Chris began his law career at a high street firm in West Wales, where he completed his lawyer training and decided to specialise in litigation. After several years working at the high street firm, Chris decided he’d had enough of the stressful life at a traditional firm and realised he needed to make a change.
“I got tired of the targets because I felt that people were looking over my shoulder all the time. There was a lack of trust and I felt I didn’t have enough freedom.”
After realising that what he wanted was not possible at any traditional firm, he started to look at other options and came across an advert for Setfords.
“I did a little bit of research into who was offering a different way of working. I was attracted to Setfords because they were so friendly and approachable. There was a lot of emphasis on the support if I would like it. My initial experience of meeting the directors in London only solidified my first impressions, and that’s why I knew I wanted to join Setfords.”
Chris was looking for an opportunity that would allow him to have more flexibility and control over both his personal and working life.
“My favourite thing about Setfords is the flexibility and that I can work as and when I want to with whom I wish to work. I have the choice, and I’m now my own boss. I wanted to be able to fit my work into my life, not my life into my work, and I found that with Setfords, it enables me to do that.”
Working at a traditional firm often means lawyers like Chris have to prioritise work over their personal lives. The flexible model that Setfords offers to its consultants has allowed Chris to take back control of his life and establish a healthy work-life balance.
“If I need to organise my day to prioritise my personal life, I can. I like that I can fit in my work at different hours. Some days I’ll start work at nine, and I’ll finish about five. On other days I only work maybe two or three hours because I’ve got family to go and see. If I were still working for a traditional firm with set hours, I wouldn’t be able to do that very easily.”
Having time to do the things you love is also very important, and for many lawyers, hobbies and interests take a back seat to their day to day roles at the firms they work at. Since moving to Setfords, Chris has made time for what he loves to do and doesn’t need to request or schedule holidays to fit them into his everyday life.
“I run three or four times a week and belong to a local running club. As a sport, it is often quite weather dependent, so I can get up in the morning, look out the window, and if it’s really lovely and going to be raining in the afternoon, I can do my run in the morning, and I can work in the afternoon or the evening.”
In his previous role as a litigation solicitor at a traditional firm, Chris battled with burnout due to the incredibly stressful and pressurised environment that comes with many areas of law.
“Setfords are extremely supportive about how you work, and I can prioritise my wellbeing when I need to.”
Chris adds: “I haven’t got a partner looking over my shoulder asking, ‘why aren’t you working, why aren’t you at your best today Chris?’. Working at Setfords gives you greater control over your own life, your own wellbeing and how you are as a person. They always put their consultants first.”
For many lawyers, the idea of abandoning the traditional firm and going at it alone as a consultant solicitor can be incredibly daunting. One of the biggest misconceptions that new consultants have is that they will feel isolated and disconnected. Chris quickly realised this was not the case…
“I’ve built relationships with other solicitors who work at Setfords. People are very, very supportive. If you send around a quick email asking if anyone has ever dealt with this or knows how to do this, you will always get a reply and will always be able to speak to someone about it. It’s like having a huge intellectual resource at your fingertips. And, that is fantastic.”
Chris has found happiness as a consultant solicitor at Setfords. He offers his advice to lawyers considering consultancy at Setfords…
“My advice if you’re thinking of becoming a consultant is just to prepare a little bit. So I’d have a little bit of money set aside because when you start initially, you’re going to need to build up a client base. I think just go for it, give it a go! What have you got to lose? In my experience, it’s so much better than working at a traditional firm. And if it’s not for you, you can always go back to that.”
“The model they’re promoting is the model that is actually being acted out. I know from talking to other solicitors that we all appreciate that; it’s why they stay as consultants, and it’s why I have stayed for so long.”
“Setfords is supportive, flexible, and will give you the opportunities to work and earn the way you want to!”
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…