Do lawyers really want to return to office-working?

HAVE YOU RE-SET YOUR ALARM so it wakes you an hour earlier?

Have you informed your childminder that you need them to work an additional hour or so at the end of the working day?

Out with the new, in with the old

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you are probably on your way back to the office. After months of remote working, beavering through tasks, participating in meetings and successfully completing projects, most law firms want you to throw out the new and bring back the old. The directive states you must dust off your old office wear to once again sit at a fixed location for a set amount of time each day.

As well as an earlier start and irksome commute, you may have to take some additional work into account. Because one thing is certain: once you’re in the office, you cannot be sure about your departure time. There’s always one more email to respond to. One more request from a client to sort out. One more ‘brief’ conversation to have with a fellow lawyer. And of course, one more target to hit.

All of which begs a very obvious question: why go back?

Driven to work

Driven to work

There are a few reasons why many firms are keen to drive lawyers back into offices. In simple terms, they claim that it is better for people, and for business.

But is it?

It is true to say some people prefer working in an office environment. But it is equally true to say many do not. According to a report published by Business Matters, half of employees said they would quit if their bosses denied flexible remote working.

Perfectly happy consultants

We are not convinced that lawyers are in a mad rush to get back into the office. Why? Because our consultant solicitors tell us they are incredibly happy with our business model. At Setfords our model allows true freedom and flexibility. We have over 15 years of experience, developing technology and providing back office support that allows our consultants to have complete control over how, where and when they want to work. There are no targets to hit so that every lawyer can set their own targets and goals.

Sonal Rabheru enjoys having lunch and walking with her husband, who also works from home. A senior property consultant, Sonal is also delighted she now sees more of her son when he returns from school.

Tom Mitchell has also discovered a better work-life balance since joining us. Thanks to remote working, he now gets his daughters ready and walks them to school. Tom, who specialises in commercial, employment and regulatory issues, later collects them and spends time with them in the park before returning to his office at home.

And you can click here to discover why conveyancer Emma Jones “loves” working for Setfords.

happy consultants

Shutters down, recruitment up

Between March and June 2020, Setfords recruited 54 new lawyers. You will recall this was right at the start of the country’s first firm lockdown.

Our rate of recruitment during lockdown was double that of the same period the previous year, when the word ‘pandemic’ only existed in dictionaries and sci-fi movies.

By December 2020, we added 121 new lawyers to our books while lockdown continued to throttle the country. Therefore, it is misleading to suggest businesses can only prosper if the country returns to pre-pandemic ‘normality’. Our lawyers have reported that they have never been happier. Indeed, Consultant Solicitor Tracey O’Dwyer commented ‘I wish I had done it earlier’.

The only way is up

By November last year, we were ranked 152 in the UK top 200 law firms, which we are incredibly proud of. Especially considering some law firms have had a couple of centuries to establish their place on the legal ladder.

Our revenue also shot up by 30 per cent to £17.6 million in the month we also recorded our highest ever turnover. We now have a record-high of over 500 consultant lawyers as well as a support team that brims with over 100 members.

Is consultancy for me?

Get in touch to find out more about becoming a consultant solicitor with Setfords. Don’t worry about traipsing into our office to find out more. We’ll chat to you on Teams if it suits you better. If we agree we’re a good fit for each other.

Call us on 0330 058 4011 or email


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…

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