On August 4, the Korean Bar Association 대한변호사협회 began to enforce a newly amended rule that prohibits paying money for introducing or referring an attorney. The rule is aimed at clamping down on online businesses that serve as a platform for people to search for lawyers.
The biggest target is Lawtalk 로톡, a platform that reportedly has over 3k attorneys (out of approximately 24k lawyers in Korea) who receive referral from the website; the new KBA rule would sanction the lawyer members of the site. Lawtalk generates revenue by collecting advertisement fees from attorneys, whose ads are exposed to potential clients searching for legal service on the site. Lawtalk averages 23k attorney consultations a month. Lawtalk petitioned the Constitutional Court 헌법재판소 to suspend KBA’s rule, claiming it is only hosting attorney advertising.
Previously in June, the Constitutional Court ruled against Tada 타다, a rideshare company that purported to be a rental car company but operated as a de facto taxi company. (See previous coverage.)