A national firm has unveiled a legal services franchise scheme for solicitors looking to set up on their own. 

Cartwright King says recruits will work under the firm’s brand name but have the freedom to work in any sector or location they wish.

Franchisees will pay an annual subscription and a percentage of fees earned, but will have access to back-office functions including IT, a case management system and PII insurance.

The idea of a franchise scheme has already been established by QualitySolicitors, but that involves existing law firms signing up to work under one banner.

Virtual firms, such as London-based Keystone Law, give support to individuals who are seeking to run their own business with the backing of a larger entity.

Cartwright King says it can offer the added benefit of bringing new recruits into an existing firm, with colleagues, internal referrals, networking and social events.

Chief executive Rupert Hawke (pictured) said the firm sees this type of arrangement as the future of the legal profession. ‘We understand that an increasing amount of individuals want to work for themselves, achieving a better work life balance as well as receiving the other benefits that come from being your own boss, including the opportunity for increased income,’ said Hawke.

‘Our franchise scheme enables all this, without the financial and regulatory barriers that come with setting up your own practice. We are determined to help the legal industry move into the 21st century.’

Cartwright King claims to offer ‘substantially’ lower set-up fees than previous models, although it is not made clear how much those fees will be.

Standard fees payable will be ‘negotiable, low, fixed-rate monthly or annual,’ while the percentage deducted from incoming fees is described as ‘low’.

Applicants can be from across the country and from any area of private practice, including immigration, employment and wills and probate.

Franchisees can work from home via a cloud system, work in one of the 19 Cartwright King offices or set up a new location.

Applicants will undergo an initial assessment, which will review level of experience, ethics, ethos and record with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The firm says the first accepted franchisee is ‘imminent’.