From Partner to Consultant Solicitor, Sonal Rabheru discusses why
switching to consultancy stopped her from quitting law.

Setfords’ Residential Conveyancing Consultant, Sonal Rabheru, qualified in 1999 and became a partner in 2007 at TWM. She had been working for 16 years before she decided to move to Setfords. Sonal soon discovered that life as a partner wasn’t all it was cracked up to be…

Life as a Partner

For many lawyers within traditional firms, becoming partner is the pinnacle of their career. However, for Sonal, it marked a point where she could no longer progress at her firm, leaving her unsatisfied and disillusioned.

“I had reached a place where I knew that was it for me at that firm as I was too much in my comfort zone, and I had got to a point where I’d reached a glass ceiling.”

Sonal realised that a considerable proportion of her time was not being spent doing the job she loved, and each year brought more pressure to her life. Sonal was unhappy and even found herself considering quitting law altogether.

“I spent a lot of time away from doing my actual job, and the targets were increasing year upon year, so there was a lot of pressure. So much of my time was spent doing management because I managed a team there, and the office politics was beginning to grate on me. I just decided that I needed a change as I’d almost got to a point where I was going to stop doing conveyancing altogether, so I just knew I had to change my life.”

Taking the Leap to Consultancy

When considering her options, Sonal knew that simply moving to another firm and taking a partner position was not the right option for her. She had heard about Setfords’ consultancy model and realised that Setfords could offer her the opportunity to have her own business with the support of a fully established law firm.

“I didn’t want to change to a position which was the same thing but somewhere else, having been a partner for that many years. I was intrigued by the whole consultancy model, so I arranged a meeting with Guy. I knew from speaking to him that this was the way forward for me. I realised that actually, this is a way of running my own business, whilst also having the comfort of a firm behind me, so it was ideal for me. So I took the leap!”

Financial Benefits

Being a partner can often bring great financial reward. However, with it comes stress, politics and long hours. Earnings are often based on salaries and the firm’s performance as a whole rather than the efforts of the individual.Sonal has found that the Setfords consultancy model allowed her the freedom to make her own choices. She can choose how many clients she takes on and how many hours she works. The pioneering fee-share structure acknowledges achievement – the more you bill, the greater the rewards – which Sonal has found greatly beneficial.

“Financially, I have found that Setfords has been very lucrative for me. At my previous firm, my earnings were based on a salary and then a bonus scheme. But the bonus scheme was based upon how much I billed as well as the entire firm, so that bonus wasn’t always guaranteed. Whereas now I’m able to earn a cut of everything that I do.”

Family Time

For many lawyers, the idea of having a role that allows them to work the hours they want without having to ask permission to take a holiday or go to their children’s assembly is just too good to be true. But Setfords can offer its consultants true flexibility, with no targets and no contracted hours. However, plenty of opportunities and support are available for consultants like Sonal who wish to continue working full time. If you have grander ambitions like Sonal and perhaps want to be involved in business development or run your own department or team, Setfords can help you achieve that.

“Before Setfords, I was working really long hours, and I was just missing out on so much whereas, even though I’m still working quite late, I can now balance everything.”

“Consultancy gives me a better work-life balance because I’m able to work from home. I no longer spend time travelling to and from work. With no set targets, I can choose how much work I take on, so I am completely in control of my time. I’ve been incredibly busy since working at Setfords, so I tend to work a lot still. However, I have found that my work-life balance has improved, and every day at lunchtime, I now manage to go out for a walk. As I work from home I also get to see more of my family and spend dinner time together everyday”

Sonal’s Advice

When asked what advice Sonal would give to anyone considering Setfords, she said:

“The decision itself is going to be the hardest decision you ever make. But once you’ve made it, as long as you are a proactive lawyer and you’re able to market yourself and bring in work, you’ll be absolutely fine.”

“I’m so happy at Setfords, it’s definitely been the right move for me, and I don’t think I would ever go back to a traditional Law Firm.”

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.

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