Field Fisher Waterhouse, the firm at the vanguard of the equity-for-fees craze, is going a stage further by offering its services on a bartering basis on two new business-to-business internet exchanges.
Field Fisher, undaunted by the dotcom crash, is advising Professional Spirit and Bartercard on the launch of websites allowing businesses to offer their services or products in a cash-free economy.
In return for its legal services, Field Fisher will be entitled to a commensurate level of service from a range of providers, from electricians to accountants.
“We’ve always taken a creative approach to billing. You’re always looking for that mutuality with clients,” said partner Michael Chissick.
It is the first law firm to sign up to Professional Spirit, an online marketplace aimed at professional services firms such as law firms, accountants and IT companies. Reading firm Pitmans is also advising the company, but has yet to sign up as a member.
Chissick was an outspoken exponent of shares for fees during the dotcom boom and, although his partners are yet to make their fortunes from the experiment, he is being part-paid in shares by Professional Spirit. “Firms are doing all sorts of things to win business,” he claimed, noting the deals offered to clients in the current business climate.
Bartercard, with 55,000 members worldwide, has a wider range of companies.
Field Fisher is initially offering personal injury, commercial property, employment and IT advice to members.