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Keystone Lawyer founder: Traditional lawyer jobs are 'frustrating'

Posted by: Laurence Simons 01/02/13

People in lawyer jobs are becoming increasingly impatient with traditional models of working and looking for innovative alternatives to the current system, according to Keystone Lawyer founder James Knight.

In some cases, this frustration can appear to be unjustified - for instance, the sinister cabal of lawyers who think every legal case can be solved through the application and processing of big data and demand that all judges are replaced with iMacs immediately are unlikely to see much support for their proposals (at least while big data tools remain relatively rudimentary).

Similarly, it is unsure what benefits would be offered to the litigatory process by ensuring that every lawyer is fitted with a jetpack upon completing their bar exams.

However, Mr Knight told the Lawyer that many legal professionals in the UK have concerns of a more grounded nature.

His statement followed the news that Keystone Lawyer - a company for whom lawyers work remotely and are paid on a performance basis - have hired ten new employees, adding ten legal professionals from the likes of Ashurst, DLA Piper, SNR Denton and Speechly Bircham

The fact that lawyers from such established firms are jumping ship is likely to draw more attention to Keystone Lawyer's unorthodox business model, which Mr Knight claims is more suitable for many people working in the industry.

He claimed: "The frustrations of senior solicitors and partners are almost reaching epidemic proportions based on what I’m hearing and what I'm encountering on a day-to-day basis.

"Solicitors want to practise law, but the distractions of many law firms - the administration of the practice, management of staff and so on - are such that they have a decreasing amount of time to do so."

Eight of the ten new hires made by Keystone were female, suggesting that its commitment to a more flexible world of working could offer them a better deal than the highly-structured approach favoured by many companies - analysts have previously suggested that the introduction of flexitime can play a major role in allowing women to reach the top tiers of law firms.

Mr Knight stressed that his businesses' approach is not solely attractive to people looking for a different working model, suggesting that it can actually appeal to "breadwinners" by allowing them to sidestep the "outdated" partnership system favoured by many legal companies.
The 11-year old firm posted turnover of £11.2 million for the 2011-12 financial year, an increase of 14.3 per cent from the previous year's £9.8 million. Whether these profits will be spent on jetpacks has not yet been confirmed.