Peter Rouse, who founded Rouse & Co in 1990, is returning to the law - and wants to revolutionise legal practice by setting up a collaborative commercial law firm.
The firm, simply called 'Team' will embrace a wholly new way of working and aims to transform the way law firms are structured in the 21st century. The Rouse business model claims to do away with traditional concerns. The office has been deemed obsolete in favour of technologies that allow lawyers to work from wherever they want to. Serviced accommodation will be used when necessary, but for the most part, remote working will drive the firm. The firm will have just one billing rate of £200 per hour regardless of seniority. Of his plans for the new venture, Rouse declared: "The aim is in a short space of time to take it into the top 100." Despite this competitive charging policy, City salary rates will be paid. Rouse sees a clear correlation between low overheads and financial benefits for both practitioners and clients. Targets are to be set at 1,200 billable hours and lawyers achieving higher than this will be remunerated proportionately. Rouse explained: "It seems to me, in order to support an entirely collaborative organisation, you have to have the money sorted in a clear, transparent way." Under his model people can see exactly how they earn their money, and perhaps more importantly, so too can clients. Rouse argued that financial clarity will assist the firm. He said: "We will not do work without a budget, and if we go over that budget we won't charge the client for it." Rouse said that Team would be open for business early next year.