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12 Comments

  1. Ian Hawkings
    May 25, 2015 @ 11:50 am

    Hi Stephen, I enjoyed reading your page – was it difficult to get set up and accredited with the SRA? How do you deal with separating a compliance officer etc from the practice or working without a client account ?

    Regards

    Ian

    Reply

    • Stephen Oldham
      May 25, 2015 @ 7:19 pm

      Hi Ian.

      Glad you enjoyed reading my post.

      Getting authorisation from the SRA wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, I did put a lot of work into preparing my application and I gave a fair amount of detail. (I am in the process of removing all of the confidential material from my application and business plan so that I can publish them on my website – watch this space). The key to the whole process is getting an indemnity insurance quote – don’t even bother starting until you have done that.
      My practice is fairly a fairly simple structure (just me). I liaised with the person dealing with my application at the SRA to put the right safeguards in place. Doing criminal litigation also makes the whole process easier as I don’t need to handle client money. There are legitimate work-arounds for experts and counsel.
      Are you thinking of applying yourself?
      Stephen

      Reply

  2. Tariq Maroof
    June 2, 2015 @ 12:57 am

    Hi Stephen, I delighted in reading your page, you explained working aspects very nicely. I would grateful if you could provide me template of 3 Excel spreadsheets your accountant has set up for your accounts.
    Regards
    Tariq

    Reply

    • Stephen Oldham
      June 3, 2015 @ 9:41 am

      Hi Tariq
      Thanks for your comments.
      I will ask my accountant if its OK to distribute the spreadsheets.
      Regards
      Stephen

      Reply

  3. Applying to the SRA to be a sole practitioner? Here’s how I did it. | The Driving Solicitor
    June 11, 2015 @ 11:20 am

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  5. kittyfalls
    July 28, 2015 @ 9:55 pm

    Hi Stephen. This has been so helpful as I set about applying for registration. The only time I would handle client money would be for experts and counsel. You mentioned a “work around”: are there ways to manage this without having a client account?

    Reply

    • Stephen Oldham
      July 29, 2015 @ 6:56 am

      Hi kittyfalls
      There are two ways of doing this. You can ask the expert/counsel to bill clients direct. It’s a bit of a pain doing it that way but it can be done.
      The other way is to charge fixed fees which include advocate and expert report (you have to be careful to get your pricing right). Their fees then come an expense of the firm and you are liable for them: you can then pay from office account.
      My accountant thought that this was not allowed under the SAR but I went on a course with the Institute of Legal Finance and Management. The tutor and several delegates (loads of them cashiers from big firms) said that it was a no brainer and that you can do it this way.
      Hope that helps.
      Stephen

      Reply

  6. kittyfalls
    July 29, 2015 @ 8:34 pm

    It really does, thank you! I’ll be going on an accounts course eventually, so hopefully the consensus will be the same. My practice area is immigration so instructing counsel for tribunal hearings is really the only time this arises.

    Reply

  7. Rishika
    August 10, 2015 @ 11:27 am

    HI Stephhen. Your website is so amazing. It is extremely helpful. Stephen I want to set up my own Practice, want to be independent. my specialisation is immigration and family. my concern is only getting business which is delaying my plan of starting up my business. I am feeling bit nervous at the first stage of my plans.

    Reply

    • Stephen Oldham
      August 10, 2015 @ 7:59 pm

      Rishika. You are right to be concerned. Getting clients is the most important thing. It is something that a lot of people setting up firms don’t give enough thought to.
      Good luck with your business.
      Stephen

      Reply

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    January 31, 2017 @ 10:27 am

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