With thanks to #AlanHughes I have become a member of the Federation of Small Businesses today.

It is still a very novel concept for a solicitor to practice as a freelance, which I have now done since February 2020. Forgive me for expanding on this a little.

The Law Society opposed the concept of freelance solicitors but the Solicitors Regulation Authority introduced it anyway, so having been in somewhat of a no man’s land within my own profession, it is quite a nice feeling to now have the comfort of a support network with some very useful resources available.

For those still unfamiliar with the scheme (and why should you be otherwise) on 25th November 2019, the Solicitors Regulation Authority introduced new Regulations that allow solicitors to work and offer services to the public in different ways, outside of the traditional legal entity models.

In practice, what this means is that my clients can contact me directly at any time. I work from home with no office and pass the savings incurred by my very low overheads directly on to my clients. I visit my clients if face to face instructions are required and don’t charge them travel costs for this. Clients seem to find this very convenient. This means that, as a fully qualified solicitor since 1996, I can provide partner levels of service but I charge less than traditional High Street practices would bill clients for a trainee solicitor.

My clients have the reassurance of dealing with a highly experienced practitioner, compliant with all the Regulatory obligations you would expect from a solicitor and with full Professional Indemnity insurance in place.

My career long history in dispute resolution includes dealing with conflicts between individuals, disputes between consumers and businesses, business to business litigation and litigation involving both businesses and individuals against the State. I have 27 years of advocacy experience in the County Court, the Magistrates Court and various tribunals, together with extensive litigation experience in the County Court, Magistrates Courts, Crown Court and the Court of Appeal. My 22 years’ experience of owning and managing small businesses and 17 years’ experience served as a Company Director provides useful skills which help to assist clients, particularly those with young or growing businesses.

The solicitor’s solicitor, my practice has developed through word of mouth recommendations but over half my current caseload is still for clients who have been referred to me by other Preston solicitors from the area’s very best firms; you know who you are. Many referrals are due to my local availability with national level expertise in motoring law (I am one of very few solicitors in Preston with specialist motoring law expertise) but other colleagues also recognise that the freelance model can assist where a traditional firm may not prove cost effective. I thank you all.

I am delighted to be able now to connect with and provide services to other small businesses and individuals in Lancashire and beyond and to be a part of the FSB.