How To Set Up A Law Firm

If you are looking to set up a law firm in the UK then speak to our experienced consultants who are on hand to help you every step of the way. We can help you set up a law firm wherever you are based.

Small start-up practices are on the rise, with lawyers setting up law firms across the country who are attracted to the benefits of being self-employed and the potential to profit directly from their own hard work, instead of working to demanding targets and lining other business owner’s pockets.

All this sounds very desirable however, setting up and running a successful law firm is no easy feat. Here at Marketing Lawyers, we are experienced in advising established law firms and supporting them to achieve their objectives. Taking all the experience and knowledge you can at the start and throughout your business journey will help you avoid pitfalls and find the best plan of action quickly.

Our team of consultants include experienced, chairmen, board members and owners of law firms. Their experience is useful for all aspects of setting up a firm in the quickest and most efficient way.

Free initial 30-minute discussion

We are friendly and down to earth. We love speaking to people looking to set up on their own and we provide a no obligation, free initial discussion to explain how we can assist you in setting up. Call us on 0115 8700 443 or email

Support From As Little As: £1,670+vat

Depending on the amount of help you require, we offer different levels of support. Our first level package starts at £1,670+vat and we also offer a 'complete regulatory assistance' plan which helps you all the way through the process, which can include building a website and setting up emails.

We Also Offer a Document Review Service

We can review your key documents before you submit them. The price depends on the number of documents you'd like reviewing. Contact us above for a bespoke quote.

Setup and support

It can seem overwhelming when considering all the different requirements needed when starting the process of setting up your law firm. You should be considering some of the following areas from the outset:

  • Agreeing on management and compliance responsibilities
  • Establishing a dialogue with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
  • Writing a business plan
  • Identify competition and market gaps
  • Speaking to the bank about your business plan
  • Allocating a third of your time to management and compliance
  • Checking if ‘loyal’ clients will actually instruct the new firm
  • Identifying a network for legal work you cannot complete
  • Sourcing PII quotes
  • Planning to market the firm at launch and into the future
  • Having an exit plan

It is advised by many to use consultants to cover the areas of skills that you may not have, so you have the highest chance of business success. It's often daunting trying to find out all the information you need to set up your firm. We save you time and money by taking the worry off your hands. 

It is important to decide what type of business practice you wish to operate. Will it be a recognised sole practice, traditional partnership, ABS, limited liability partnership (LLP) or limited company? We can advise you about these and the alternatives.

How long does it take to set up?

That really depends on how quickly you want to move. Often individuals or teams will have notice periods to consider. If people are going to be working from home, then physical premises don't need to be arranged and so things can happen quite quickly. We say it takes 3-4 months from instructing us depending on the speed of response from the SRA. We can move as quickly as you'd like and if everything is in order, the SRA can respond quite quickly to applications.

Do consider you may need to do some online training if you haven't had any experience in running a firm or in taking on the COLP or COFA role before.

How much will my PII insurance cost?

This depends on the turnover and sector. Usually, it's somewhere between 2-5% of turnover. For smaller start-up practices it's often at the lower level, depending on the risk level of the work being taken on.

We have contact with brokers who can help you receive a quote and we'll happily fill in all the paperwork for you as part of our service.


In order to sell yourself and the services you offer, you will need a website building with tailored content that engages your prospects. It may seem like a lot of hard work getting the content written, however, we can help with our tailored copywriting service.

You are becoming a legal entrepreneur, which means there are a lot of non-legal tasks you'll need to do to run the firm, some of the areas you can outsource and we work with a network of suppliers. This means you can focus on fee-earning and driving the business forward whilst the admin and regulatory tasks are taken care of.

Work will often require marketing and business development effort. Fortunately, the online market can help deliver new leads and clients. A great website, good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns can give you a competitive advantage over even more established competitors. We are specialists in providing these services and many more to guide you each step of the way.

Depending on how many partners there will be in the business there will be a need for clarity around certain roles. Who will take the role of Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) and for Finance and Administration (COFA)? The COLP and COFA should be champions of risk management and compliance within a firm and will have responsibility for the firm's systems and controls. Who will keep up to date with requirements such as compliance with anti-money laundering laws? And what will be the arrangements for supervision and training? We can provide support and guidance in these key compliance areas.

We can help you create a viable business plan that is vital for developing the new firm for the longer term. It should be based on there being a sustainable and growing market for your services in which you are confident that you can compete in your area of work.

We provide management and marketing advice to a host of small, medium and large law firms across the country. Therefore you'll benefit from our market knowledge and best practice recommendations. We also have IT consultants who work with law firms who can advise on the best set up and systems.

Start Your Set Up Today

If you'd like to start the ball rolling on the steps to starting your law firm, call or email us today. We can discuss the next steps and outline the costs involved in setting up. Don't worry, all your information will be kept strictly confidential.

Further considerations 

The software you use is a key element to a successful business. Keeping clients happy and making money go hand-in-hand via the establishment of suitable case management and filing system (CMS), which allows for clients to be billed regularly and in a timely manner for work as it is done.

In addition, our bespoke Customer Relation Management (CRM) software is a powerful tool that can help your law firm grow and it can be connected into your case management system. It is used by small and large firms to keep track of their potential clients, which all leads to closing more deals, more efficiently.

There is a lot more to setting up a firm than most individuals initially think. We're here to guide you through those tasks including assisting with: a realistic business plan for your business and cash flow, helping find indemnity cover, SRA registration, VAT registration, employment contracts, risk and compliance systems and premises.

Setting up and running a law firm can be challenging, yet extremely rewarding for those who are determined and seek the right advice and support.

We can assist with a wide range of services which include but are not limited to:

  • Authorisation Documentation
  • Business Plans
  • COLP & COFA Training
  • Financial Forecasts
  • IT support including cloud-based solutions and CRM systems.
  • Liaising with Professional Indemnity Brokers & Suppliers
  • Marketing
  • Office manuals
  • Staff handbooks
  • Support your application to the SRA
  • Website setup
  • Website marketing (Digital Marketing)

Time is often limited when you are thinking of setting up, speak to our consultants about our affordable setup and support packages. We understand that initially, it can be quite confusing and complex which is why we are here to take the worry off your hands. We may refer you to consultants or other firms for specific pieces of work due to their niche expertise. All the work we will do will be agreed upon from the start as you may require help with only certain tasks.

How to get in contact

For a no obligation, free initial discussion to see how we can assist and for a quote, please call us on 0115 8700443 or email

Key Contact

Ben Trott






Ben Trott

Managing Director

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