Lexham Legal does not provide advice through the vehicle of a solicitors practice and its advisers are not solicitors, as explained in about us.
However, it does offer corporate law consultancy services to solicitor practices, on a day or half-day basis. The intention is that the service which might provide a more flexible and competitively-priced service than either a standard locum arrangement or some form of part time arrangement with an employee or consultant.
Under the Code of Conduct of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, at present a solicitor may only practice in England and Wales as a consultant or locum where the organisation the solicitor is working for has "exclusive control over the individual's time for all or part of the individual's working week". For locum or consultant solicitors, the SRA treat this as being satisfied by there being a degree of regularity in the services they provide, such as their working once a week or twice a month and so on.
However, as non-solicitors, Lexham Legal advisers are free to work on a completely flexible ad-hoc arrangement with any practice. For example, if a transaction needs a degree of corporate law experience and expertise, Lexham Legal can work on it for a day or two at the front end of the transaction, perhaps agreeing structure and achieving first drafts, then it can pick up at final negotiation stage if the law firm so wished.
To this end, Lexham Legal has its own professional indemnity insurance with £2 million of cover. However it would always be for the law firm to discuss the situation with its own insurers to allow itself to be entirely happy with any such arrangement.
As with locum staff, the law firm would need to decide whether to present a Lexham Legal adviser to the law firm's client or whether the adviser will simply advise a solicitor of the firm who would then "front" the work with the client. Lexham Legal is happy to be more in the background or to work closely with the law firm's client, and if working directly with that client will accept restrictions on Lexham Legal working for that client directly for an appreciable time thereafter.
As non-solicitors, Lexham Legal advisers must not give the client the impression that they are solicitors. This is especially a risk if it 'looks' like they are working, albeit indirectly, for a solicitor practice. To seek to avoid this issue, any Lexham Legal adviser would probably be best presented to the client as a paralegal adviser.
Lexham Legal is not subject to some of the more crippling costs which inflict law firms in the current climate. In particular the cost of its professional indemnity insurance reflects its policy being negotiated on a more open and competitive market. As such, it can offer its services on a more competitive basis than many solicitors, who must presumably top up their normal charging rates to price-in these costs.
Furthermore, as Lexham Legal approach and engage with law firms directly, there is no "middle-man" fee such as is charged by recruitment and locum placement agents.
If you are involved in staffing a law firm, or are simply an pressured solicitor who could do with either some specialised input on a work matter or an extra set of experienced hands on deck at short notice, please get in touch with us for a initial survey of the options we can provide based on your firm's circumstances and needs. Our terms and conditions of consultancy and our day and half-day rates are available on request.
"Thanks for your advice as I have never been in this position before but was so relieved reading through what you helped us with a few months back as it is very clearly written document and helpful..."
"...thank you...for your excellent advice which helped protect the business and my personal interests, I certainly couldn't have done it without you"
020 3318 0906
19-21 Lexham Gardens
London W8 5JJ
(five minutes walk from High Street Kensington, Gloucester Road and Earls Court stations)