Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Employing a solicitor in a MDP

17.10.07 Employing a solicitor in a multi-disciplinary partnership

Every year since I started back in 2000, ten-percent have been approached by a range of people wanting to set up and run a solicitors firm. I have known financial advisers, claims management companies, accountants, estate agents, businessmen, all wanting a piece of the pie! I think that some of the other professions see what a solicitor does, see how much they bill and how little they seem to actually do, and see pound signs flashing before their eyes!
The harsh reality is that there is so much red tape and so many issues such as indemnity insurance, that in fact it is not worth employing solicitors in house to provide a service to the general public, which of course is the point at which you need to be a solicitors firm. I have known some of the large service companies set up their own firms - we once had dealings with Capita and a law firm they had established which was directly linked to the plc.
Once the new Legal Services Bill comes into being (or whatever it is now called), there is the possibility for multi-disciplinary partnerships, and it is at that time I think that the whole area will become more open. At present though, there isnt much scope there for employing solicitors to work with the general public and provide a service, unless you want to go through the same rigmarole a solicitors firm does, and in which case you could probably pay the same money and use an external law firm.
In the meantime, if you want to set up a legal service, the first port of call should be the Law Society - - they should be able to advise whether your plans are viable or not. We have assisted an estate agency who set up a linked law firm, and undertook all the conveyancing coming through their doors on an in house basis. They had two solicitors running the whole operation including the estate agency, which must have made a big difference.

Jonathan Fagan MREC Cert RP LLM Solicitor (non-practising) - Managing Director of Limited - online legal recruitment consultants

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