The COVID pandemic, together with the rising cost of professional indemnity insurance has refocused the minds of many as to how they trade. Sole practitioners and individuals within smaller firms are driven to work for larger firms operating the consultancy model as the PII market hardens. The consultancy lifestyle has become an attractive and viable alternative way of working for experienced lawyers. Many now recognise that they can achieve the same level of delivery for their clients by working remotely. With the additional benefits of reduced overheads, a better work/life balance, increased earnings and a new sense of security and freedom, it is easy to see why the consultancy model is becoming increasingly attractive to lawyers. Adopting that model allows them to continue to trade autonomously under the banner of a successful and high-profile law firm with the benefit of much better commercial terms and flexibility.
The legal consultant business model offers lawyers a central service platform, brand and operational infrastructure to service their clients. Consultants are self-employed, many generate their own work and their own client base, and they retain an industry average of 70% of their billings, with the remainder taken by the consultancy platform.
Experienced lawyers no longer want the responsibilities of compliance and increasing operating costs, yet; they remain ambitious. Through the consultancy model they can often end up running their own business without the burden of high overheads such as office space, systems and IT, and professional indemnity insurance. These advantages, combined with marketing and support provided by firms with strong brands, leave lawyers to concentrate on providing the best possible legal service to their clients, whilst the consultancy firm carries the operational burden.