How We Work
a) Who do you work with?
We work with entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes to make legal work, including completing transactions and settling disputes, as straightforward, hassle free and effective as possible.
b) What work do you do?
We are able to carry out most corporate and commercial legal work ourselves, commonly for fees far less than an established law firm. Over the years we’ve built up a great network of other reliable and experienced self-employed solicitors and small law firms who we are happy to work with or recommend when any aspects of work fall outside of our areas of expertise, or when we are unable to take on new work ourselves.
c) How do I instruct you?
The first step is to send Jonathan an email (email@example.com) to set-up a free initial telephone consultation.
We’re a social business so for all new clients and matters we hold a non-chargeable and no obligation brief introductory call, usually 15-30 minutes, to learn more about you, discuss and understand your requirements, explain a few options that may be available to you and agree on any scope of work. Following which we can email you confirmation of any advice, contacts and ideas mentioned on the call, as well as any fees quoted for work identified.
We usually hold these initial calls at either 8.30 am or 9 am most mornings and ask that clients first email a few times you are available for such a call, together with some information on who you are and the issue you would like us to help you with.
We will always try to answer the phone, but unless we have scheduled a call it is unlikely we will be available to talk for more than a few seconds. If you email us requesting an answer or opinion it is rare that we can respond with a simple answer without first asking several questions and engaging in a discussion – to do this by email ping pong is much more time draining so unless we have been instructed by you and are getting paid for our time we instead ask you to arrange an initial call where we can discuss your issue and give appropriate guidance.
We provide most of our services through The London Law Practice under their regulatory and insurance umbrella, as well as with a couple of other regulated and well run small law firms that work on a virtual basis with a network of self-employed specialist solicitors. On occasion, particularly for startups, we can carry out work through our own unregulated company at a reduced rate.
Once we have held an initial call with you and you subsequently confirm by email you would like to instruct us we then send you our engagement letter setting out the scope of work and fees agreed and our other terms of business. We then require some money on account before starting work on any new matter.
d) Are you able to drop everything and work on my matter tomorrow?
Some people seem to expect solicitors have nothing to do and are able straight away to work on a new matter. As hard as we try to be highly responsive and to meet client demands, unfortunately providing legal services is a different business to running a takeaway.
We prefer working with people who are considerate and don’t have ridiculously unreasonable demands. Just like you wouldn’t expect a surgeon, gardener or other service provider who is half decent at their job to instantly be available we tend to have a lot of work and busy schedules to manage. Therefore, we commonly need at least one week’s notice before being able to start work on new matters, although having said that we’ll always try to put you in touch with someone else useful if you are working to a shorter time-frame and/or we are overcapacity.
At the outset we will establish whether there is any potential conflict of interest. If so we will not be able to represent you.
e) Can I meet you?
Unless we’re getting paid to attend we try to avoid face-to-face meetings, as even trying to arrange them tends to me an enormously unproductive time suck. However, if the opportunity is big enough or you’d like to enter into a long term working relationship with us we should be able to find the time to meet you.
Otherwise, our work is carried out by phone and email and we successfully act for clients all around the world without ever meeting in person. Skype is preferred for calls as the sound quality is more reliable, its free and we can easily make use of the video and conference call functionality.
f) How much will my project cost?
It depends. We will discuss billing options on your initial call and very often there will be other points you need to consider that you will not have envisaged if you initially ask us for a quote.
For certain matters we can agree a fixed fee (usually starting at £500), which means that no matter how long it takes us to complete the work, you only pay one fee. This can be appealing to entrepreneurs and startups on a tight budget. Other matters are more appropriately billed on a time incurred basis, in which case we will give you an estimate up-front, and we will do our best to meet such estimate. Sometimes we can also offer you a reduced hourly rate. Regardless of the arrangement, our goal is to make sure you are happy, prepared to recommend us to others and that there are no end-of-the-month surprises regarding invoices.