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What does being a Consultant Solicitor sound like to you?

Too good to be true?

Too much like hard work?

An excuse for someone to take 30% of your hard-earned fees for nothing?

All of the above?

When informally polling professionals about consultancy in the legal profession, some people asked me why a solicitor wouldn’t just set up on their own as opposed to working as a consultant with a firm. After all, they said to me, why become self-employed but lose 30% of your fee income just to have the name of a firm to practice under.

Fair point, but consultancy is far more than just practising under a firm’s banner. Firstly any Consultant Solicitor with whom we work is covered by our insurance. Cognitive Law is fully insured against professional negligence claims. Getting professional indemnity insurance isn’t always a walk in the park, and it’s expensive. If you take staff out of the equation, it’s one of the largest overheads for a law firm each month, month in & month out. Practising as a consultant with a firm takes that pain away.

So what else does the 30% go on? At Cognitive Law it goes on so much more. A cloud- based case management system so Consultant Solicitors can work fully remotely. Maybe that’s what sounds too good to be true…the promise that you can work where, when and how you like. But it’s true. Having a good case management system in place means that you can work anywhere you can get wifi or 4g, whether that’s in a cafe, at home or even overseas.

Administration and firm structure. Whilst it would be lovely to say that as part of upending the legal profession we have done away with tradition altogether, the law remains heavily regulated (and rightly so). All those SRA rules and regulations have to be placed into a working structure and complied with. So that’s another thing we do on our Consultant Solicitors’ behalf. We have all our compliant policies and procedures in one Company Handbook, to make working life as smooth as possible.

Accounting and credit control? Yep, that’s covered too. Our Head Office team raise, chase and process invoices before paying Consultant Solicitors their share within 7 days of receipt of client funds. It’s all done for you. We operate a business account and a client account, meaning our Consultant Solicitors can operate as usual without the burden of dealing with the SRA Accounts Rules on a daily basis.

Marketing and promotion? Yes of course we offer that. We have an in-house marketing team who are dedicated to raising the profile of each Consultant Solicitor as well as the firm’s profile. Our Marketing Manager works closely with all Consultant Solicitors to form and execute whatever marketing plan is appropriate to them.

Training and compliance? Tick! We have quarterly training sessions to make sure no one is left floundering. We do this as part of our Quarterly Consultants’ Meeting, where everyone gets together over lunch in order to foster a really collegiate environment.

Think you’ll be on your own without keeping all of your own fees? Think again. Our Head Office team are always on hand – either in person, by phone or by email – to offer all the support and company you require. Consultant Solicitors can hot desk in Head Office if they want too – so there’s no reason to ever feel lonely.

And is it hard work? Well of course it is, practising law was never an easy option. But at Cognitive Law we let you do it your way, and in a manner that helps you reap your own rewards.

So no, it’s not too good to be true; and nor are we taking 30% just for the sake of our profits. Naturally we’re in business to make a profit, but not at your expense.

Whilst on a mission to change the legal profession one solicitor at a time, Cognitive offers a genuinely supportive space for entrepreneurial solicitors to practice their own way, on their own terms.

If this sounds a little bit more realistic, please do get in touch. Feel free to check out our join us page, where you’ll find lots more information and case studies from our existing consultants. Or you can contact me directly on lucy.tarrant@cognitivelaw.co.uk or call 0333 400 4499

By Lucy Tarrant