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Legal tech & NewLaw real talk

Lessons from a legal tech entrepreneur
Legal tech & NewLaw real talk

Peter Aprile and Natalie Worsfold interview Derek Hopfner, co-founder of Law Scout.  Derek, along with his friends, Shane Murphy and Travis Houlette, started Law Scout after a (less than inspiring) BigLaw experience.  

Law Scout has developed an online workroom where small businesses can easily hire pre-vetted lawyers and obtain high-quality legal work for a fixed-fee.  It seeks to remove the friction and cost uncertainty inherent in traditional law firm engagements.  

Peter, Natalie and Derek discuss Law Scout, its platform, attracting clients, lawyers, and the challenges of building a legal technology company.  The parties also have a heartfelt conversation about finding personal and professional fulfillment in building new stuff.  

As the kids say, “ish gets real”.

Derek Hopfner


Derek Hopfner, Law Scout

Derek started Law Scout to make great legal services more accessible for small businesses. Prior to Law Scout, Derek worked for over 6 years as a lawyer focusing on corporate law and litigation at a mid-size law firm in Edmonton, Alberta. Derek has helped numerous small businesses get launched and has advised them through their initial challenges. He received his law degree from the University of Alberta and degrees in business and philosophy from the University of Calgary.

Peter Aprile


Peter Aprile, Counter Tax Lawyers

Peter Aprile is a senior lawyer specializing in tax dispute resolution and litigation. His vision as Counter’s founder and his everyday role at the firm are one and the same: to be an agent of change, uncovering opportunities and developing strategies that achieve more than anyone expected. A creative thinker, Peter studies problems from all different angles to find what others have missed. He’s also convinced that he likes winning more than most people.

Different people describe Peter in different ways. At the CRA and the federal Department of Justice, the word relentless comes up quite a lot. Admittedly, so does the word a**hole – but it’s often said with a certain grudging respect, if not affection. Peter’s clients call him a saint. Well, some of them, anyway. His colleagues describe him as empowering and harddriving, but fair. Peter’s friends call him loyal. His wife describes him as a lot to deal with, but worth it. Peter encourages his young daughter and son to call him “The Big Homie,” though with limited success. His mother describes him with the single word mischievous – before going on to complain that he should call more.

Read Peter’s complete bio →

Natalie Worsfold


Natalie Worsfold, Counter Tax Lawyers

Natalie is a tax lawyer who represents individual taxpayers and owner-managed businesses in disputes with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). She also successfully challenges CRA decisions denying taxpayer relief and helps facilitate applications under the Voluntary Disclosures Program.

But what you really need to know about Natalie is that she’s a tax litigator with heart. When she takes a case, it’s not out of technical interest – it’s because she cares. And if she believes the government has got something wrong, she won’t stop until it’s been put right. She’s fierce.

Natalie is the co-architect behind many of Counter’s process workflows, software and data analytics systems, as well as our comprehensive knowledgebase (loving named Hank). And when it comes to preparing cases, she’s Counter’s secret weapon – happiest when elbow-deep in evidence, meticulously building creative solutions to seemingly impossible problems. Because the fact is Natalie sees things that other people don’t.

Natalie’s family and friends describe her as loyal, selfless, understanding and fun. They also mention stubborn. To her Counter colleagues she’s a combination of stellar brainpower and contagious enthusiasm who elevates the game of everyone around her.

Read Natalie’s complete bio →

Point of View

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