Mary Lowe: "This is the most profitable way to practice law in the 21st Century"
“I have been in practice 28 years and have had the most enjoyable year since joining Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Ltd 16 months ago. I was previously a Director in a Company with four fellow Directors, two offices and 20+ staff operating in the traditional method. A virtual law firm allows superb flexibility allowing you to work from home to suit family commitments. I have made the best decision for myself and my family. I have an office close to home to separate work and home life but I can work from home whenever I chose and whenever my children are unwell or during school holidays.
It is delightful to concentrate on your clients' needs fully and have complete peace of mind that all administrative work is carried out competently at Head office; all SRA regulations are up to date and adhered to; accounts regulations are up to date and adhered to and all software is installed and managed. For once you can concentrate on being a lawyer without spending hours per week running your practice and attending to the needs of office administration; staff; technology and so forth. Your time is free to fee earn. Plus after working very hard you know with certainty that you are earning most of every bill paid.
I employ two staff, one of which lives 200 miles away, but types for me remotely. Office overheads are greatly reduced with a virtual law firm. This is the most profitable way to practice law in the 21st Century and I am pleased Lucy Scott-Moncrieff had such foresight. I am further delighted to be contracted to such a modern practice and to be part of such a great team.”
Laura Janes:"I joined ScoMo when I was pregnant with my second child...I needed the flexibility to work in a way that suited me and my family."
“My practice is fairly niche. It revolves around the needs of my particular client group: mainly children and young people in detention. I joined ScoMo when I was pregnant with my second child. At that time, I wanted to continue with my practice but I needed the flexibility to work in a way that suited me and my family. I was also halfway through a professional doctorate.
Five years on, I have completed my doctorate and developed my practice significantly to include mental health and civil damages work with the support and encouragement of experienced colleagues at ScoMo.
I employ legal assistants to support my practice. This allows me to ensure that my own flexible working hours are used as efficiently as possible and that my clients can contact my team throughout the working week.
The set up at ScoMo enables me to continue to develop my practice alongside my other commitments which includes teaching at London South Bank University and working as a legal consultant for a national charity.”
Mitchell Woolf: "Being a consultant solicitor is very important in enabling me to obtain a balance in my working life"
“I started working as a consultant solicitor at ScoMo over ten years ago. At the time, I was an academic and wanted to test some ideas about bringing challenges on behalf of vulnerable and disabled children. Working as a consultant solicitor at ScoMo has given me the opportunity to take cases and also continue working in the academic field.
Being a consultant solicitor is very important in enabling me to obtain a balance in my working life that allows me to pursue my work in a way that suits me. It allows me to have control over my caseload and leaves me with the autonomy to explore areas of challenge that interest me.
Working with other like-minded people, gives us an ethos that means that I do not feel isolated even if I am not sharing an office with other consultants.”
Richard Barr: "You join the firm as a self-employed consultant. The support services are provided in return for the firm receiving a percentage (usually 30 per cent)"
See published article here.
Mark Tunstill: "I see ScoMo as a firm which allows maximum flexibility at work...It also provides a great return."
“Having been in practice for the past 25 years or so, in the City and West end, I see ScoMo as a firm which allows maximum flexibility at work. It also provides a great return, with consultants keeping most of the fees received. The atmosphere is collegiate despite most of us being dispersed across the country and even the globe: the internet, email and telephone allow this and are proving to be the main tools for legal practice in the 21st century.
"The ScoMo experience is hassle-free. In particular, consultants are not engaged in any time-consuming office admin, allowing us to concentrate solely on advancing our clients’ interests. The Kingsway office is there for those of us who wish to use it, but attendance is not required and there is no commuting! The cloud-based practice management system is hyper-secure and contains all client files which means that all I need is a laptop and smartphone to work wherever I choose.”
Terence Channer: "work from anywhere in the world at my own pace...excellent!"
“In March 2012, I approached the prospect of working for a virtual law firm with a large degree of excitement. I found the thought of having autonomy and control over my working hours and operations to be extremely appealing. Throughout my career I have been "systems driven" so the idea of harnessing the latest technology to increase profitability, efficiency and create a healthy work/life balance was a challenge that I relished.
Like most lawyers I've had such an attachment to paper over the years. However, approximately two and a half years ago I went totally paperless which was the last obstacle to total freedom. Therefore, a paperless office, video conference meetings and a cloud-based practice management system have been key to fully exploiting virtual working; work from anywhere in the world at my own pace...excellent!”
Bev Lambert: "the opportunity to work flexibly and remotely was extremely attractive"
“I joined ScoMo in 2014 when, as the mother of three young children, the opportunity to work flexibly and remotely was extremely attractive. The positive and supportive ethos that was immediately apparent within the ScoMo organisation and the opportunity to work alongside many highly experienced and independent-minded lawyers were further persuasive factors. Most of all I was drawn by the opportunity to increase my professional autonomy, to build my own client base and to take greater control of my work so as to ensure both efficient and ethical working practice.
I have since built a wide and varied caseload, drawing on my previous knowledge and experience as well as expanding into new areas. I have recruited a small team of lawyers and administrative assistants who support me in offering insolvency, restructuring and property litigation advice. The flexibility of the role has enabled me to also retain a very stimulating position as an Associate Lecturer in Law for The Open University.”
Mike Powell: "ScoMo has provided me with the necessary support when I have needed it and consultants are happy to assist each other...I have not looked back".
“Before joining ScoMo I was considering whether or not to set up my own firm until an ex-colleague suggested working as a self-employed solicitor. I looked at various firms but what I liked about ScoMo was its ethos and the calibre of its lawyers, a number of whom are highly respected in their area of law. I also liked the fact that ScoMo would be responsible for much of the admin involved such as providing indemnity insurance, dealing with regulatory bodies, accounts and archiving etc. Also, the consultancy agreement was straightforward, i.e. the consultant retained most of their fees regardless of income for a given year unlike other firms which operate on a sliding scale.
Scott-Moncrieff provides a cloud-based integrated case management and email system which means that files can be accessed anywhere online securely as the system is maintained and backed up centrally and nothing needs to be stored on a consultant’s own computer. ScoMo has provided me with the necessary support when I have needed it and consultants are happy to assist each other. Since joining ScoMo in 2011, I have not looked back. If a lawyer is self-reliant and confident of generating their own work, I can recommend working as a self-employed consultant lawyer and from my own experience I would highly recommend working for ScoMo.”