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Going solo

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  • consulatancy contract

    How does this work from an indemnity insurance point of view?

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  • Career Transitions

    What a beautiful story of transition, Anna. Thank you for sharing it. Speaking as one who has been through a number of transitions myself, and watched others do the same, I can say that there is almost always gold on the other side if we manage ourselves through the process. Best of luck on your solo endeavours!

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  • PII for consultants

    As Anna is working for law firms the Minimum Terms which all PII providers must offer incldue cover for consultants. The position is different if she were to begin to offer her services to in housers.

    Good luck Anna!

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  • You are not alone

    Great article and inspiring. Corproate clients should take note. If you are looking for specialist expertise - shun the law factorys and go for a solo. I went Solo three years ago and since Intellectual Property is one of the areas law firm consultants have identified as not fitting in with the profile of their big ticket work ambitions, there are a surprising number of solo IP practitioners around the country. So many we have a very informal group accessible via the Blog .Between us we have a wealth of experience that can help with administrative issues. As the previous comment identifies insurance can become a problem if you need to keep the practising certificate - but do you need too? If you act as a consultant not as a solicitor you can access normal professional insurance which can protect the family without demanding huge percentages of your fees.

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  • PI Insurance and the Law Society

    When I spoke with the Law Society on this subject I was informed by the Ethics team that if I worked for more than, say, 4 different law firms I would be regarded as trading on my own account and would need my own indemnity insurance. Anna, and any others, should check this point with them for further guidance.

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  • Thank you

    Thanks for sharing your story Anna. Best of luck!

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  • Congrats on Your New Life

    I have been blogging at MyShingle.com, US based law site on starting a practice for 6 years. In that time, I've come across a number of stories like yours in the US, but not in other countries. I would love to learn more about the solo experience in other countries and invite any solos to contact me if they've published similar articles online.

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  • This is the future and how to handle PI issue

    Ana, what an interesting way to tell your story.

    My business model for Azrights Solicitors, providing intellectual property and technology services, is actually based on using consultants. The economics work out much better when I use consultants who do not have their own law firms because they can charge a much lower hourly rate. So their services will be more in demand. I am convinced this is the way of the future, and anyone now starting out on their own would do well to steer clear of setting up their own law firm. Consultants need a practising certificate if they are being introduced to clients as solicitors. However, whoever said they need their own PI insurance is wrong. What they should do though is insert a clause in their contracts with law firms excluding liability except for dishonesty or fraud etc, and obtaining a waiver in respect of any deductible payable by the firm under the indemnity rules, and any tope up insurance cover and other unindemnified or uninsured losses. I am happy to provide the wording to you Ana if you want to get in touch with me at http://www.ip-brands.com/

    Best of luck Shireen Smith

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  • PI Issues

    Shireen makes a very good comment so far as claims against an individual are concerned. However, before suggesting that "whoever said they need their own PI insurance is wrong" I suggest Shireen speaks direct to the Law Society. Working for one firm or up to 4would not cause an issue. However, the Law Society stated that if it was more than 4 they would require the consultant to have their own PI insurance. This would be uneconomic for most.

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  • Thank you

    Thanks to everyone who has read my article and for all the kind words and emails I have received. I hope you are all inspired and have stopped, or are at least trying to stop, biting those nails down to the quick. Your support is greatly appreciated. Let's all try and have a good year!

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  • POINTLESS?

    Sorry but although inspiring that one person could do this most are still pretty hard done by. Even if every laid-off lawyer were to become a consultant, we are in a recession and there is not enough work to go round. I was made redundant from a large investment bank after 4 years of working in their derivatives transactions legal team and that was 4 months ago. Agents are still stock piling CVs and mine is amongst them but the jobs just aren't there.

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  • PI

    Not being a consultant myself it's difficult to give a complete answer to the point raised that the Law Society requires the consultant to have their own PI insurance if they work for more than 4 firms. I would want to find out chapter and verse why they say that and then look at how to get round it - because it is possible to get around. I know consultants who work this way and if they had to have their own insurance it would be completely unviable. Some consultants appear on the firm's practising certifcate as solicitors working for the firm, so I guess that might be the way to get round the problem. If Ana appeared as a solicitor on all the PC forms for the firms for whom she has worked the previous year she would effectively benefit from their PI cover.

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  • Virtual community of unemployed lawyers

    Dear Anna, thank you for sharing with us your experience. I have also come to the conclusion that the only way to find work at the moment is to create its own work, however it is quite difficult when you have been pampered for years by a large law firm and have worked only on huge transactions which are not entrusted to sole practitioners. An idea could be to create a virtual community of lawyers who are in a similar situation to exchange ideas, referrals, do common marketing, offer below the market fees and move forward.

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