Management service meets resistance

FORMER head of legal Martyn McCarthy has set up his own consultancy following

the outsourcing of the legal team at Blackhorse Financial Services.

The aim is to offer quality and management advice to private practice firms as well as carrying out legal work for companies.

But McCarthy says that there has been resistance from some private practitioners who may be concerned about conflicts of interest and client-poaching.

“My initial idea hasn't quite worked out in the way I wanted it to, because of a perceived potential conflict between the two aims of the business,” he says.

McCarthy, who has taken up a locum post with the in-house department at Fidelity Investments, accepts that he may have to concentrate on “the bread and butter of work as a lawyer”.

Maidstone-based McCarthy & Co was set up after the former company solicitor and company secretary was made redundant from Blackhorse Financial Services.

The life assurance company, a subsidiary of Lloyds Bank, carried out a company-wide review which led to the five-strong legal department being outsourced.

It is understood that one of the legal team, Amanda Gregory, was kept on by Blackhorse in order to assist with farming out legal work to private practice.

The company has declined to comment.

McCarthy, who set up the Blackhorse legal department in 1990, previously worked for Abbey Life.

He is one of nine contributors to a Law Society document on quality control for the employed sector.

He wrote the paper on service level agreements as part of the research carried out by the society's commerce and industry group.