The smarter way of working
Are you interested in getting work of the highest calibre which fits around your lifestyle? Do you want the flexibility to pursue your creative or entrepreneurial interests or to spend more quality time with your family? Or are you seeking freedom from the traditional employment model?
LOD lawyers are talented, experienced lawyers undertaking quality legal roles within a flexible framework which traditional models can’t offer. They have all worked at top tier firms or as part of major in-house legal teams. Many of our lawyers are combining satisfying legal careers with their other interests and commitments, while others simply wish to have the freedom to take regular time out.
Our LOD lawyers are getting the best of both worlds. This results in focused, motivated individuals who enjoy their legal work. This commitment and energy is recognised by our clients, who range from blue-chip corporates to growth tech businesses.
As an LOD lawyer, you get variety without sacrificing career continuity. You can work across a range of environments and industries under the umbrella of being an LOD lawyer.
Unlike traditional independent contractors, you get all of the benefits of being supported by a leading international law firm. You get to retain control of your career and your time and to be part of the changing face of the legal profession, working at the heart of the reform of the traditional law firm model.
Get to know a few of us
We have more than 100 lawyers in the LOD team across many legal disciplines. We’ve interviewed around ten times that number and chosen the very best. Being a lawyer on demand is a special way of working and so we’ve chosen lawyers who are not only technically excellent but who can slot swiftly and seamlessly into new teams and quickly add value to our clients’ businesses.
We ensure that we carefully match each assignment with the LOD lawyer with the most appropriate background and experience.
Take a more in-depth look at some of our LOD lawyers to see how LOD works for them.
- 1. Sameera Khan
Sameera Khan is an investment funds lawyer and social entrepreneur in the making, who has found that working in a different way has reignited her career motivation and satisfaction.
Having spent years musing over an idea for a hub for local creativity, skills sharing and tea and cake with a twist in her native Brighton, Sameera was looking to be able to continue to enjoy quality legal work, whilst having time to explore and develop her business idea and spend more time by the sea with friends and family.
Previously the sole legal advisor to the commodity-focused Armajaro group of companies, Sameera has been on assignments through LOD at Coutts & Co, Lloyds and Colt.
LOD offers the best of both worlds. It allows individuals to continue to have a dynamic legal career, with the flexibility and freedom to focus on interests outside law.
...or, more simply:
You can have your cake and eat it!
Sole legal advisor at Armajaro Holdings
Wannabe social innovator and Brighton beach regular
- 2. Jon Esson
Jon Esson is a senior commercial lawyer. Working through LOD has given him exposure to a broad range of clients and industries, as well as affording him the time to develop a new business and enjoy regular downtime with his family.
Jon found himself looking fondly back at his in-house experience (at DaimlerChrysler) upon his return to private practice, particularly missing the close commercial involvement he’d enjoyed as well as the greater degree of flexibility and work/life balance. When he heard about LOD from a work colleague, Jon was at the stage where he wanted to be able to commit time to both his involvement in an internet start-up and to his children (who were then aged just 5 and 3).
Jon has completed LOD assignments at Volkswagen Group UK, Tata Steel UK, Colt and BSkyB.
The concept of having greater control over the hours you work and the kind of work you get involved in really appealed, as did the prospect of having periods between roles to do other things. I also liked the idea of working for new clients every six months or so and the variety of experience that would inevitably give me.
Of his LOD experience so far, Jon enthuses:
It’s a little like discovering that you’ve been walking around with your hands tied together for the last few years. It’s beyond what I expected and possibly even what I hoped for. The best bit of LOD is the freedom. Without a doubt.
Pinsent Masons, DaimlerChrysler UK, Fennemores, Oury Clark
Internet entrepreneur and paddling pool supervisor
- 3. Rachael Waring
LOD provides a sense of balance for commercial and projects lawyer and professional yoga teacher Rachael Waring.
Rachael was seeking a more flexible alternative to the usual structure of traditional legal employment. She wanted to continue to develop her legal career without having to give up her other interests, including teaching yoga and travelling. When a friend heard about LOD via the BLP website, she immediately got in touch to find out more.
I couldn’t really believe that LOD existed as it sounded so perfect for me! I enjoy the mental stimulation I get from working as a lawyer and didn’t want to give that up, but I wanted to be able to have a better work-life balance. It sounded like LOD would offer the flexibility that would allow me to keep both my mind and soul satisfied!
Having spent several years in-house at EC Harris, a major international Built Asset Consultancy, Rachael is currently on assignment through LOD at BLP’s Projects team in London. She confirms:
I am much happier. Knowing that I am continuing to develop my legal career without sacrificing the lifestyle I want is great. The legal profession has been crying out for something like this - it’s a fantastic scheme and hopefully will mean that less people will feel they need to leave what is traditionally a very inflexible profession in order to achieve the lifestyle they want.
In-house counsel at EC Harris LLP; Eversheds
Travelling yogi and passionate conservationist
- 4. Estelle Unsworth
Estelle Unsworth is a senior corporate lawyer who enjoys the combination of flexibility and great work that being an LOD lawyer brings her.
Having spent several years leading complex international M&A transactions and gaining extensive corporate advisory experience, Estelle wanted to continue in a career that she had always found stimulating and enjoyable whilst being able to have the flexibility to take time off between assignments to spend more time with her children. After a stint at Lexis Nexis Butterworths delivering practice notes on various aspects of company law, she heard about LOD and decided to take a closer look.
Estelle is currently on assignment through LOD at BLP, working on multiple corporate projects. She enjoys the variety and academic challenges of her work.
Estelle thinks the best bit is:
getting to a stage in a transaction where you understand all the complicated aspects, can think around the issues and can go back to the client with advice that really adds value to their business.
Estelle enjoys the backing she gets by working through LOD, enthusing:
I have the same support as to knowledge management and resources as any regular fee earner in private practice would.
Senior corporate associate at Bryan Cave LLP; freelance legal author at Lexis Nexis Butterworths
Enjoying flexible family time
The HQ team
- 1. Simon Harper, Co-Founder
Simon is a commercial lawyer with more than 15 years' experience in City law firms. After eight years as an equity partner at BLP, during which he led the firm's work in the TMT sector, he stepped down from the partnership in 2012 to focus on leading LOD. Always a fan of creative legal solutions, he co-founded LOD after thinking of the idea whilst sitting on a beach.
Simon likes listening to music, eating cheese and exploring cities (sometimes all at once).
Contact details:+44 (0)20 3400 2179
- 2. Jonathan Brenner, Co-Founder
After qualifying as a solicitor Jonathan saw the light pretty quickly and decided to become a recruiter. He co-founded ZMB which became the UK's leading independent legal recruitment consultancy before its sale to Hays 10 years ago.
Jonathan cut his teeth early in the tricky field of people management as a professional children’s party entertainer throughout his student years. He also specialises in emotional stress management (married to an artist, 3 children, 1 dog).
Contact details:+44(0)20 3400 4780
- 3. Carly Van-Eetvelt, Assistant Director
Carly joined LOD in 2008. With her previous experience in both legal practice and recruitment, she brings a special skill set to the LOD team and is involved in all aspects of the LOD business.
Carly loves spending time at the family farmhouse in France attempting to recreate the gastronomic delights of almost any cuisine. In the right season you will find her continuing her search for the elusive black truffle!
Contact details:+44(0)20 3400 4887
- 4. Gemma Norton, Assistant Director
Gemma brings a unique viewpoint to the LOD HQ team, having worked for six years as an associate in BLP's commercial practice before becoming one of the first LOD lawyers to work in private practice and then joining the HQ team in early 2012. She runs LOD's client care programme and hasn't altogether given up life as a lawyer as she is also LOD's in-house counsel.
Often seen jogging round Hampstead Heath, Gemma is also a massive fan of mountains (walking up them and skiing down them).
Contact details:+44 (0)20 3400 2243
- 5. Nadia Manaskov, Co-ordinator
Of an unwaveringly cheerful disposition, Nadia provides wide ranging assistance, advice and support to our team of freelance lawyers.
When she’s not gift-wrapping to a semi-professional standard, Nadia can usually be found inhaling the fresh sea air of the south coast on rollerblades.
Contact details:+44(0)20 3400 3431
- 6. Robin Kinley, Co-ordinator
Robin stepped away from his career in recruitment in 2012 in order to join LOD. He assists with the addition of lawyers to the LOD team, as well as their placement on client assignments.
Robin likes nothing more than following the highs - and all too regular lows - of Southampton FC. Football and his love of music dominate the majority of his non-working life.
Contact details:+44 (0)20 3400 2672
- 7. Emily Townsend, Administrator
Stationery addict Emily keeps the LOD team shipshape. Other than obsessively organising, she looks after the new lawyer application process from new enquiries through to arranging interviews. If there's anything you (or we) need doing quickly and brilliantly, Emily is the first port of call.
Emily prepared for her role at LOD HQ by completing a Masters degree in psychology and teaching dance to toddlers. Both have come in remarkably useful since she joined the team.
Contact details:+44 (0)20 3400 4693
- 8. Mike Finnegan, Administrator
Mike manages day-to-day finance matters at LOD HQ, including billing and invoicing.
With a tenuous connection to Lord Hoffman and an extensive knowledge of cocktails, Mike has all the requisite qualifications to manage LOD's financial affairs.
Contact details:+44 (0)20 3400 3256
- 9. Imogen Jowett, Administrator
Imogen joined LOD in 2013 following completion of her Graduate Diploma in Law. She provides valuable administrative support to the LOD HQ team.
Having recently moved to London from the North, Imogen loves the capital's buzz but it still getting to grips with the rental market, packed tubes and the price of a glass of wine.
Contact details:+44 (0)20 3400 3174
We are always on the look-out for excellent lawyers with a self-starting approach and the genuine desire to work differently. Our LOD lawyers have experience across a wide range of legal disciplines, including commercial, projects, employment, corporate, banking, litigation and financial services.
Our clients want lawyers who can slot swiftly and seamlessly into their organisation, adding value from the outset. The majority of our LOD lawyers have more than 5 years PQE, but we are happy to consider more junior candidates if they can demonstrate the requisite professional maturity and commitment to working flexibly on a freelance basis.
If you are interested in becoming part of LOD, please contact us and tell us about your experience and why you would like to become an LOD lawyer.
Here are some frequently asked questions about how Lawyers On Demand (LOD) works for our lawyers. If you have any other questions please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 3400 4200.
- 1. What is LOD?
LOD provides a different option for lawyers looking for an alternative way of working to suit their lifestyle or simply a way of gaining more control over their work. It comprises a group of high quality freelance lawyers working with LOD’s clients. Throughout your assignments with in-house clients you will be supported by the resources of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (BLP) including knowledge management, training and IT.
- 2. How do I become an LOD lawyer?
We have developed a bespoke selection and interview process, as it is very important to us that all of our lawyers are right for LOD in both technical ability and approach. You begin the process by submitting a CV to us and telling us why you would like to be an LOD lawyer. If you are invited to progress your application with us each lawyer will have both a general and a technical interview.
If selected to join LOD, you will first spend time undergoing an induction programme (on a paid-for basis) prior to your first assignment. As a freelance lawyer, we do not expect you to work exclusively with us but many of our LOD lawyers choose to do so.
On appointment as an LOD lawyer, we will aim to provide you with the assignments that match your needs. LOD lawyers will work directly with our clients’ teams, whether at their offices or remotely.
- 3. What type of assignments are on offer?
Opportunities range in length and requirement. Examples of recent projects include: a full-time project on a rolling monthly basis, a part-time assignment for four months, remote work to support a special client project and a full-time, year long maternity cover assignment. We are also interested in speaking to lawyers who wish to work on a more flexible basis alongside other commitments.
- 4. Do you guarantee that assignments will be available?
LOD lawyers have chosen to work on a freelance basis. Accordingly, you trade the certainty of an employed relationship for the flexibility and autonomy of freelance working. It is inherent in the flexibility offered by the LOD service that there may be some ‘downtime’ between assignments. On average our LOD lawyers are on assignment for more than 90% of their available time but we cannot guarantee constant availability of an assignment fitting your requirements. We will do our very best to match your needs with an appropriate assignment, but taking a flexible attitude towards assignment opportunities is key. As a freelance lawyer, you will never be pushed into an assignment that you are not keen to do.
- 5. What type of clients will I be working with?
LOD clients include both blue-chip organisations and smaller growth companies. Examples of clients we are currently working with include telecoms network operators, publishers, banks and software businesses. LOD is currently in a pilot phase working with a number of law firms, including BLP, on assignments within their internal departments.
- 6. What sort of lawyers have joined LOD so far?
You will be joining a group of lawyers from a variety of backgrounds, all of whom have trained or worked at top tier firms or as part of major in-house legal teams. Many of the lawyers wish to combine their legal careers with other priorities, whether that is parenting, travelling or creative or entrepreneurial pursuits. Others simply like the idea of working with greater autonomy. LOD allows them to do this with the backing of a leading international law firm.
- 7. Is LOD a law firm?
LOD grew out of BLP but is now operated through a separate BLP group company, Lawyers On Demand Limited. The company is controlled by BLP but is classified as a legal resourcing business rather than a law firm and so is not suitable for authorisation or regulation by the SRA (though LOD has worked closely with the SRA to ensure its correct status).
LOD is led by its original Co-Founders, Simon Harper (an ex-BLP senior equity partner) and Jonathan Brenner (ex-BLP head of recruitment) - both are qualified lawyers but only one has continued to practise! LOD’s HQ team who help to look after its lawyers and clients also has a large proportion of qualified lawyers and law graduates in its ranks.
- 8. What support will I receive?
We will help you prepare fully for the assignments that you take on. If your assignment is for an in-house client, you may be introduced to BLP lawyers who can provide a contact point whilst on assignment.
While on assignment with in-house clients you will also have online access to BLP’s extensive knowledge management system and the support of its Knowledge Development Lawyers.
- 9. How much will I get paid?
LOD will look at the applicable private practice and in-house rates for lawyers at your level and will agree a daily rate with you which reflects your experience and the type of work you will be doing. You will be paid monthly on this basis for the days you have worked. As you are working on a freelance basis, you are only paid for the days that you work; you are not remunerated for any days you take off or are not working. Most of our LOD lawyers operate through a simple personal services company to reflect, and make the most of, their freelance status.
It will be your responsibility to ensure you have a valid practising certificate. Thankfully these are now much cheaper than in previous years!
- 10. What is the benefit to the client?
Both organisations requiring in-house legal services and law firms are coming under increasing cost and resourcing pressures, whether resulting from recruitment freezes, maternity leave, staff departures, special projects or the cyclical nature of day-to-day legal work.
LOD offers a tailored, cost-effective service by providing high quality lawyers available to work on a flexible basis. The previous experience and high calibre of our LOD lawyers means that they can slot into a client team with a speed and effectiveness of integration that can often be superior to a traditional secondment or locum arrangement.
- 11. What is the benefit to me?
LOD allows you to work flexibly (whether part or full-time, limited hours or limited times of the year) on a project-by-project basis. As well as retaining control of their career and their time, LOD lawyers are able to avoid the politics of traditional legal roles. You trade the certainty and rigidity of employee status with a flexible way of working to match your requirements.
- 12. What will be the relationship between me, LOD and the client?
Each of you and the client contracts with LOD. This direct relationship will allow us to best manage payment and liability issues. Although you will be based outside LOD’s office, we ensure that you have ample opportunity to meet other members of LOD.
- 13. Do I need to get my own professional indemnity insurance?
As an LOD lawyer you don’t have to get your own professional indemnity cover. While on assignment with in-house clients or BLP, you will have the benefit of BLP’s group professional indemnity insurance. If you are on assignment with any other law firm, you will have the benefit of that law firm’s own professional indemnity insurance.
It will be your responsibility to ensure you have a valid practising certificate. Thankfully these are now much cheaper than in previous years!
Current positions available at LOD are listed below. Applicants should send their CV and covering letter to email@example.com.