We have just completed an assignment that provides an excellent example of flexibility in the modern legal market. Our client is an IT/Software developer which has been successfully growing over the last five years. Although they have been highly successful, they were concerned about the level of their legal fees. They were spending too much money with their law firms for what they regarded as quite routine legal work, mostly standard commercial contracts with new and existing clients. They came to Jameson Legal looking for alternatives.
We identified that there were two requirements for the company. They were correct in the assumption that much of the work was important but relatively routine legal work focussing on template contract work. There was however a second smaller element of the work which was far more complex and needed considerable expertise.
Whilst the company was growing and successful, it could not afford to hire multiple lawyers.
We resolved this issue in two ways. Our consultants ran a recruitment assignment to identify an experienced part qualified legal executive who could cover the commercial contracts which made up the majority of the legal work. The successful candidate had been working as a paralegal for 6 years, mostly in the IT field. She has strong commercial skills and joined the company as a full time Contract Manager. We then ran a second assignment, this time focussed on the more complex, senior work. The assignment led to the successful hire of a Legal Counsel who had left formal employment four years ago after 10 years in Law, focussing on IT. For the last four years he has run his own consultancy working for a handful of clients within the sector covering their more complex work.
The result is that the Senior Counsel works for our client three days per week, he mentors the full time Contract Manager and addresses the more complex legal issues that arise. The client is extremely happy with the arrangement as they have senior legal capability and the more routine work is also covered. Although this is not the place to discuss salaries, the client estimates that we have cut their legal expenditure by 60%.
This arrangement is an excellent example of the new flexible types of employment that are available to lawyers in the new economy. It is also an indication of how employers are thinking more commercially and flexibly.
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