hobbyhorse! Our added value lies in the fact that we want to make accessible and understandable a legislation that seems simple, but is not at all.


Also read: state of the art of French legaltech 🇫🇷

How has your legaltech been received?

Knock on wood! The first version is well received and we are lucky to have a community of over 10,000 backers who send us great feedback, especially regarding the UX design.

Our philosophy is also very popular. Through the Facebook group of the company, we try to popularize the law as much as possible so that the lessor becomes aware of its complexity. In this way, he gives himself the chance on the one hand, to be irreproachable in his obligations and on the other hand, to know how to defend his rights.

At our level, we want to defuse conflicts upstream. Very often, it is the ignorance of the law which gives rise to quarrels which would finally disappear if everyone had knowledge of the regulations (which is not easy).


Your podcast "Charlotte's Diary" addresses the subject of legaltech, the digitalization of law and the transformation of legal practices. Why did you create this podcast?


When you start a business, it is essential to talk to more experienced people. I ask those who have already made their company "take off" on their market, the construction of their product, the commercial aspect, the marketing, the price, the teams, etc. These senior profiles have enough hindsight to tell us about their successes and mistakes. They also have a rather fine and realistic vision of the stakes of the digitalization of law: we understand better why you have to be patient when you start in the world of legaltech.

I also like to hear from startupers who have their "hands in the dirt". It lifts the veil on reality for those who want to start up! And above all, I exchange with my guests on very down-to-earth issues: how to get known or how to move forward when you have very few financial resources.

More globally, through my podcast, I try to understand the business opportunities of legaltech and the steps to create a product/service that generates sales. Beyond this business aspect, I touch on the mutation of the legal profession because digital technology, whether we like it or not, is going to profoundly change legal practices as a professional or as an individual.

"Digital, whether we like it or not, will profoundly change legal practices as a professional or as an individual."


Also read: 6 legaltech trends to watch in 2021 🚀

What have you learned since you started interviewing your guests about the Legaltech environment?

The legaltech environment is polymorphous. The businesses are very different: there are SaaS tools for lawyers and notaries, document drafting platforms for individuals and professionals, hybrid services that combine automation and advice, decision support software with artificial intelligence, time-stamping technologies, etc. In short, there is something for everyone and there are still many places to be found, since the law is itself multiple! In short, there is something for everyone and there are still many places to be taken since the law itself is multiple!

From an entrepreneurial point of view, I have noticed that the legaltech environment does not yet fully exploit the opportunities related to marketing and communication. Only a few legal start-ups have mastered these levers and they have had good results. But I don't doubt for a moment that the others will eventually do it.

Finally, I would say that for the moment, legaltech is an environment that is learning to structure itself, notably through events. It still lacks legibility but I have the impression that there is a real will of the actors to regroup and it is a very good thing to build a powerful ecosystem.



What are the main challenges your guests face when starting a legaltech?

My guests have the same challenges as all start-ups: meet the right need, understand the customers, create a product that is understandable, sell and be profitable! Working in innovation, whatever the theme, is to prove to people the interest of the novelty so that it becomes part of their habits. Today, the added value of legaltech is well perceived by professionals as well as by individuals, but the work of evangelization remains essential.

Otherwise, the specific difficulty that has been brought to my attention concerns recruitment. Legaltechs often want to recruit hybrid profiles. The job of product legal is a perfect example: it's a half-lawyer, half-tech job. In addition to business skills (product, marketing or sales), a legal background is often appreciated. Clearly, these profiles are not commonplace.

What is complicated with legaltech is that it is either aimed at professionals (lawyers, jurists, notaries, whose technicality and terminology must be understood), or at a wider public to whom tools are offered that touch the substance of the law. In both cases, legal knowledge is essential.


Read also: The contribution of legaltech to legal professionals


If you had to recommend only one episode of your podcast, which would it be and why?

I'll put down a wild card! All the episodes distill operational information and actionable advice. I'd rather tell people to read an article I wrote following Season 1: How to Start a Legaltech: Feedback from those who succeeded.

What can we wish you for the future?

I would like HELLIA to find its cruising speed of course! I'm passionate about this project because of its technical aspect and the values it promotes: the popularization of the law and the pacification of rental relations. The road is still long. I would also like to continue to make beautiful meetings and to make a more personal project succeed: the creation of a content marketing agency dedicated to legaltech (which is a logical and more structuring continuation of my freelance activity).


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