One of UK’s top law firms, Taylor Rose MW (“Taylor Rose”), is entering the Australian legal services market, partnering with the Australian firm, GTC Legal (“GTC”), to expand its successful legal consultancy model down under.
Launching the Taylor Rose brand in Australia, the firm will work closely with GTC to provide its expertise as one of the largest consultant lawyer networks in the UK, leveraging GTC’s local market knowledge and advanced client acquisition capabilities. Taylor Rose will contribute its valuable IP to develop and enhance GTC’s existing business, providing consultants with remote access to a centralised service platform, management infrastructure, digital marketing expertise, and sophisticated IT support and systems.
Analysis of the Australian legal services industry suggests that the market could suit large-scale adoption of the consultant model. James Stevens, Founder and CEO of GTC Legal Group Holdings, the parent company of GTC Legal, says the highly fragmented nature of the legal services industry in Australia will help to accelerate adoption. There are currently around 55,000 lawyers in Australia working for 18,000 law firms. With an average of only three lawyers per firm, Australia represents one of the most fragmented legal markets in the world, providing a significant opportunity for Taylor Rose to achieve its target of becoming the leading consultancy law firm in Australia by 2025.
The lack of requirement for law firms to pay Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) run-off in Australia will also help to accelerate the model’s growth, as lawyers are able to transition their whole business to the new model with little cost or risk and achieve economies of scale that would otherwise not be possible.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the Australian legal profession has changed significantly in terms of employee expectations and the demand for a far more flexible workplace. Many firms now offer a “hybrid” model of one or two days’ work from home in an attempt to address this, but the consultancy model is better placed to take full advantage of these changing work habits, as professionals seek to reduce travel time and have a better work-life balance. However, Taylor Rose consultants who prefer to be office-based will have access to office workspaces in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Taylor Rose sees potential for the consultancy model across all areas of professional services, but particularly in the commercial and property markets, where a coordinated and extensive platform for lawyers to operate as fully-supported consultants is yet to be established.
GTC began as a legal referral service in 2009 and acquired the personal services firm Armstrong Legal in 2019. The GTC Legal Group now offers a full range of services, including criminal, family, commercial litigation, immigration, and contested estates. It has over 120 staff across the country.
AIIC Group, the parent company of Taylor Rose MW, has recently been recognised as the fastest growing legal and accounting services provider in the UK, according to the FT 1000 list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies published by the Financial Times. Its growth is predominantly driven by the Taylor Rose MW consultancy division and the firm is now looking at growing these services across other fragmented markets such as the US, Canada, and Australia.
“Consultancy has become an attractive and viable alternative for experienced lawyers that offers increased earnings and a better work/life balance accruing from working from home. We’ve worked hard to develop a platform and processes that give our consultants the best possible experience, and that’s really paying off, with UK revenue expected to top 100 million pounds for FY23.
“Australia has always been a market we’ve been very interested in and this partnership provides us with the perfect opportunity to expand the legal consultancy offering. The country has lagged behind in terms of development, and GTC is one of the very few Australian firms that already has an established presence in this area that we can work with to grow the consultancy offering at speed and scale.”
James Stevens, founder and CEO of GTC Legal Group Holdings, the parent company of GTC Legal, said:
“GTC has been growing our consulting model organically over the past few years to the point where we now have around 70 consultants around the country. Our partnership with Taylor Rose will combine their industry-leading UK know-how with the practice management platform, NebuLAW, which we have already established.”