Sarah Harman’s comment that ‘the days of the small practice are numbered’ (My Legal Life, 14 January) is simply wrong. The days of the small general practice reliant predominantly on legal aid may well be coming to an end, but small specialist practices are unquestionably in a hugely competitive and advantageous position. In the words of British economist EF Schumacher, ‘small is beautiful’.
My firm, housing law services, is a small legal practice now in its 10th year and we are going from strength to strength, growing in size and turnover every year. We specialise in acting exclusively for social landlords and local authorities, and in 2012 we were top ranked by Chambers, having been recommended in the Legal 500 every year since 2004. We are one of only a handful of legal practices in our sector to have the gold standard of Investors in People, and last year alone we were appointed to the legal panels for three very significant registered providers of social housing.
Why should this be? Primarily because we specialise and are able to give our clients an excellent service as a result. But in addition, our smallness (we are 10 people in total) means that we can make rapid decisions and change extremely quickly to best suit our clients’ needs. Clients are increasingly recognising that, while it may be prestigious to have a magic circle firm on their panel, getting it to change course or react can be like trying to flag down a supertanker.
Tim Crook, housing law services, Battle, Sussex