Twelve large City law firms have registered their interest with a novel recruitment business that places senior lawyers with followings as consultants at law firms, allowing them to run their own practices and keep most of their billings, while drawing on the support and reputation of the firm.
The model developed by IV League Talent Limited “matches client-bearing successful senior lawyers on a revenue-sharing consultant basis with firms keen to generate bottom-line income with limited risks”.
The lawyer keeps up to 70% of their own billings, with the rest going to the firm in recognition of its support.
IV League has been operating at a low level since 2010 – and in that time placed three lawyers at top 40 City firms – but has now gone live since securing more than £400,000 of funding from investors under the Enterprise Investment Scheme.
One of the investors, former Ernst & Young European head of techno
logy Chris Harrison, has become IV League’s chairman.
Chief executive Mike Jones said he has lined up 12 firms that are keen to see candidates, and will open it up to more once there is a flow of interested lawyers.
He argued that the success of various ‘virtual’ law firms showed that lawyers are embracing “the need for a better work-life balance and feel more confident in exercising control over their careers” – and want to leave the politics of partnership behinds.
Mr Jones, who was the first sales director appointed by a law firm at the former Ernst & Young tied practice Tite & Lewis, said: “IV League is a recruitment concept which operates perfectly in this environment, offering firms risk-free, quick access to talent, revenue and new clients. The lawyer retains complete control of their career and responsibility for generating income; the firm secures an injection of business with none of the costs and implications associated with a lateral hire.
“For the individual the tie-up brings brand credibility, plus administrative support. The firm gets a senior practitioner with a dedicated client following, a source of income and expertise they might not otherwise possess.”
IV League assists the consultant lawyers in setting up their practices and with personal finances, and provides ongoing advice and coaching.