Many law firm partners are looking to set up their own firm despite the economic climate, according to a survey commissioned by litigation funder Harbour.

Harbour said half of the 200 partners surveyed were seriously considering setting up their own practice, citing working arrangements, independence and retaining profits for growth as motivating factors.

Four in 10 felt retaining a greater share of the profits for reinvestment would be a serious benefit of running their own firm; 44% said having their own firm would give them greater quality of work; 38% cited an improved work-life balance as a motivating factor for setting up on their own.

With the cost of living crisis biting hard, just over a third of partners said they were looking at reducing numbers of support staff at their current firms; a similar percentage are considering reducing the number of fee-earners.

Ellora MacPherson, chief investment officer at Harbour, said: ‘Despite the economic headwinds, it seems partners are still attracted by the flexibility and financial benefit of setting up their own firm... With law firms and their partners having weathered turbulent economic times during the pandemic, it is clear that many are looking at alternative options for their future careers. Our survey shows a real appetite to break out of the traditional mould, not just amongst partners at the largest firms, but also smaller firms, and across the regions.’


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