What Is The Average Consultant Solicitor Salary?

average consultant solicitor salary

If you’re thinking of becoming a consultant solicitor, you may be wondering how much you can expect to earn on average.

In reality, there are many factors that need to be taken into account to answer this question:

How Do Consultant Solicitors Get Paid?

As we’ve seen from our earlier article, most consultant solicitors carry out their work through an organisation regulated by the SRA, like a law firm.

This set-up allows the consultant to take on work for clients directly, but have the wider protections offered by the regulated body.

When the consultant solicitor finishes working for a client, the firm invoices the client in the usual way. As soon as this invoice has been paid, the consultant solicitor is paid a share of this invoice on a fee share basis.

The percentage that you will be paid depends on the agreement that you reach, but working through traditional firms will leave you receiving somewhere between 50-65% of the invoice. This means that if you bill £120,000 for the firm each year, you will be paid £60,000-£78,000 as a consultant.

Our fee share agreement provides one of the lowest cost options on the market, meaning consultants who work with us take home more of their earnings!

You can see how working as a consultant can mean your salary quickly increases beyond what is possible as an employed solicitor, and really the sky is the limit for what you’re able to earn. Providing you can find the clients!

Will I have a Minimum Billing Threshold?

This depends largely on the consultancy agreement that you sign, but most firms will set some sort of minimum limit to make sure they can still turn a profit.

The company will have certain costs as part of your consultancy, including indemnity insurance, systems and licences that will need to be paid for from their share of the fees. They’ll want to make sure you’re making enough to cover these at least!

What Is The Average Consultant Solicitor Salary?

According to Talent.com, the average salary for a consultant solicitor in 2023 is £60,000, with a typical range of £55,000-£85,000.

For a monthly income, this equates to an average of £5,000 and a range of £4,000-7,000.

The average hourly salary for a consultant solicitor is approximately £25-45.

These are, of course, just approximate numbers to give you an idea, and in reality it depends largely on the practice area, how many hours you want to work, your fees, your fee share, and so many other factors. Beyond the increased salary, there are many other benefits to being a consultant that make it a favourable option to staying in employment.

Other Factors To Consider

Being self-employed, you will have other costs to consider when working out how much you will take home as a consultant, e.g:

  • Tax

  • National Insurance

  • Provision for holiday/sick leave cover

  • Referral fees

  • Admin support

How to Increase Your Salary As A Consultant Solicitor

Working With Referral Partners

Teaming up with referral partners can be a game-changer for increasing your income as a consultant solicitor. By building solid relationships with other professionals in complimentary fields, like accountants or financial advisors, you can create a referral network. These partners can send clients your way and expand your customer base.

You’ll want to nurture those relationships on a regular basis. Making time to meet for coffee and take a genuine interest in how their business is doing. Great referral relationships tend to have an element of reciprocity where you both make the effort to support each other.

Solicitors who are working through Lawhive benefit from an ongoing feed of paying clients in their practice area. This allows them to grow their consultancy business and save valuable time on marketing and onboarding admin.

Taking on Employees as a Consultant Solicitor

Perhaps you’ve got a healthy income as a consultant already, but are stuck in the trap of not being able to take on more work without burning out. There are a couple of solutions to this.

The first involves getting help. That might look like employing an admin assistant or hiring a VA to support you with the time-consuming tasks that don’t need your attention. Or you might look to expand your consultancy by taking on sub-consultants who can help you with the legal work. If you are a senior lawyer who is able to supervise, this can be a great way of building on your income, as you’ll typically be paid a proportion of their earnings.

Delegating certain tasks or cases to your team frees up your time to focus on high-value work or business development. Meaning you can handle more cases and potentially boost your income with their combined efforts.

Working More Efficiently as a Consultant Solicitor

The second solution to the solo-consultant, income-trap challenge mentioned above is to find ways to work more efficiently. These days there are so many ways to use technology to streamline processes and master time management.

At Lawhive, we handle acquiring clients, collecting compliance information, invoicing, payments, and customer support. You can focus on delivering top quality legal work, knowing the rest is taken care of.

Leveraging Existing Clients

We often spend a lot of energy focusing on how we can bring in new clients. But what about our existing ones?

This can be a neglected area for improvement when thinking about bumping up our earnings. Here are just a few ways you can build on those relationships:

  • Getting testimonials from clients to share on social media and review sites. Bonus points if you can get them to record a video!

  • Staying in touch regularly and letting them know the full range of your services so that you’re front of mind if they ever need legal support again.

  • Looking for opportunities to cross-sell. For example, if you’ve helped them to buy a house, ask them if they need to update their Will. If they do, you can either do this work (if this is an area you cover), or refer to another consultant.

As we alluded to above, another way to increase your income as a consultant solicitor is to explore opportunities for paid referrals. By teaming up with other consultants who work in complimentary practice areas, you can earn a percentage of any work referred and/or share work with each other.

Does It Help to Work In Multiple Practice Areas?

There are pros and cons to working in multiple practice areas as a consultant. From an income perspective, it can really help to diversify your experience as it will attract a wider range of clients and provide more opportunities to cross-sell. Suddenly, you’ll become known as the go-to person for people needing legal help.

The flip side of this is you may need to invest more time and effort to keep up-to-date on legal developments, and the wider range of areas may mean you sacrifice depth on some subjects.

Conclusion

There are often two big leaps of faith in a consultant solicitor’s career. The first comes when they first become a consultant - taking a risk on being self-employed and not having a regular income.

The second is after they’ve become successful and they reach a ceiling. At this point, they either have to scale their business and work smarter to increase their income or continue to work harder on their own.

As the saying goes, “no man is an island”.

If you’re considering a move to consultancy, or are an existing consultant struggling to grow your business, get in touch as there’s a good chance we might be able to help.

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