Platform law leads the way forward

More lawyers are working in fee share law firms than ever before, according to an article posted on Solicitors Journal that focuses on research from Hazlewoods, a firm specialising in legal services accounting and business advisory. Their research found:

“The number of lawyers operating within ‘virtual’ law firms has exceeded 2,000 for the first time, rising from 1,909 in 2022 to 2,042 in 2023” 

And:

“Some law firms have tied bonuses to in-office attendance, prompting legal professionals to explore alternative models that prioritize work-life balance. Virtual law firms, exemplified by established entities like Keystone, Setfords, Gunnercooke, and Excello Law, have proven successful in providing flexibility and control to lawyers.”

It seems that traditional law is falling increasingly out of favour with lawyers who want to have a better balance between work and the rest of their lives. At Setfords, we’ve always known that happier lawyers naturally do better work. They’re less stressed, and so can be more focused on building lasting client relationships and providing a superior service, benefiting lawyers and clients alike.

We are proud to be a pioneer of the platform law model, which is fast becoming the model of choice for experienced lawyers looking to be fairly rewarded for their expertise. We were one of the first law firms of this kind in the UK, and today have one of the highest numbers of consultant lawyers when compared to other fee share firms. Our experience and dedication to support our lawyers to do their best work has meant that we have a higher net addition rate above any other major platform law firm, according to this report from The Lawyer.

We’re firm believers in investing in our lawyers’ wellbeing and happiness, which we maintain has been a major contributor to our low attrition rate and high level of recruitment. But what is it about platform law firms that’s so attractive to lawyers? In this article, we explore some of the key ideas, demonstrating why we think this model is the way forward.

Consultancy is designed to keep lawyers happy

There are some key elements that the vast majority of platform law firms have in common, that can contribute to keeping lawyers happy and attracting them to firms in the first place. These include:

Flexible working 

Many lawyers are drawn to consultancy as a whole because of the flexibility it offers by nature. Consultant lawyers get all of the freedoms of being their own boss, including setting their working hours, location, and even choosing their own clients. However, consultancy also takes away many of the typical self-employment headaches by taking care of insurance, some admin, and offering a support network. As such, it’s the best of both worlds for many lawyers.

Better work life balance when they’re not working 

But what happens when lawyers aren’t working? Consultancy doesn’t just offer the chance to build your own business – the opportunity for a great-work life balance is there, too. Consultant lawyers are their own boss, so how much time they spend on their work and how much time they spend on the things that matter outside of work is entirely up to them. Whether that’s time with family, travelling the world, or investing in hobbies, having a better work-life balance is a key offering that not only draws lawyers to consultancy, but keeps them there.

What sets us apart?

At Setfords, we naturally believe that platform law is the way forward. So, we go above and beyond when it comes to proving this and keeping our lawyers happy. Let’s take a closer look:

Wellbeing team

At Setfords, we have a dedicated wellbeing team whose job it is to take care of our lawyers in any way they can. From giving them a friendly and welcoming onboarding experience to offering a sympathetic listening ear for troubles in and outside of work, they are an integral part of the consultant lawyer experience. When lawyers feel supported and cared for, they can achieve more than they could have dreamed possible at a traditional law firm, which we think has greatly contributed to our success here at Setfords. 

Foster a sense of network and community

Working as a consultant can be just as social an experience as being in an office full time. The key is joining a firm that knows how to encourage lawyers to network amongst themselves. At Setfords, our lawyers constantly cross-refer work to each other, but their connections go beyond this. We host regular events both large and small, virtual and in-person, and all across the country. They’re designed to give our consultants the opportunity to meet each other, network, and form lasting connections. People need to connect with others to be happy in their work, and developing a sense of community is the best way to do this. 

Support 

Lawyers who don’t feel adequately supported are unlikely to be happy at their chosen firm. Not only does it make them feel more secure in their role, it also saves them time. Setfords wouldn’t be Setfords without our extensive support offering, covering everything from post and admin to marketing, business development and compliance – and all without any hidden charges. It’s what truly sets us apart in the industry and, we think, gives us the edge we need to persuade even more lawyers over to platform law. 

Now, as more and more lawyers are drawn to consultancy, it’s becoming clearer that platform law firms offer a more comprehensive package for lawyers who are looking for better remuneration and a true work life balance. At Setfords, we believe that we offer such a package – why not see for yourself why 450+ consultant lawyers have made us their home? 


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.

The next step towards a better way of working…

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