54 new lawyers join Setfords during lockdown as interest in consultancy surges during the COVID-19 pandemic

The consultant-led law firm Setfords has signed 54 new lawyers since the lockdown began in March – more than double the number that joined the firm during the same period last year.

Setfords already has more than 250 consultant lawyers working remotely. Each is supported by the company’s digital platform and a Guildford-based team that includes secretarial, digital and public relations specialists.

The company, which took £3.75 million in investment from British Growth Fund in 2016, also has a sales and marketing team which generates in excess of £3 million worth of leads each year for its consultants.

The massive growth in new joiners comes as traditional firms across the industry have announced suspension of partner pay, cutting of salaries and furloughing of staff.

Setfords co-CEO, Chris Setford said: “During the pandemic many lawyers have faced uncertainty over their future earnings and careers, and many have taken this time to reassess their working lives.

“Those who have explored consultancy have realised it offers a brilliant alternative to a traditional firm and gives them greater control over their futures.”

Thousands of lawyers in traditional firms experienced home working for the first time during the lockdown, further increasing interest in achieving a healthier work-life balance.

Setfords, which won the Lexis Nexis Award for Wellbeing in 2018, expects to see further growth in the coming months as lawyers look for a law firm that is properly set-up to support remote working, and one that is led by those who genuinely believe lawyers should have the freedom to dictate when and where they work.

Chris Setford said: “We have built our firm around the belief that happier lawyers make better lawyers.

“Our self-employed consultants set their own targets, decide their own working hours, and are supported by a digital platform we have spent 14 years perfecting.

“Very often our lawyers not only have all the benefits of working remotely, with full support, on their own terms, but also find they earn significantly more than in an employed role given that they earn the lion’s share of their fees. It really is a win, win.”

Chris added: “In this modern world of social distancing it has never been more important to be able to provide a legal service remotely.

“We are delighted to welcome another 54 brilliant legal minds, and we are continuing discussions with dozens more.”

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