Stating the obvious, it has been a pretty tumultuous start to 2013 for many in the legal profession – assuming, as we all hope, profession remains the correct industry noun.
Law firm managing partners report to us two major areas of activity at the moment. Firstly, steadying the ship to make sure it remains afloat with the right crew and a profitable cargo on board and, secondly, scanning the radar screen for good commercial opportunities.
The analogy will rest here, for all our sakes.
The main work we are being asked to assist law firms with right now falls into six broad categories:
- Reviewing or drafting agreements with service providers to ensure they are commercially effective and regulatorily compliant.
- Re-structuring existing business models and commercial ventures.
- Structuring new business models and commercial ventures.
- Acquiring, merging or selling firms and books of business.
- Providing regulatory advice on new business development initiatives.
- Developing third party litigation funding solutions, for commercial and private clients.
To emphasise this point, Samantha Barrass, SRA Executive Director, said at a recent industry conference: "It is important to be clear that we will take appropriate enforcement action against those firms who decide to take a 'wait and see' approach and make no effort to change non-compliant practices. It is individual firms' responsibility to review their current business models and take responsibility for making sure they are compliant."
O’Connors LLP is a law firm that advises other law firms on structural and regulatory matters and comprises corporate, commercial, insurance and regulatory lawyers who are highly experienced in working for lawyers, alongside other advisers. Instructing another law firm and acting on its advice gives a prima facie defence (or at least mitigation) in the event of a breach of the SRA rules together with the benefit of solicitor/client legal privilege.
O'Connors LLP is currently offering law firms a fixed price consultation with our senior team to review strategic options from a commercial and regulatory perspective. For more information please contact Nigel Wallis or Pamela Rafiq at:
100 Old Hall Street
T: 0151 906 1000