Are you tired of billing large sums for your law firm and only receiving a fraction of it for your income? Is it time for you to go it alone? Here is my “Hot to become a consultant solicitor” guide showing ou all of your options.
The legal world has changed so much since I entered it in 1990. Now, as well as freelance solicitors which virtually means working completely on your own, you can become a consultant solicitor where you still have the support of a larger firm around you, but you also get to keep at least half of what you bill, and in some cases as much as 90% of your billing.
That makes you think, doesn’t it?
Let’s look at all of the pros and cons of becoming a consultant solicitor, starting with the most important one to you, no doubt, how much you will be able to keep as an income.
You Keep A Share Of What You Bill
The biggest change in your career when you become a consultant solicitor will be the fact that instead of receiving a fixed salary, you will take home a percentage of what you bill.
The standard rate across the many consultancy models that I see and help with recruitement is 70% to the consultant, 30% to the law firm for providing case management software, professional indemnity insurance and in some cases administrative support.
The ranges can vary from 50/50 fee split to as much as 90% for the consultant.
However, when considering becoming a consultant solicitor, don’t just look at the headline figure, but the full offering given to you.
It is not just about the money, as I will share with you in the Winning Clients section below, but first, there are other things that you need to consider.
Tax And National Insurance
As a consultant solicitor, you will become responsible for paying your own tax and national insurance contributions. You will need to hire an accountant to help you with this, but so that you compare your salary with your anticipated earnings, if you take 30-40% off your turnover, that will give you a guideline to your potential earnings.
Let’s look at how this might play out with our consultant solicitor earnings calculator examples below:
Billing £200,000 per annum, salary £60,000.
- 50% fee share will leave you with £100,000, net of £60-70,000. Whilst that looks on paper that you would not be better off, remember that you are likely to be working from home, at hours to suit you, and if you choose to work harder, you can increase your turnover and directly benefit from that increase.
- 70% fee share will give you £140,000 gross income and around £84-98,000 take home pay, so a dramatic improvement if your salary is currently £60,000.
- 90% free share will give you £180,000 gross fee earning income with a take home of £108,000 to £126,000. Which carribean beach will you choose to work from???
Those are examples to let you see what can happen as a consultant solicitor, but let me explain what else might happen so that you can weigh up all of your options when considering becoming a consultant solicitor.
Winning Clients As A Consultant Solicitor
Take a moment to think where your new clients come from now.
Do they all come back to you and you only because you have been an employed solicitor for so many years, or do they come back to your firm and then find themselves at your desk?
I have spoken with and worked with so many consultant solicitors in the last few years who have done my calculations above for themselves, left employment, become a consultant solicitor and then sat at their desk waiting for a client to come to them, and they do not.
If you have always received your clients from your law firm’s marketing initiatives, when you become a consultant solicitor you will have to do the leg work to get clients coming to you.
That is completely possible, but it is going to take you some time, effort, energy and money to generate new clients as a consultant solicitor.
Your marketing options are likely to include:
- Your own website to promote your services.
- A Google My Business listing.
- A LinkedIn profile, where you connect with all of your former clients, employers and colleagues.
- Either pad traffic, such as Pay Per Click (PPC), or organic content marketing for your legal services.
For the full guide to marketing consultant solicitor services, click the button below:
Thank you for your very useful free guides with six tips and the one for consultant solicitors. I found it very useful.
Other Things To Consider From The Consultant Offerings That You See
Take a good look at any of the law firms websites of any solicitors offering you consultancy options.
Does what they say fit with the way you like to do your work as a solicitor.
Do they talk about a community amongst their consultant solicitors, so that you are not completely alone, or do they encourage you to work in a silo?
Will they provide someone to cover your work when you go on holiday so that you can properly relax and enjoy the time with your loved ones?
Remember it is never just a case of looking at the finances of the consultancy offering on the table, but every aspect of your working day, week and year.
To see current consultant solicitor vacancies and to discover how to run a profitable consultancy business, click the button below.