New app offers UAE residents easy access to legal advice

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A newly launched application will offer people in the United Arab Emirates easy access to legal advice on several different areas, the platform’s founder Abeer Sharif told Al Arabiya English.

Users can use the “Ask Legal” app to get a consultation on areas including civil, commercial, criminal, family and labor law, as well as issues pertaining to intellectual property, Sharif said.

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The Emirati lawyer, who has worked in the UAE legal sector since 2016, said she can also offer legal advice to people facing criminal charges.

By using an app, Sharif reduces her costs of operating in the country because she doesn’t need to rent office space or pay parking fees and other typical expenses involved with running a law firm, she said. The savings are then passed on to clients with lower fees compared to other law practices in the country, she added.

The app will only charge users $81 (300 dirhams) for an initial consultation – a drastic comparison to legal fees for in-person consultations which can go up to $800 (3,000 dirhams) or more, according to Sharif.

She believes in the digital age this type of legal service is long overdue in the UAE: “We hope that taking this service online and removing some of the prohibitive costs which can deter people from seeking advice from lawyers, we will not only make legal support more accessible, but also speed up people’s queries.”

“People can leave voice notes or write messages and I reply to the queries,” she said, adding that the time required to offer answers varies according to the complexities of the case. Questions are answered within a maximum of 72 hours.

The different package options available have been made for both individuals and small businesses, and clients can choose between a 30-minute chat in which they can ask as many questions as they wish, or a Zoom meeting of 45 minutes.

Beyond this, the future ambitions of the scope of the app “is to cater for the UAE and then include the DIFC jurisdiction and English law in the future,” she revealed.

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