Business Lawyers – in Demand
There are a lot of SME and larger companies without legal departments and with a need for legal advice. Whether this is an employment law issue, a contract review, an agreement drawn up, a dispute with a supplier or a customer complaint, Company Commercial Solicitors are very often in demand.
Lawyers Cost Money – Lots of Money
One of the main bugbears that businesses have with the legal profession is the sheer cost of getting advice or the perceived sheer cost of getting advice.
Law Firms are Expensive
Traditionally law firms have been the source of legal assistance for in-house legal departments and businesses, but in recent times hourly rates have just rocketed. It is hard to find a business lawyer charging less than £250 per hour for their time, and this can be extremely prohibitive for a business seeking to keep costs down as low as possible. Three hours work advising you a contract that might only be worth £10k is going to cost you just short of 10% of the cost of the contract..
Litigation Costs are Astronomical
We have heard of companies needing assistance defending or pursuing claims for matters just falling within the values of county court rather than the small claims track, and paying out thousands of pounds in legal advice for what should really have been a few hours work at very little cost.
Why Do Solicitors Cost So Much?
This is mainly because if you use a traditional law firm for general corporate commercial, commercial contracts or commercial litigation assistance then you are paying for the right to be able to sue the solicitor if everything goes wrong or the solicitor has been in some way negligent when dealing with your case. One of the main reasons that solicitors’ firms charge what are perceived to be very high levels of fees is because quite a lot of their income is paid out in professional indemnity insurance, and covering the risk of providing you with advice that you can act upon if it should be deemed negligent.
The Alternative Low Cost Option? Interim Lawyers
Interim Lawyers are a completely different choice for businesses, and offer companies and in-house legal departments the option of working with highly qualified solicitors and legal executives but at a much lower price. Solicitors contract to provide you with legal services as consultants and advising you internally as an in house lawyer.
To give you an idea as to how much lower the rates can be, if you have a commercial contract you require assistance with, whether this is drafting or reviewing, the cost of an interim lawyer via interimlawyers.co.uk is likely to be around the £50 to £65 per hour mark bracket including agency fees. The equivalent cost for a reasonably qualified solicitor in a private practice would probably be in the region of £275 per hour.
Astronomical Cost Savings
Let’s assume it takes the solicitor 3 hours to review your commercial contract and provide you with a bit of advice on it, undertake a few amendments and return it. You will have just paid out £825 plus VAT for a solicitor to do this work.
If you had used Interim Lawyers option then the cost would have been around £180 plus VAT. As you can see this is quite a considerable difference. Chances are the solicitor working via interimlawyers.co.uk would be just as experienced, if not more generally than the solicitor working via the traditional law firm route.
The Difference Between Using In House Solicitors Compared with Law Firms
Although the solicitor working via Interim Lawyers is considerably cheaper than the traditional law firm, there is very little difference in service. However there is a different element of risk involved. In House Lawyers are covered by your own professional insurance arrangements and will not carry their own insurance.
Can Individuals Use Interim Lawyers and Save Money?
Unfortunately in house solicitors are not able to give legal advice to private individuals. If a solicitor is advising an individual they need to have their own professional indemnity insurance and be working under a regulated body such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority in either a solicitors firm or an alternative business structure (also known as an ABS).
So you cannot use an interim lawyer from interimlawyers.co.uk to undertake your conveyancing or to conduct your divorce. You can of course ask an interim lawyer to advise you on a business project involving supplying conveyancing services, but that solicitor would not be able to actually undertake conveyancing on behalf of anyone unless he or she was working within the structure of a law firm with professional indemnity insurance.
Find a Solicitor – Individuals
So there is a difference between the two. Interim Lawyers are able to act on behalf of businesses and save considerable amounts of money, but they will not be able to assist private individuals with their legal issues. For that you need to use a solicitor, and we would normally recommend The Law Society Find a Solicitor service or visit the Ten Percent Group for a free expert opinion on a particular solicitor or law firm.
With prices from just £30 an hour plus agency fees, interimlawyers.co.uk provides a low cost and flexible solution to businesses requiring legal advice. Give them a call on 0800 246 501 or visit the website for further details.
Jonathan Fagan is MD of Ten-Percent.co.uk Limited and TP Recruitment Limited, a set of websites involved in a range of recruitment work. Jonathan has been running small businesses for over 20 years and has a number of interests and investments in companies as diverse as transcription, legal recruitment and a bit of marketing. He is an author of a number of guides and books, together with a children’s novel. In his spare time he enjoys playing golf, cricket, coaching girls’ football, operating a parent taxi, lots of running and paddleboarding on Bala Lake and the River Dee. He is a strong believer in a good work-life balance and regular blogs on making money vs enjoying life. Jonathan’s website is https://www.jonathanfagan.co.uk