How we’re making lawyers’ lives better
Clearlake has been built by City lawyers for City lawyers.
Our number one aim is to improve lawyers’ lives and we have spent a lot of time thinking about what that means and how to do it.
Working as a lawyer can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling; it can also involve long and unpredictable hours, heavy workloads and tight deadlines, all of which can be very stressful.
One of the main causes of stress, particularly amongst those working in private practice, is the pressure to produce high billable hours and always to say ‘yes’.
Piled on top of that basic requirement is the need to administer a business and find new clients.
And all this runs across the backdrop of a rapidly transforming industry. At times, it can all be too much.
At Clearlake, we understand these pressures intimately and our entire purpose, as an organisation, is a commitment to making our lawyers’ lives more balanced, more rewarding and more fulfilling. So, how do we do that?
Well, firstly, we empower our lawyers to build their own scalable and profitable practices from enterprise-grade infrastructure but, importantly, entirely in keeping with their own personal lives and career objectives.
We then provide all the administrative, technological and business development support our lawyers could possibly need.
In our experience, lawyers want to focus the majority of their time advising their clients, growing their business and honing their skills.
To that end, we help legal consultants, private practice lawyers and sole practitioners to take back control of their careers with a totally unique, next generation partnership model.
There is no doubt that the well-known consultancy platforms here in the UK have blazed a critical trail for independent practice in the legal industry and offer significant improvements on life as a lawyer in private practice, but they are increasingly due an update.
At Clearlake, we have set out to re-imagine independent practice for the 21st century with a partnership model and a focus on personal practice development and the adoption of legal technologies.
At its simplest, Clearlake’s unique partnership model allows our partners to share fixed central costs but keep their own profits, all from within a traditional partnership.
We offer our full equity partners all the support and infrastructure of a traditional law firm, but we also provide an intensive and personalised business development function, invoice financing and access to advanced AI and machine learning technologies, supporting our partners with every aspect of building and growing their own practices and making the transition into the new era of digitally-augmented legal services.
We never impose billing targets and we never expect lawyers to take work offered to them.
Our partners enjoy full independence and complete control over their own working lives, keeping what they earn. They work when they want, where they want and with whom they want, amongst a genuine partnership of like-minded people who they respect and admire.
We are also a genuine partnership, examining and reviewing strategic decisions together.
As well as ensuring that our lawyers have full independence and complete control, we also place great emphasis on developing an environment that maximises opportunities for collaboration and a sense of community and that takes as much of the risk and uncertainty as possible out of independent practice.
With those specific goals in mind, we have created a new and unique model of partnership. Our senior lawyers join us as full equity partners in our LLP, much as in a traditional law firm. There is no complex route to partnership to navigate or partnership politics to decipher.
Our partners operate fully independently, both practically and from a financial perspective, but all from within our limited liability partnership.
There is a small charge for providing our law-firm-as-a-service and for managing the firm day to day, which is charged as a percentage of revenues. After central costs and fees are deducted, each partner should retain at least 80% of their total billable fees, although this figure is typically around 85% (a significant improvement on the 60% – 75% fee retention available with the legal consultancy platforms).
On top of that improvement in take home pay, as self-employed individuals, our equity partners escape the double tax hit of operating via a personal services company, meaning that take home pay can be as much as 25% higher in our model, net of taxes and fees, than in the traditional legal consultancy model.
At the time of writing, we are also currently running a promotion for our next 3 joiners, for whom we will waive our law-firm-as-a-service fees allowing those partners to keep in excess of 90% of their generated revenues. Please enquire for more details.
As well as retaining a greater share of their own profits, partners at Clearlake are able to earn in excess of their own billable hours when they refer client work internally, build their own teams or play a role in developing and distributing our client-facing legal technology offerings, all of which are encouraged and fully supported.
We provide professional, outsourced support for document production, call answering, IT and cyber security. Most of our support providers also actively support Magic Circle firms.
In sum, Clearlake is a partnership of like-minded lawyers from excellent backgrounds, pulling together to move the legal industry forward.
If you are a lawyer looking for a new challenge within a collaborative and forward-looking environment, we encourage you to find out more about us!