Troubled law firms can seek pro bono help via a confidential helpline under a new service provided by UK legal consultants. The service, provided by 360 Legal Group has set up following increased concerns expressed by many law firms facing trouble – a number that is reportedly over 3500 firms in the country.
Following the initial phone call there is a two hour visit from one of a panel of law industry consultants and if the firm can be assisted a reprot is filed with the Solicitors Regulation Authority or appoint an insolvency practitioner.
If the firm can be turned around or merged then the group will offer a free valuation and introduction to potential acquirers. Only if firms want further work to improve their finances or help with a merger will charges start to apply.
Viv Williams, chief executive of 360 Legal, said he expected some people to be cynical but that the panel of advisers was in place to help firms who need it.
‘Each case will be taken on its own merits but any charges will be kept to an absolute minimum – this is not an exercise to charge ailing firms but a genuine attempt to provide first class advice from industry specialists to a challenged profession.
‘I suspect the insolvency practitioners and insolvency lawyers to be the main beneficiaries in this venture, however as a commercial organisation we hope there will be some benefit with a number of enquiries that will generate work for 360 Legal group.
‘I have felt for a number of months that the lack of a ‘one stop’ shop for advice has been sadly lacking and this is a genuine attempt to give something back to the profession.’
Williams estimated that as many as 3,000 firms may be in need of assistance, with many principals and partners at a loss how to manage financial problems and too frightened to ask for help.
See: The Law Gazette