The Sole Practitioners Group said the SRA data did not provide a breakdown between sole practitioners who are incorporated and those who are not. Over the five year period, according to SRA data, the number of incorporated law firms has actually gone up from 2,583 (24% of the total) to 4,225 (41%) – a rise of 63%.
SPG chair Kemi Mosaku reported that the organisation has had an increase lawyers wanting to set up their own sole practices, and work with the SRA has successfully minimised the red tape involved.
She added: ‘For a lawyer who is an entrepreneur setting up in sole practice has never been easier and is more attractive than switching from employment in a law firm to being a consultant in a so called virtual law firm where they cannot build their own brand and are not in charge of their own destiny.’
Tony Roe (pictured), a member of the Law Society’s Family Section and Small Firms’ Division committee, said Hazlewoods’ figures were ‘entirely out of context’.
‘I am not sure how useful it is to be presented with this sort of press release, particularly one which does not set out all its sources or data upon which it might rely,’ said Roe. ‘Many SPs are converting to limited companies or setting up as them in the first place – often on the advice of accountants.’