‘The Best Career Decision I Ever Made’: How Joining Setfords Transformed These Lawyers’ Lives

As a lawyer, choosing a law firm where you will be happy is essential. This is perhaps even more true when you are considering consultancy. It’s vital to choose the right firm, especially when you’ll be working in a new way. The firm needs to have the right culture, level of support, and ethos for you.

At Setfords, we’re very proud of our offering that works for over 400 consultant lawyers and counting. Two of these are Darren Firth, a commercial and real estate solicitor, and Deborah Brown, a residential conveyancing executive. Both Darren and Deborah worked as consultants at a different firm before joining Setfords.

Why consultancy?

Both Darren and Deborah have previously worked in traditional-model law firms. So why did they decide to make the switch and become consultants, even before joining Setfords? For Darren, it was about a greater sense of autonomy without the downsides of partnership. He says:

“Having experienced both equity partnership and employment as a solicitor, consultancy felt like a happy equilibrium of complete autonomy but without the burden (and inherent financial risks) of managing a private legal practice.”

In contrast, Deborah initially chose consultancy so that she could feel more valued and rewarded for her hard work:

“I had previously felt extremely undervalued and unappreciated. I worked throughout lockdown, covering whole departments in other offices that had been furloughed with little or no training. We covered throughout the stamp duty holiday and I trebled my target most months, sadly without any thanks. I therefore made the decision enough was enough!”

Deborah and her husband
Deborah’s German Shepards

Consultancy at Setfords is ideal for lawyers who want to work hard and earn greater rewards, embrace flexibility and a better work-life balance, or move away from the rigid targets and structures commonly found in traditional firms.

A smooth transition

Joining a new firm can feel daunting. That’s why it’s so important to us that our lawyers feel comfortable and welcome from the get-go. We make our onboarding process smooth and straightforward, letting our lawyers lead on how long they want it to take, from a few days to several months! Deborah says:

“The joining process was a breath of fresh air and a seamless start. I made my initial application on Monday. The following Tuesday, I was onboarding my first clients, having completed all the due diligence requirements and training, which I opted to visit the offices in Guildford to undertake. This enabled me to see the very impressive offices and set-up, which is tailor-made for remote working and, unlike other “hybrid” models, works seamlessly.”

Darren agrees, adding that the joining process was “Extremely trouble-free. Within a week or so of deciding to join, I was signed up and ready to go.”

Why Setfords?

Both Darren and Deborah initially tried consultancy at another firm. So why did they decide to make a change? Deborah notes that:

“I didn’t originally choose Setfords. I was led by the prospect of earning a higher percentage from the start… Huge mistake! I quickly realised the error of my ways and am still paying for this by trying to complete my existing files on another platform which is just not at the same level. I was concerned I may be “jumping out of the frying pan into the fire” – I wasn’t… best move ever!”

Setfords is a law firm that is designed for consultancy. Our remote working systems are second-to-none, and we have entire teams dedicated to innovating and maintaining our technology. We believe that working as a consultant lawyer should be simple. Complicated, slow systems that aren’t fit for purpose don’t belong in our business.

But it’s not just our systems that make life easier for our lawyers. We also pass on millions of pounds worth of quality leads every year. This is something that Darren has benefited from. He says:

“Without a doubt, my greatest concern was that I would not be able to build up a client base from scratch. As it turns out, after two months, I’m inundated with work and onboarding commercial clients across the country on a daily basis. The marketing and business development team is absolutely fantastic.”

Darren and his children
Deborah and her husband

The best choice for lawyers

So, are our lawyers happy with their decision to move to Setfords and our innovative working methods? It’s a resounding yes! Deborah says:

“I enjoy my job again, I enjoy the work I do, I can’t get over the help, support and kindness I’ve met from every single person involved in Setfords. It’s a breath of fresh air. The people are friendly and the support is second to none.”

Darren agrees, adding his advice for anybody who might be considering consultancy at Setfords:

“It was without a doubt the best career decision I ever made. Do it.”


Is consultancy for me?

If you are interested in 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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        This allows us to send you the information you need to know about consultancy

        This enables us to get in touch and discuss life as a Setfords consultant

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