Q: We are a Limited Company looking to use a Solicitor. Is having a locum or interim lawyer handling a case a cheaper option than using a law firm?
A: Yes, in a nutshell, but using a locum solicitor is a slightly different experience to engaging a solicitors firm to do the work for you.
Firstly, you will need to be aware that if your contracted solicitor makes a mistake, you will not have any recompense against the solicitor individually if they are acting as your company representative.
Secondly, you will be restricted to the knowledge an individual solicitor is able to provide rather than a law firm.
Thirdly, the solicitor will need to be contracted to you and will not be an independent lawyer per se.
Fourthly, you will need to check that an in house contracted lawyer can do the same things a solicitors firm can when dealing with your matter.
Whilst it is correct that the hourly rate is going to be dramatically different – budget for about £30-40 per hour for a locum or interim lawyer compared with £175-225 per hour for a solicitors firm, there are reasons for this – the main one being that if a mistake is made, you will have recompense against a law firm – they have professional indemnity insurance.
You cannot employ your own solicitor on a private basis for most types of work, but a limited company can indeed save substantial amounts by using an interim lawyer or locum solicitor. It really depends on the work you want them to do as to how they can assist.
Please note that we do not supply locums to defend winding up actions against your company or similar litigation. It is unlikely also that a locum would be prepared to handle professional negligence claims on your behalf. We credit check every limited company before accepting an assignment.
Get in touch with us to discuss your assignment, and we can advise as to whether using an interim lawyer will be the best course of action or cost effective.
Posted in: Employers