Case Study: Flexible legal expertise in construction contracts and litigation
Meet David, a lawyer with over thirty years experience now a flexible freelancer
David spent the first half of his thirty year career at Camerons, latterly as a partner. The second half was spent at The Treasury Solicitor’s Department (TSoL), latterly as a Team Leader and Deputy Director, Companies, Inquiries and Costs. In early 2013, he decided to leave his permanent role to pursue a flexible freelance career.
David applied to Vario not long after we launched in early 2013 and he swiftly progressed through the application process to be offered a place in the hub. Shortly afterwards, the head of legal of one of our construction clients contacted us seeking assistance to help her manage her extensive workload. As the only in-house lawyer in the company, she required a ‘safe pair of hands’ to support her in that role and take responsibility for the company’s construction contracts and construction litigation. The initial brief was to find a junior/mid-ranking lawyer to work full-time within a specific budget. However, having discussed the client’s requirements with them in depth, it became clear that a senior individual was more likely to provide the desired result. Both Vario and the client agreed that an experienced lawyer working fewer days per week, would handle as much work as a junior lawyer on a lower daily rate, working a greater number of days. This would also have the benefit of keeping the cost within budget.
Although not specifically a construction lawyer, the experience David had gained representing The Highways Agency while at TSoL, combined with the general commercial awareness gained across his lengthy career, meant that he was well equipped to adopt this role. In addition, his questionnaire profile suggested he was a highly supportive and consultative individual – characteristics well suited to a role supporting a busy head of legal. Having met David in person, the head of legal asked Vario to arrange for him to join the business for six months initially on the basis of a four day working week.
David started in his role in June 2013, handling the full range of construction contracts and litigation. Feedback from the client suggested he rapidly got up-to-speed with the work and the client’s approach, fitting into the small team seamlessly. As would be expected from such a senior lawyer, he required minimal input from the head of legal, to do his work, leaving her with more time to focus on her role. Both David and the client were pleased to extend his contract.
Says David, “Vario’s approach of fitting the personality as well as skills to the assignment, really worked for me. I found it easy to fit in at the client and it took no time at all before I was able to add value and feel I am really helping the head of legal day-to-day. It’s great to hear that she’s delighted with the support I’ve given and I’m more than happy to stay-on under an extended contract.”