A tax consultancy has set up an alternative business structure to create a “one-stop shop” for independent contractors seeking advice.
Carla Roberts, director of legal services at WTT Legal and dual-qualified in England and the US, said the introduction of ABSs had encouraged entrepreneurs to invest and get involved in the running of law firms.
“Giving law firms the ability to bring in business people has encouraged a new, more entrepreneurial culture.”
WTT Consulting advises around 2,000 independent contractors working in sectors such as IT, medicine and pharmaceuticals, engineering, and oil and gas.
WTT Legal, which became an ABS last month, offers advice ranging from employment law to consultancy contracts, insurance and compliance, tax planning and wills and trusts.
Ms Roberts is the COLP of WTT Legal and Rhys Thomas, managing director of WTT Consulting, the COFA – the pair are the firm’s directors. A paralegal with experience of working for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is to join them by the end of this month.
Ms Roberts said she would continue to refer work, such as insolvency, to outside law firms and staffing would “grow as the firm grows”. WTT Consulting employs around 15 people.
“Our contractors feel they are in a secure environment with us and are rather loyal, so they will benefit from having everything under one umbrella.”
Ms Roberts said it might also be cheaper for them to use WTT Legal.
She said a major focus for WTT was IR35, essentially the tax rules that determine whether an individual is to be taxed as an employee”.
She went on: “It’s a big driver for this business, and it has raised a lot of concerns over tax demands and their status – whether or not they are genuinely self-employed or deemed to be employees.”
Ms Roberts qualified as a lawyer in California before moving to the UK with her British husband.
She did loss adjusting work before becoming dual-qualified while working as an investigations manager for a firm in Hampshire.
She joined WTT Consulting last year from Alexander Mann Solutions, a recruitment outsourcer used by HMRC and the Ministry of Justice among others, where she was senior legal counsel for EMEA and Americas.
“I wanted a change from a big corporate environment and I saw this as a chance to use my in-house and recruitment experience to build a one-stop shop for contractors.”