The growth of fee-share law firm arch.law has continued with the addition of a five-strong London practice onto the platform, the first firm to join its network.
The lawyers at London firm Mayfair Rise will continue to work together, and the firm remains an active business with its staff under contract, but they will all operate under the arch.law banner, which will provide back-office and other support.
Arch.law founder Andrew Leaitherland, the former chief executive of listed firm DWF, is constructing an unusual technology-led model, recruiting senior lawyers as consultants – retaining up to 85% of their fees – as well as both qualified lawyers and others, such as paralegals, to work on a contract basis or even be employed by Arch, possibly as a stepping stone to become a consultant.
Mayfair Rise founder Sally Marsden told Legal Futures that her five-year-old firm, which offers a wide range of services, had reached the stage where she had to take a step back from either management or fee-earning.
Not wanting to do the latter, she decided that the better approach was to join arch.law, having known Mr Leaitherland for many years.
She said: “Building the Mayfair Rise business is a key goal for us and one that we will certainly achieve within the arch.law model as we leave behind the distractions of running a regulated law firm.”
Her firm’s office in London’s Mayfair will now provide a ‘collaboration hub’ for arch.law.
Ms Marsden said the brand of Mayfair Rise had not been that important in building the firm – “the nature of the business was that we weren’t selling a brand, we were selling ourselves” – and that arch.law gave her “access to greater resources”.
Arch.law now has more than 70 members who also provide specialised branded services in areas such as fleet management, litigation costs and business succession planning, along with a group of ‘preferred partner’ businesses to offer clients a range of services, both legal and technological, that arch.law cannot.
They include The Legal Director, a law firm that provides SMEs that do not need full-time legal directors with experienced commercial lawyers to work in-house on a contract basis, and Farillio, which offers start-ups and small businesses access to legal documentation and advice on a monthly subscription.
In September, arch.law announced a strategic investment in Connectd, a platform linking the founders of start-ups, investors and advisers, and Mr Leaitherland said he was looking to continue international expansion to Singapore, the Middle East and North America, having moved into Australia at the end of 2021.