A lawyer’s love story: “How my move to become a consultant legal executive at Setfords allowed me to live my dream…”

Samuel Ogden is a Chartered Legal Executive with over 6 years’ experience in conveyancing. Love and wanderlust drove Sam to consider a life outside the confines of the traditional legal model…

Sam completed his legal training in Bristol and went straight into a busy residential conveyancing department within a high street firm. Working in a traditional law firm, Sam quickly started to feel trapped and frustrated:

“Although I enjoyed my role, the billable hours and monthly targets were emotionally draining and did not make work an enjoyable place to be. I found that I spent hours every day commuting to my office. I felt like there was no need for me to be spending an hour or so every day commuting in my car to sit at a desk in an office, when I was able to achieve exactly the same work and more sitting at a desk at home.”

At the same time, Samuel also had to struggle with a long-distance relationship with his fiancée who lived and worked over 6000 miles away.

“I met my fiancée Lylah at University and after we graduated, she had to move back to her native country of Mauritius to begin her practice as a lawyer over there. Although we saw each other often, I missed her.”

The need for change

As Samuel became increasingly demotivated, he needed to make a change. After hearing about consultancy from another solicitor, he began to look into the benefits that consultancy-life could afford him.

“Consultancy appealed to me because I recognised the freedom and flexibility it would give me. I realised that I could work comfortably within a platform firm that would enable me to provide a first class service to my clients. I loved the idea of working from anywhere and realised how it could provide me with the ultimate work life balance. ”

Samuel looked at several consultancy firms before choosing Setfords. Many fee-share firms offer consultant lawyers a higher fee share split but, with that, there are often hidden caveats including billing targets or limited support from admin and business development. For Sam he also wanted a firm that had a great reputation and strong presence within the wider legal market:

“I recognised Setfords as being the biggest consultancy-model law firm with a strong brand and great position in The Lawyer 200. Most importantly, I recognised Setfords offered a supportive and adaptive environment. I have heard that other consultancy firms still set targets for their lawyers and they do not allow them to be truly free to manage their own caseloads. I eventually made the move Setfords at the end of 2019.”

Following his dream

Sam began life at Setfords working for another consultant lawyer who had been with Setfords for some time. Yet, Sam soon proved himself an effective conveyancer and earned a strong reputation with his clients and across the business. In light of this, Setfords supported him to strike out on his own and to build up his own conveyancing practice as a consultant.

“Setfords has supported me from the very beginning and now I have been building a successful property practice. I now have two employees who assist me on my files and we have a steady and consistent caseload. The consultancy model has allowed me to work entirely remotely and be wherever I need to be to work hard, efficiently and enjoy that all important work life balance.”

Not only has Sam been able to relocate, but thanks to Setfords’ investment in industry-leading technology, he has also been able to indulge in his greatest passion – travel. At Setfords we continually invest in cloud-based technology to allow our lawyers to provide the best possible legal service from anywhere they choose. Sam says:

“Setfords technology is considerably advanced compared to some boutique or older firms and the advanced technology that we have allows me to work from anywhere in the world. My fiancée and I like to travel and since the end of the pandemic we have been to Europe, Africa and Asia visiting places and experiencing other cultures. Most notably, I undertook an exchange of contracts on a property purchase whilst 2,000ft up in the Austrian Alps and caught up with emails whilst looking out at the Taj Mahal on our trip to India! The freedom I have at Setfords has meant that I have been able to travel without worrying about booking time off and using up my 20 days annual leave”

Many traditional firms are reluctant to allow lawyers even the opportunity to work from home. At Setfords we believe that lawyers do their best work when they are happy and supported, not chained to an office desk. For Sam, the freedom and flexibility offered by the Setfords model has helped his practice to thrive:

“Far from hindering the ability to grow my practice, being in Mauritius has actually benefit my work. In Mauritius, the time zone is advantageous as being 3-4 hours ahead I am able to allocate quiet time in the morning whilst the UK still sleeps and this means that I can in turn provide a more efficient and focused service to my clients.Financially I am also far better off as the Setfords fee share model for remuneration of its consultants is far better than the traditional firm model. I feel now that I am paid fairly for the work that I do. In turn, it makes me feel that I am appreciated and valued by the firm.”

Consultant Life

As a successful and enthusiastic young lawyer, Sam could easily have climbed the hierarchy in a traditional law firm to the very top. However, his entrepreneurial spirit and desire for a happier, more balanced life, lead him to consultancy. Now successful and fulfilled, he would never go back to traditional law.

“Having now been out of traditional firms for 3 years I cannot imagine going back to the sombre commute in the miserable UK weather. I can safely say that I cannot imagine working anywhere other than Setfords and I would happily stay at Setfords for the rest of my career.”

Is consultancy for me?

If you want to find out more about becoming a consultant with us, get in touch. We are happy to conduct interviews remotely for suitable, UK-qualified candidates with five or more years’ experience. If you’re a good fit, you’ll be joining a team that was created for lawyers to do their best work.

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        This allows us to send you the information you need to know about consultancy

        This enables us to get in touch and discuss life as a Setfords consultant

        Currently, we can only work with lawyers qualified under one of these regulatory bodies