Services

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Becoming a Consultant Lawyer

 

 

Here you will find some information to assist you in setting up as a self-employed consultant lawyer to work with My Business Counsel to service the needs of your own client following or work on My Business Counsel client matters.

 

Practicing Certificates

 

Typically once you take the decision to become self-employed, you will be expected to fund your own practicing certificate cost as well as the cost of your professional development.  Practicing certificate fees are fairly reasonable, when balanced against your earning potential as a self-employed lawyer.  In terms of professional development costs, My Business Counsel regularly conducts its own seminars and events, as well as maintains relationships with various partners, including barristers chambers and professional service businesses’, that allow our lawyers to attend their events which are CPD accredited.

 

If you were to join My Business Counsel, we shall also notify the Law Society that you are a ‘Consultant Solicitor’ working under the banner of My Business Counsel as a solicitor.

Where will the work come from and client followings

 

My Business Counsel has been established to provide a platform for lawyers to build up their own mini practices that work with their lifestyles.  Therefore, generally our lawyers will conduct their own business development using the resources of the Marketing and Business Development Team to engage with their previous contacts and build up their own client base.  In addition to this, My Business Counsel have an active Marketing and Business Development team that may well provide work to you on a regular or ad-hoc basis depending on business and client requirements.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

 

Whilst working with My Business Counsel, you shall be covered by our professional indemnity insurance, subject to the terms and conditions of the scheme.  You are covered for work that you conduct  for a client that has signed our Client Engagement Terms of Engagement only.  The MBC Support Team take care of everything from client engagement, conducting the AML checks and issuing your invoices to the client as and when you require.

Payments to you and trading via a limited company

 

We shall pay your fee share direct to your business bank account once we receive cleared funds from the client, as well as an invoice from you to this firm requesting the fee share to be paid.  All invoices are usually paid within a few days.  It is usually advisable to set up a limited company in order to receive fee income from My Business Counsel, as this usually works out more tax efficient.  Setting up a limited company brings along additional administrational duties such as those described below.

 

My Business Counsel can set up the limited company for you and assist with any initial requirements for filings.

Managing your limited company

 

When setting up your own limited company, there are a number of administrative tasks that need to be followed in order to maintain compliance with the current legislation.  Paperwork will need to be sent to Companies House, HMRC, agencies and to this firm.

Naming your Limited Company

 

You need to firstly incorporate your company i.e. create the company at Companies House through the correct forms.  Before naming your limited company, you will need to consider the following:

 

  • Your limited company must contain the word Limited (Ltd) at the end i.e. XYZ  Ltd
  • It must not contain the case sensitive words that are listed by Companies House and it cannot be the same or similar to another registered company that already exists on the company index.
  • The name cannot be offensive and cannot deem to have a connection with central or local government.

Appointing an Accountant

 

Most consultants prefer to appoint an accountant to assist them in setting up their limited company.  An accountant can be an invaluable source of advice for your business helping you run your limited company as tax efficiently as possible.  Your limited company must be registered for corporation tax with HMRC and is usually done at the same time as incorporation of the limited company.  Annual accounts and a corporate tax return are also required of your limited company.

Self-Assessment tax returns

 

As a director of a limited company, you shall be responsible for registering and completing a self-assessment tax return each year.  Again, your Accountant can do this on your behalf.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

 

The turnover threshold for businesses in 2015 is £82,000.  If your limited company exceeds or is likely to exceed this amount then you must register for VAT.  Again, you can use your Accountant to submit your VAT returns quarterly online.  Once you register for VAT, you will be required to add the current prevailing rate of VAT to your invoice when you bill My Business Counsel for your portion of the fee.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

 

Whilst working with My Business Counsel, you shall be covered by our professional indemnity insurance, subject to the terms and conditions of the scheme.  You are covered for work that you conduct  for a client that has signed our Client Engagement Terms of Engagement only.  The MBC Support Team take care of everything from client engagement, conducting the AML checks and issuing your invoices to the client as and when you require.

Please contact our Business Development Team on 0121 562 1704 to discuss your specific requirements and for any queries in relation to setting up a limited company and generally in becoming a self-employed lawyer.