Two more firms have adopted a John Lewis-style business model, transforming employees into part business owners. So far just a handful of practices have made the switch.

Oxfordshire-based Crossland Employment Solicitors is now entirely owned by its employees after all the firm’s shares were placed in an employee ownership trust. The move means all staff members will receive a tax-free bonus of up to £3,600 a year and will become beneficiaries of the Crossland Employee Ownership Trust.

The firm said the change in model will not affect the day-to-day running of the firm and clients will not notice a difference.


Crossland Employment Solicitors is now entirely owned by its employees

Managing director Beverley Sunderland said she was 'thrilled' by the move. ‘I no longer own the business as I sold 100% of the shares and while I’m not going anywhere anytime soon, I do now have a structure so everything is in place as and when I do take a step back.’

Meanwhile the Metamorph Group Limited - a consolidator that acquired law firms such as Linder Myers Solicitors, Verisona Law and Terry Jones - has introduced an employee benefit trust (EBT) to enable all staff to become part owners of the business.

The EBT now owns 5% of the Metamorph Group Holding Company and every employee across the group is included in the benefit scheme.

Executive chairman Tony Stockdale, said: ‘We are an alternative business structure owned by a group of shareholders, as opposed to partners, which allows us to launch our employee benefit trust for the benefit of all our employees. This is an exciting innovation that effectively provides all our people with a financial stake in our business.’

The group now consists of nine firms across England and employs over 650 staff.

London firm Hodge Jones & Allen became entirely owned by its employees in 2018, when its founder and other equity partners agreed to sell the business to an employee ownership trust. West-Country based Stephens Scown, London firm Postlethwaite, and employment firm Doyle Clayton are also members of the employee ownership association.