Over the years I’ve discussed the option of consultancy with many solicitors. By the time a solicitor reaches the stage of thinking of consultancy, the positives are very apparent – complete flexibility, being able to choose where they work, how many hours they would like to work, and the freedom to work with whom they like. Increased family time, or the freedom to pursue leisure interests, becomes achievable within the working day.
However the conversations inevitably raise questions about the perceived drawbacks of becoming a consultant solicitor. In this article I have tried to address some of these frequently asked questions as honestly as I can.
Where will my clients come from?
Clients are notoriously loyal to their solicitor. If you are a good solicitor with a strong following, clients will often move with you. I would hasten to add however, that you must adhere to any restrictive covenants in your previous contract of employment.
Nevertheless relying on an existing client base may not be enough. Tuning into your entrepreneurial flair will be required to build on your networks and relationships; as will marketing (more on that later).
But if you are ready to pursue a career as a consultant, your ambition and drive will instinctively be geared towards getting out there and networking.
How will I make money?
There are two ways to join us:
- Full Consultancy
Join on our industry leading fee sharing model and earn 75% on all received fees up to £100,000 per annum, and up to 85% as you bill more.
- Cognitive Flex
We understand the financial risk when becoming a consultant and therefore offer an easy transition into consultancy. Our Cognitive Flex model bridges the gap between being an employed solicitor and a consultant. This model offers the security of a guaranteed monthly salary over a period of time. Once our solicitors have built their business and demonstrated a loyal client base they will be invited to participate in our full consultancy fee sharing model.
What sort of support will I get?
We arrange professional indemnity insurance, handle compliance management and can facilitate any training requirements. Our back office support will provide you with everything you need to get going. Full training is provided to get to grips with our very easy to use case management system. We look after your invoicing and credit control, and we pay our consultants weekly on a fees received basis.
We have regular 1 to 1’s with all consultants, and quarterly consultants meetings. There is always someone at the end of the phone to talk to, discuss any concerns with, and share ideas of best practice.
We encourage our consultants to support each other with cross referrals, which not only earns them a referral fee, it allows them to offer a broader range of services outside their area of expertise.
What about marketing?
Our marketing team is set up to help our consultant solicitors hit the ground running. We offer full marketing and business development support from the outset, and throughout your consultancy career with Cognitive Law. Our marketing support includes but is not limited to the following:
- Business cards and other marketing literature
- Website profiles, dedicated area of services you offer and testimonials
- Social media training, including LinkedIn profiles and building networks
- Article writing and blog support
- Campaign creation and implementation for your area of law
- Networking and event schedules and suggestions
- Promotion of your specialism through our social media networks
- Client satisfaction questionnaires
- Award entry support
What do I need to start?
“Fail to plan….” – you know the rest! Along with your entrepreneurial flair, a business plan will be essential. A detailed plan (that you stick to!) and the dedication to build your network is the key to success. The luxury of being a consultant is that you get to do it all your way. You can pursue the clients you’d actually like to work with, in a way you are comfortable with, and in your own time. And to top it off, you get a bigger slice of the reward to take home!