Why lawyers are now turning freelance

By Leon Gettler >>

ALIFERY, an online start-up that provides freelance lawyers for ASX listed companies, law firms and small to medium sized enterprises, has found demand is running high.

These are not just any lawyers.

“The expert lawyers have an average of 15 years’ experience and we’re giving companies access to those people, “ Alifery founder Louise Hvala told Talking Business. “They are former general counsels, former partners, they have worked both locally in Australia and overseas.

“Their backgrounds vary from commercial to banking and finance, litigation and family law.”

Ms Hvala said Alifery has around 200 lawyers on its books at the moment. 

She said Alifery’s main business, Gatehouse, had found that more lawyers were going freelance “because the world is changing”.

“What we’re seeing is people want more flexibility, they want to be able to spend time with their children and travel the world. They’re tired of the old school ways within law,” Ms Hvala said.

“And some of them realise that reaching partnership level might be a very long process if they get there at all so they’ve decided to establish themselves as a sole practitioner but providing freelance services.”

The benefit of that is that Alifery provides the infrastructure. The lawyers don’t have to create it themselves.

Ms Hvala said the advantage for companies is they are getting lawyers at a cheaper rate as they would not be having to carry the traditional overheads of law firms.

She said Alifery’s lawyers were up to 50 percent cheaper than businesses were used to paying in-house.

Alifery’s lawyers set their own rates.

“Their clients can provide a budget, but if they don’t then freelancers will set their own rate,” Ms Hvala said.

Alifery lawyers’ rates are set on market trends.

Alifery also helps them to team up and cross refer to other experts.

So if one lawyer is experienced in commercial contracts, but needs someone with a background in litigation, Alifery will bring them together.

And business is booming, Ms Hvala said. Alifery is now planning to expand into the UK and the US. 


Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.


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