A dedicated and driven young lawyer, Richard Hiron found himself feeling despondent in his role as an associate solicitor at a traditional law firm. He felt hampered by the pressure of targets, politics and management duties. With his enthusiasm for the law quickly waning, Richard knew he needed to make a change…
The road to law
After finishing his Law degree at Bournemouth University in 2012, Richard won a training contract with a small-to-medium-sized firm in Somerset in Residential Conveyancing. However, he was then given a seat in Employment Law, where he discovered his passion.
“I qualified in a high street firm in Poole and realised that my heart was in employment law. I’ve always been interested in the psychology behind how people work and think. I also love the variety – one day, you can be advising on a settlement agreement, the next you could be preparing a claim for a tribunal hearing, and the day after that, you could be working with a client on-site at their premises.”
After working for other traditional firms, Richard accepted a role within a small firm in Woking in 2020 as an associate solicitor specialising in employment law. However, Richard soon found that the role took away from the enjoyment of actually doing law.
“Whilst it was a step up, the management responsibilities weighed heavily on my fee-earning time. The office politics really started to take away from the enjoyment of actually doing law.”
Making the move
Richard reached a point in his career where he did not feel like he could continue in a traditional firm, “I found myself genuinely contemplating whether I wanted to continue law or whether I should be looking for something different.”
He decided that he needed to make a change. When an ad for Setfords popped up on social media, Richard began to contemplate what he could achieve as a consultant solicitor.
“Although I was initially looking for an employed role, I suddenly thought that becoming a consultant solicitor would be perfect for me. I already knew that people wanted to work with me and lawyers who would pass work on, so I thought, why not? I wanted to cut out the middle man and work for myself, not for someone else.”
“I knew Setfords were a trusted national brand. I liked how Setfords felt and knew that the model could work really well for me”.
Being a Consultant Solicitor
The Setfords model has given Richard the autonomy to work however he wants, unconstrained by politics, targets or set hours. As a consultant lawyer, he has the flexibility and freedom he needs to prioritise his clients and ensure they receive the best possible service:
He says: “The pressure as an employed solicitor was to bring clients on board quickly and also to bill them as soon as possible. On top of that, I was consistently pulled into politics or management tasks. Now I can spend much more time working with clients at a pace they need to aid their understanding. Of course, I still have my share of late evenings and working over the weekend, but the great thing is that I never have to ask for permission to take that time back: I am the master of my own time and wellbeing.
Now I feel like I have a career worth getting out of bed for.”
Supported in every way
Setfords has a 130+ support team of admin, secretaries, and other specialists who ensure that consultants have everything they need to focus on their clients. Richard has been impressed by the level of service that Setfords provides him with.
Richard says: “I have found the support team at Setfords to be very dedicated. The administrative team get things done to a high level of efficiency. Recently, a member of the support team went out of her way to get a file opened for me on a Sunday, which to me, was a clear example of going above and beyond.”
He adds: “The marketing and business development teams are incredibly friendly and very appreciative of each lawyer’s capacity for work. I have also been impressed by the wellbeing team, who are helpful.”
Richard has found support not only from Setfords staff but also from the nationwide network of consultant lawyers. He has enjoyed the friendly culture and has worked to build up professional relationships with other consultant lawyers,
“I’m a keen networker who likes to collaborate. I have already met some fantastic and like-minded consultant solicitors here, so building up my network and passing work their way has been a real pleasure.”
No looking back
Having taken the leap to become a consultant solicitor, Richard has found that he has reignited his passion for his legal career.
“Since joining Setfords, I feel much more relaxed, and my wellbeing has improved ten-fold. It has allowed me to remember why I got into law in the first place. Looking back, I think the fear and the doubt I had was about remaining as an employed solicitor. I couldn’t go back to that now, and I am excited about the future.”
If you are interested in becoming a consultant solicitor…
Thinking about consultancy?
Lawyers who become consultants at Setfords earn more money, experience less office politics, and enjoy a better-work life balance. The next consultant could be you. So get in touch today and take the next step towards a happier life.
The next step towards a better way of working…