We recognise how difficult and frustrating it is in the current economic climate to set up a law firm. Aside from sourcing affordable funding, changes in bureaucracy and difficulties in securing professional indemnity insurance (PII) are continuing challenges.
Regulators need to innovate to ensure that regulation remains proportionate and risk based, whilst ensuring that the interests of consumers are protected. Our CRL Law Firm in a Box (CRL LFIB) concept offers a package of measures designed to simplify the start-up process and satisfy compliance and regulatory requirements for law firms, sole practitioners and freelancers with limited resources and budgets.
We are currently seeking views on our CRL LFIB proposition in the current consultation – Specialist Regulation for the Future of an Independent Profession.
As part of our current three-year strategy, we committed to explore how we could help individuals looking to set up a law firm. From our experience of regulating over 70 law firms, we are aware of the issues and complexities that can be discouraging. We set about identifying the main areas of concern and potential solutions through focused research.
Researchers interviewed 86 sole practitioners who had recently launched a law firm, were considering launching a law firm or becoming a freelancer. Many had found setting up their own firm difficult and half of those interviewed were concerned about the time spent on regulatory and compliance issues. Just over half of those interviewed currently use internal resources and external advisers for areas such as data protection/GDPR, anti-money laundering, cyber security and financial planning.
The research received a positive response with 90% of those considering setting up a firm welcoming the idea of CRL LFIB. Respondents showed particular interest in –
Nearly half of those consulted would consider switching regulator if the right package of support was available.
We are encouraged by the research findings and feel CRL LFIB presents an opportunity for start-ups by providing a support package that will help entrepreneurs from all backgrounds set up their own business. CRL LFIB will enhance career opportunities for our regulated community and enhance competition with increased choice for consumers.
After we have reviewed responses to the consultation, we will refine our proposals with a view to launching our new offering in 2024.