How it works
A new legal landscape
Lawyers On Demand (LOD) provides a unique legal resourcing solution, enabling law firms to minimise fixed overheads whilst maintaining quality and profitability.
Historically the pool of interim lawyers available to work in private practice has been of a variable standard and quality. In the current climate, unpredictable peaks in workflow means that law firms can benefit from high calibre interim lawyers to meet their changing needs. In extending its established and highly regarded service to law firms, LOD is able to provide a quality, cost effective solution to these resourcing challenges.
LOD comprises a team of more than 100 high-quality, flexible lawyers who can provide your firm with a premium resource at a low cost base, just when you need it. They work with you on a freelance basis, either at your offices or remotely.
Our LOD lawyers have experience across a wide range of legal disciplines, including real estate, projects, employment, corporate, banking, litigation and commercial. They can be made available on a transaction-by-transaction basis, or to cover on-going resourcing needs, often at short notice.
Examples of recent projects include a full-time position on a rolling monthly basis to deal with a spike in work levels, a part-time assignment for four months to resource a specific transaction, remote work to support a special project and a full-time year long maternity cover assignment.
1. Step 1
We listen and discuss your requirements
2. Step 2
We identify specific LOD lawyers with the right experience to meet your needs
3. Step 3
You meet the selected lawyers
4. Step 4
We agree the best working model and a fixed rate
More for less
Although work volumes are increasing, many firms are coming under pressure to reduce costs. All LOD fees are agreed in advance using a fixed daily, weekly or monthly rate that reflects the expertise of the lawyer. We aim to ensure that the rates compare favourably with the cost of employing lawyers in the regular way.
There are no additional employment costs which means that you are not, for example, liable to pay any agency introduction fees, Employers National Insurance, holiday pay or sickness pay.
We have developed a bespoke selection and induction process for our LOD lawyers to ensure that the lawyers in the team are fully equipped to provide a high quality service.
Our team of LOD lawyers continues to grow in size and specialisation and feedback from our clients has been excellent. LOD has been widely acclaimed, winning awards from the Financial Times and The Lawyer as well as being shortlisted for numerous others, including from The Law Society, Legal Business and The British Legal Awards.
Motivated lawyers doing something different
Our LOD lawyers are all highly skilled lawyers looking for alternative ways of working without compromising their career satisfaction and development. They are talented and motivated and have all trained or worked at top tier firms or major in-house legal teams. They trade the certainty and rigidity of employee status for the flexibility which comes with freelance working.
The ability of our lawyers to balance their other priorities with quality legal assignments results in focused and pro-active individuals who enjoy their legal work. We believe that happy, motivated individuals do the best work. This is recognised by our clients, the majority of whom extend assignments beyond the original brief and use LOD for multiple assignments.
We do not hold or have access to any documentation or information relating to the matters worked on by our LOD lawyers, whether they are working with corporates or with law firms. Equally, whilst on assignment to you, our LOD lawyers do not have access to any confidential information on the systems of Berwin Leighton Paisner or any other law firm.
We have a strict confidentiality agreement with all our LOD lawyers which applies alongside their usual professional obligations. We also place full non-solicitation obligations on them in relation to any contacts which they make whilst on any LOD assignment. We are also happy for client law firms to also put in place their own confidentiality and/or non-solicitation agreement with the LOD lawyer.
Dealing with conflicts
We have procedures in place to ensure that all lawyers in the LOD team monitor any potential conflicts which may arise as a result of work which they have previously carried out.
As they do not have access to confidential information regarding any other LOD clients whilst on assignment, we find this is an issue which arises only very rarely. Where it does, it relates solely to the individual LOD lawyer (in the same way it might to a locum) and is usually easily resolved.
Client: International law firm
This law firm came to LOD with a specific resourcing issue - a shortage of manpower at senior associate level in its Corporate Finance department. The Head of Corporate Finance was not ready to employ any additional associates as the long-term stream of work was uncertain. However, he knew that something needed to be done in the short to medium term. LOD provided two LOD lawyers to help bridge the resourcing gap.
I have used two LODs in Corporate Finance over the last 12 months. I was impressed with their ability to integrate seamlessly into their work groups and, because both of them were used to running transactions at their previous firms, they were able to take on the responsibility of senior associates from day one. Having the opportunity to technically test them beforehand was very reassuring.Head of Corporate Finance
LOD lawyer said:
I had some reservations before starting my assignment that, in an established private practice team, I would in some way be regarded differently from my peers. This has not been my experience at all. Although they know I work on a different model, I felt fully integrated right from the start and have been exposed to great deals. I think it is very much the view of firms who use the LOD service that they want quality lawyers who can hit the ground running to cover temporary peaks in the workflow. If you are the type of lawyer who can see the benefits of working in a flexible way, the LOD experience can be mutually beneficial.
Client: Major City law firm
This law firm approached LOD when one of its commercial/IP associates decided to take up an in-house role. In order to smooth the likely peak in work for the rest of the team until they could recruit a suitably high quality permanent replacement, the firm decided to engage an LOD lawyer. LOD was able to supply a top ranking senior lawyer at short notice who had recently left a long held role at an international firm and wished to explore alternative opportunities to continue her career.
LOD produced an excellent result for us. We were able to engage a first class lawyer on very flexible terms and she made an immediate impact, relieving the workload of more junior members of our team and taking the lead on significant transactions. She integrated into the team very quickly and the assignment has been a great success. Having a pre-vetted lawyer available to fill the gap at such short notice was the main reason we approached LOD. We'll definitely go to them again if we need more interim help.Head of Commercial, IP and Technology
LOD lawyer said:
LOD has been an excellent solution for me. I have been able to maintain a very high quality caseload and have really enjoyed my assignment. In the past, interim work for lawyers, especially in private practice, has lacked quality and dynamism. No more - the legal landscape has changed dramatically and, as a result, the work on offer to lawyers who want to work differently has improved significantly.
Here are some frequently asked questions about how Lawyers On Demand (LOD) works for law firm clients. If you think the service may be useful to your firm, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 3400 4200.
- 1. What is LOD for law firms?
LOD for law firms is based on our award-winning Lawyers On Demand service for inhouse counsel but re-engineered specifically for use by law firms.
LOD provides a resourcing option for law firms which minimises fixed overheads whilst maintaining quality and profitability. It comprises a flexible pool of high quality freelance lawyers working directly with your firm on a contract basis, either at your offices or remotely.
- 2. Who is using LOD for law firms?
LOD clients include major banks, telecoms network operators, national newspapers and global technology companies.
LOD is currently in a pilot phase working with a number of law firms, including Berwin Leighton Paisner.
- 3. What is the benefit to my firm?
Law firms are coming under increasing cost and resourcing pressures. LOD offers prevetted, high quality, freelance lawyers available to work on a flexible basis. The previous experience and high calibre of our lawyers mean that they can slot swiftly and seamlessly into your team, with a speed and effectiveness of integration that is far superior to a traditional locum arrangement.
- 4. What is the cost of the service?
All LOD fees are agreed in advance based on a fixed daily rate that reflects the expertise of the lawyer.
There are no additional employment costs which means that you are not, for example, liable to pay any agency introduction fees, holiday pay or sickness pay. Please contact us to discuss rates further.
- 5. What are the working models?
There are two models on which LOD works:
1. Contracted model. This is the most common model for LOD. There are pre-agreed days where the LOD lawyer will make themselves exclusively available to your firm. This may be full time or for certain days of the week or between specific dates.
2. Flexible model. This is work carried out by the LOD lawyer on a more flexible basis, for example working for a few days per month with additional hours as needed. This work is charged at a daily rate with hourly rates for any additional work that you agree.
- 6. What hours does the lawyer work?
Where the LOD lawyer is working on the contracted model the lawyer will work reasonable hours for an interim role.
- 7. What is the process for vetting lawyers for quality?
Our lawyers have all trained or worked at top-tier law firms or as part of major inhouse legal teams. LOD is able to attract lawyers from the best law firms and inhouse teams because it appeals to high quality lawyers who wish to have more control over their lifestyle. There is a careful selection process to help ensure that all lawyers made available through the LOD service are of suitably high quality. We continually monitor feedback on our lawyers when on assignment.
- 8. What is the relationship between the lawyer, LOD and the law firm?
The lawyers contract with LOD on a freelance basis. The law firm contracts with LOD at the beginning of each assignment.
- 9. Why do some lawyers wish to work this way?
LOD allows lawyers to work flexibly (whether part or full-time depending on your need) on a project-by-project basis. The lawyers trade the certainty and rigidity of employee status for a flexible way of working which matches their requirements. It appeals to high quality qualified lawyers who wish to have more control over their lifestyle without compromising their career satisfaction and development. Clients have reported that they find the lawyers in the LOD team to be particularly pro-active and motivated as a result of this way of working.
- 10. Will I be able to meet the lawyer before the assignment begins?
Yes. It is important that we place the right lawyer into the right assignment and we encourage you to get involved in the process. After you brief us we will carefully select one or two suitable LOD lawyers for you to meet.
- 11. How do you deal with conflicts and confidentiality?
LOD does not hold or have access to any documentation or information relating to the matters worked on by its lawyers, whether working with corporates or with other law firms. Equally, whilst on assignment to you the LOD lawyers do not have access to any confidential information on the systems of BLP or any other law firm.
LOD has a strict confidentiality agreement with all LOD lawyers which applies alongside their usual professional obligations. LOD also places strict non-solicitation obligations on the LOD lawyers in relation to any contacts which they make whilst on any LOD assignment. We are happy for client law firms to also impose their own confidentiality agreement on the LOD lawyer.
LOD also has a procedure in place to ensure that all lawyers in the team consistently monitor any potential conflicts which may arise as a result of work which they have previously carried out.
- 12. Where will the lawyer be located?
From the outset there is flexibility as to where the lawyer is based. Options include working from your office or from home, as dictated by your business needs.