Sohal: Appeal of partnership is fading

A dispersed commercial law firm based in Birmingham is offering solicitors the chance to set up their own firms while working as self-employed consultants.

Sandip Sohal, director of My Business Counsel (MBC), said two partners from a London media firm and two more from an international City practice had taken up the offer.

Mr Sohal said the firms used MBC’s IT platform and back office functions, and operated as trading names of MBC.

He said they were among the new arrivals which had enabled MBC to grow from five to 30 lawyers in only three years, with a further nine former partners or senior associates arriving over the next 12 months.

Mr Sohal said the firm was receiving more and more inquiries from senior associates who “know they won’t make it to partnership or will be waiting for a very long time”.

He went on: “The appeal of partnership is fading. Some of these senior associates have been qualified for 15 years. Partners have done really well financially over the last 15-20 years, but now the top is saturated and many firms are heavily in debt.

“Senior associates don’t want to be part of it. In many cases they are the ones with the business relationship. They could join our firm and have their own mini-businesses.

“They could also earn a lot more. If they worked with us full-time, they could earn three times as much. Our top earner went from earning £66,000 to £220,000.”

Mr Sohal said the IT platform, MBC Link, allowed consultant solicitors to set up a new ticket for every new client, and for the progress of the case to be monitored both by them and by MBC.

“It plugs the gap between our lawyers and us,” he said. “It enables any member of the support team to work on a case.”

Mr Sohal said he set up MBC with his wife in 2011, who remain sole directors.

He started his career as a paralegal at Eversheds and became an in-house paralegal at telephone company Sendo, before qualifying at DLA. Instead of joining another large commercial firm, he helped set up a legal department for an investment fund, which operated as a separate law firm.

Mr Sohal said the firm’s strategy included becoming an alternative business structure later this year or early next year. Although the firm had no immediate need for external finance, he said it might be considered in the future.

Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


The working practices of property lawyers have changed little since the 19th century. Many aspects of the conveyancing process remain offline – documents are still on paper and the data entered manually. The commercial transaction process is laborious, slow and… Read More


20 June 2018

New tech on the block: what you need to know about blockchain

Blockchain. It’s been branded as the future of just about everything, and is soon expected to infiltrate all aspects of how we live our lives from banking, to tax returns to voting. But what is it, and how can it be used in property transactions?

Read More

18 June 2018

Surely no one would do this?

It’s slightly tongue-in-cheek, but let’s see if we can design a business model that is doomed to struggle and which will ensure that we miss out on the profit and cash opportunities that come with providing high-value services at high prices in a near-monopoly situation.

Read More