New opportunities for start-ups

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14 December 2011

The Legal Services Act (LSA) has been well documented by commentators across the profession and the expected impact of the reforms has been described by many as the ‘Big Bang’ moment for the sector. Legal Futures Associate NatWest considers the opportunites this will bring to start-ups.

The LSA will undoubtedly result in a reduction in the number of law firms because outdated practices may be lost in the increasingly competitive world resulting from new providers.

It will also be the impetus for change for established practices and presents a real opportunity for innovation and to review strategies for winning and retaining clients as well as talent within your firm. It presents a wealth of opportunities for those firms who are willing to make the most of the change and perhaps is most beneficial to those forward-thinking individuals looking to set up a new law firm.

The rigid pyramid structure within law firms can restrict the ambitious young professional who is unwilling to wait for partner roles to become vacant as a result of retirement or someone leaving.

We are seeing evidence of a more liberal environment where risk is encouraged and legal professionals are taking the leap into the world of self-employment and setting up their own practice. Indeed these ambitious professionals can take advantage of the new forms of capital that will be available in the wake of alternative business structures (ABS).

Our experience at NatWest is already showing an increase in lawyers who have launched their own firm, despite the ripples being felt across the sector due to the LSA and the resulting ABSs. Indeed ABSs could offer lawyers greater flexibility in the way they practice and allow external investment and ownership of law firms which can be advantageous for those looking to branch out on their own. Legal start-ups can also be lean with regards to costs, which is also a positive factor encouraging many to take this step because essentially the barriers to entry are manegable.

Providing business guidance and support to start-ups and existing firms is at the very heart of our business proposition and we are committed to providing added value that will benefit all practice sizes and ensure you make an informed decision.

The combination of our sector expertise, gained from working daily with legal clients, and commercial acumen means we are well-placed to support legal entrepreneurs and provide guidance on how to avoid the pitfalls of the economic climate and assist the set up of your firm, daily management and plan for future growth opportunities.

We offer practical assistance to start-ups and offer a free online business review that covers essential areas of strategy and leadership, cash flow, managing customers, risk and understanding your finances. It provides essential guidance on these issues as well as helping to identify expansion opportunities.

We want to ensure our customers have the confidence to achieve their ambitions through working with us and ensure banking is made simple for all and offers start-ups a relationship team that understands their ambitions and can deliver transparency and added value through business and sector expertise.

Security may be required. Product fees may apply. Over 18s only. Any property used as security, which may include your home, may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other debt secured on it.


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