leaving law
Starting a law firm

A word from leavinglaw

A lot of people become disillusioned with the law because they become frustrated with the lack of control over the working day. Solicitors are often brought into deals late on to record the terms, and associates/assistants are the workhorses of the recording process, with little final say over the content. It can be a grind to reach partnership. Moving in-house provides a more commercial working environment but career progression can be stilted. Setting up your own firm can potentially address all these aspects in one stroke.

A USP, some kind of very basic following, and strong nerves are required, but the potential upside is huge. There is a initial outlay in investment, insurance being one of the most expensive costs. It is certainly easier setting up with two or three others because the burden is shared and the interaction is invaluable. Suddenly a new client is exciting not a drag. A 2am finish is good news. One continues to practice, but there is also a business to run and whilst you need to become a PR, accounts, and administrative expert, this can provide a welcome change. Confidence to be the decision maker is required, on behalf of clients and in relation to your own business. You earn what you earn, and so a few quiet weeks can lead to sleepless nights.

Check existing restrictive and non-solicitation covenants in your employment contract before gauging client interest, if such potential clients are on the radar. Once you have decided the idea is feasible you need to decide on whether you will be a partnership or LLP (which has a subsequent bearing on costs), a business plan, a meeting with the bank, a rough idea about office space and costs, and an insurance quote. Unexpected costs inevitably arise (eg. Insurance and Law Society fees are more costly as an LLP). Other logistics include deciding on a name, finding an office, ordering IT, building a website, ordering stationery etc.

Made the move



I left my City firm with 3 others in 2002 to found our new firm. The four of us had been friends that drank together in a bar near to the office. We were becoming increasingly disenchanted with the way that our City firm was being run. We began as five partners (one of the four of us that I mention wanted to bring one other person to help with his department), three secretaries, a practice manager and a probate / trusts specialist (ie a non-solicitor but who knows more about her work than any .....

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Patrick Lockton

Patrick - hiking weekend

I started up my own business, Matrix Law Group, two weeks after leaving private legal practice. Matrix places world class lawyers as temporary in-house legal counsel to small to medium-sized businesses that aren't able to afford City law firms. I use the extra time to get involved in activities I enjoy. I now run my business part time from my home in New York. I am also a partner in the only Krav Maga (martial arts) Academy in New York City. I was working up to 80 hours a week in the City .....

www.matrixlawgroup.com, www.ikmkravmaga.us

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Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of posting, the information is intended as guidance only. It should not be considered as professional or legal advice.

alternative careers