A legal specialty in crofting law and the law of servitudes may not sound like the basis for a profitable law firm, but for this Scottish law firm there is far more to running a profitable and successful law firm than the traditional practice areas and its disruptive model is heralding what is likely for the legal profession in the years ahead.
Brian Inkster runs his eponymous law firm in various Scottish locations and has just picked up a small business award in Edinburgh in his self employed/sole trader division and has enjoyed a stronger, more resilient law firm following the pandemic by doing something different.
The firm has ‘pivoted’, to use the now common vernacular, from the so-called ‘new normal’ to and ‘old normal’ practice by which he provides a fee-sharing consultancy model to the firm solicitors, something the firm had previously done but have now embraced on a more wholesale basis, with considerable success.
Talking of the move on a LinkedIn post, Brian Insker noted that the ‘plug-and-play’ law model used by the firm was successfully providing success to both the firm as an entity and to the now 18 lawyers and fee-earners working from 10 offices throughout Scotland.
The business model used for the past eight years has been a hybrid of the ‘plug-and-play’ system, using both employed and self-employed lawyers but changing mid-2021 into a firm where, as Inkster says, “all solicitors benefit financially directly from the fruits of their own labours.”
The model was developed by Inkster, which permitted the firm’s lawyers to work as a collective but using the firm’s significant technology and back-office support from its Glasgow hub and its regional offices in other centres about Scotland.
During the pandemic, the firm employed a further five solicitors and additional support staff to grow its business model and range of services.
“Inksters no longer have any salaried solicitors but instead only consultant solicitors remunerated on a fee sharing basis. Each one fully supported by an administrative team to help them grow their businesses within the umbrella law firm,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post.
The business award, he said, recognises the “tenacity and drive that it takes to go it alone”, not just for me but for the 18 self-employed / sole trader consultants who have chosen to join Inksters and forge their own individual businesses with our support under the Inksters’ umbrella.
A recent report by Arden Partners concluded that disruptive business models like Inksters would continue to create change in the law market. The report found that by 2026 there will be 50,000 consultant lawyers in such firms in the UK alone.