At least thirteen pieces of new legislation, or changes to existing legislation, will impact British businesses in 2013, but there is an increased focus on simplicity and cost-savings, says Riverview Law, the fixed-price legal services business. To help businesses prepare for the upcoming changes, Riverview Law have provided a brief overview of what the planned changes will mean: January 2013: ‘One-in, Two-out’ rule
- Every new regulation that imposes a financial burden on firms must be offset by reductions in red tape that will save double those costs. The new ‘One-in, Two-out’ rule will be imposed across every Whitehall department, and will apply to all domestic regulation affecting businesses and voluntary organisations. It will replace the ‘One-in, One-out’ rule, which required the costs of every new regulation to be matched by savings of an equivalent amount.
February 2013: Amount of a week’s pay and statutory guarantee pay increased
- The maximum amount of a week’s pay to be used when calculating statutory redundancy payments and basic awards of compensation for unfair dismissal will be increased to £450 per week. The limit on the amount of statutory guarantee pay payable to an employee in respect of any day will increase to £24.20. Employers, who are planning for redundancies in 2013, will need to take account of the new figure when calculating statutory redundancy payments for any employee whose termination date is on or after 1 February.
- March 2013: Increase in parental leave
- Unpaid parental leave will be increased from 13 weeks to 18 weeks.
March 2013: DBS launches online update service
- The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will launch an online update service for checks on an applicant’s criminal record and suitability to work in regulated activity with vulnerable groups, including children. There will be a small fee for this service but it does mean that it will no longer be necessary to apply for a new check each time an individual starts a new job or activity. DBS checks will also now be portable (transferable) between jobs and activities, streamlining the recruitment process.
- Date to be decided (needs to be implemented by 16 March 2013): Changes to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (interest) Act 1998
- Aimed at combating late payment in commercial transactions, this Directive will require public authorities to pay invoices for goods and services within 30 days as a general rule, which may be extended to 60 days in some cases. Businesses generally will be required to pay invoices within 30 days, although they may agree to extend the payment period to 60 days. Any attempt to extend the payment period beyond 60 days will only be valid if it isn’t considered “grossly unfair” to the supplier. Defaulting purchasers will be required to pay interest at a rate of at least 8% above the Bank of England base rate, and compensation costs of not less than EUR40.
April 2013: Changes to registration regime for company changes
- The legislation will implement a single UK-wide scheme that applies to all companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), and will therefore be of relevance to all company directors, company secretaries, and partners of LLPs. It is intended that the new regime will become law on 6 April 2013 and will streamline the registration process.
April 2013: Changes to statutory maternity, adoption and paternity pay
- Effective from 7 April 2013, the standard rate of Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay and Statutory Paternity Pay will rise from £135.45 to £136.78 per week.
April 2013: Changes to the safety inspection process
- The government intends to introduce binding new rules on both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and on local authorities that will exempt hundreds of thousands of businesses from burdensome, regular health and safety inspections. In future, businesses will only face health and safety inspections if they are operating in higher risk areas such as construction, or if they have an incident or a track record of poor performance.
April 2013: Changes to the current Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR ’95) process
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently consulted on proposals to simplify and clarify how businesses comply with the requirements under the RIDDOR ’95, to make it easier to understand and comply with. These changes will make it easier for businesses and other users to understand what they need to do to comply with health and safety law.
April 2013: Employee-shareholder contract introduced
- Employers will be able to offer a new type of employment contract, under which an employee will give up some of their employment rights in exchange for between £2,000 and £50,000 shares in their employer’s company that are exempt from capital gains tax. The new contract, referred to as an “employee-shareholder” contract, will be optional for existing employees, but employers will be able to offer this type of contract to new starters.
Summer 2013: Fees for bringing employment tribunal claims introduced
- Employees who bring a claim before an employment tribunal will be required to pay a fee. For a level 1 claim (such as unlawful deductions from wages, failure to pay statutory redundancy pay or statutory holiday pay) there will be a £160 issue fee and a £230 hearing fee. For a level 2 claim (such as unfair dismissal or discrimination), there will be a £250 issue fee and a £950 hearing fee. Currently, there is no charge for bringing an employment tribunal claim. The Government’s stated aim for introducing a fee scale is to reduce the cost to the taxpayer of running the tribunal system.
Summer 2013: Young people required to continue in education or training
- From summer 2013, young people will be required to continue in education or training until at least the end of the academic year in which they turn 17.
Date to be decided (likely to be by end of 2013): Consumer Rights Directive
- The EU Council has approved the Consumer Rights Directive, which aims to simplify the existing rules on consumer protection for distance contracts and contracts negotiated away from business premises, and to promote a more competitive and consumer-friendly internal market. The Directive has to be implemented into UK law by the end of 2013.
Allan Archer at Riverview Law says: “Taking a pre-emptive approach to dealing with legal matters always delivers the best results. Businesses would be wise to start thinking about how these impending changes will impact on them now and prepare to take whatever action is needed. It is much better to be prepared than deal with something when it is too late.” More detailed information about the legislative changes can be found by registering for free on the Riverview Law website: www.riverviewlaw.com.
You can hear it in my accent when I talk, I’m a Canadian in London – apologies to Sting In the opening pages of James Clavell’s, Noble House, visitors to Hong Kong are hit by a pungent smell as they disembark their plane at old Kai Tak airport. They’re told, “That’s the smell of money.” When I recently disembarked at Heathrow’s T3, I don’t recall any particular smell. But by the end of a whirlwind week of talks and presentations, I was drinking in the soothing velvet taste of innovation as it continues to roll through the UK’s legal services market. Riverview Law generously sponsored me for a week-long list of engagements with law students, lawyers and general counsel to discuss what is being done now, and what can be done to change the legal services industry into a modern business operation based on value-for-money, client service and exceptional process. My book, Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century, was striking a chord among those in the UK who saw the full implementation of the Legal Services Act as the death knell for “business-as-usual” for all law firms except the Magic Circle firms – at least for now. I have often called Canada “the land where legal innovation comes to die.” We’re a conservative bunch here, barely touched by the financial meltdown of 2008 and stubbornly clinging to the notion that what works in private business has absolutely no application to the running of a legal practice. So, I was pleasantly stunned to be surrounded by individuals who spoke of wild ideas like “management information”, “major investment in IT solutions”, “constantly improving our processes”, “culture of innovation,” “creating the right metrics”, “letting lawyers do what they do best”, “value-for-money” and “fun”. These were not terms thrown around to impress – they’re values deeply imbedded in a new wave of legal services providers who are discarding things lawyers dislike (time sheets for starters) and applying lessons learned from other successful businesses. And to think that the most innovative provisions of the Legal Services Act are only a year old….. Clearly there are direct correlations between well-funded legal businesses, happier lawyers and predictable, affordable pricing for clients. The highlight of my trip was visiting Riverview’s operations in The Wirral – it was if I had walked into the offices of my fictionalized law firm, BFC – minus the rooftop deck. I was astounded by the fact that from the top down, a customer-centred culture permeated the team. It was palpable, refreshing and genuine – something I’ve not seen before in any law firm. My short UK tour has reinforced my belief that the Canadian legal profession can be saved through similar innovations driven by an opening up of the legal marketplace. But for now I’ll have to be content to watch from the other side of the Atlantic – green with envy.
On 4th October at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2012 Riverview Law was selected as ‘Standout’ by the judging panel in the Legal Industry Pioneers category. Overall Riverview Law came second out of the shortlist of thirteen legal businesses. It is less than eight months since Riverview Law launched in February 2012 – promising to change the way businesses use, measure and buy legal services by bringing transparency and certainty through fixed price annual and multi – year contracts, plus litigation and advice packages. Riverview Law Chief Executive, Karl Chapman, says: “We believe the real winners from the changes occurring in the legal market are customers. Indeed, we believe that one of the reasons we received this recognition is because we are delivering on the promise of higher quality, lower priced, fixed fee legal advice. Something we will continue to do!”
The impact of the Legal Services Act on procurement was the subject of debate at the recent Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply member conference – Redefining Legal Procurement. The event, supported by Riverview Law and AdviserPlus, brought together over 100 procurement professionals for a half day conference at the University of Birmingham on Monday 17th September. The delegates heard from a range of speakers, including: Professor Stephen Mayson, Director of the Legal Services Institute, who in highlighting the gross inefficiencies in the legal services market, urged procurement professional to re-think their use of expensive, ego-centric lawyers. “The structural and attitudinal inefficiencies in law firms are hindering clients getting what they want,” he said. “The Legal Services Act is driving the need to look at what lawyers do and we will see an increased use of non-lawyers where lawyers are not needed to do the work. One of the biggest outcomes from the Legal Services Act will be cheaper and higher-quality legal services.” Recognising that there has never been a better time to buy legal services, Sir Nigel Knowles, Joint CEO and Managing Partner, DLA Piper, said: “Since the recession, the boot is now on the foot of the client when it comes to buying legal services.” Sir Nigel went on to give a warning to firms who think their businesses will return to normal post-recession: “Things aren’t going to return to normal. This is the new normal and firms will have to adapt. Clients no longer want “execution-only” law firms. Instead, they’re looking for a genuine understanding of their business and industry.” Proxima’s Head of Professional and Financial Services, Richard James, by quoting one law firm managing partner’s reluctance to change, highlighted the ignorance still in existence about the Legal Services Act amongst the profession. Richard also explained why buying legal services is different and the difficulties faced in measuring its value. “Procurement professionals think there is a conflict of interest in valuing relationships and need to make a leap in viewing relationships as a value-driver,” he said. Anne-Marie Amatt, Senior Category Manager, E.ON UK, whose experiences inspired the creation of the event, gave an honest and insightful account of her three-year journey of taking E.ON from a business where legal was exempt from the procurement policy, to present day, where a collaborative approach ensues. Anne-Marie explained how the plethora of law firm profit legal tables had become a procurement benchmark at E.ON. She told the audience: “It’s hard to trust a supplier that boasts about its own profitability, so the tables provide a useful tool for our team meetings to play ‘guess the profit margin’.” The event concluded with a wide-ranging audience and question answer session covering topics including breaking down barriers between commercial, procurement and legal departments, public sector compliance and the UK’s pre-eminent position on the international legal stage.
Outsourced Legal Advisory Services
The following RFP (Request for Proposal) documents were made available to delegates at the conference and were developed for organisations wishing to purchase legal services in a more cost-effective manner than through the ‘traditional’ hourly rates model. 1. Guidance Notes 2. Legal services RFP template 3. Attachment 1 – Service line description 4. Attachment 2 – Existing case load 5. Schedule 1 – Pricing template
Birmingham Post article
Legal revolution is ‘good for business’ says entrepreneur
The Lawyer article
Feel the power of the client
Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has appointed Matthew Banks as its Director of Legal Advisory Outsourcing. Matthew will lead Riverview’s fast-growing legal advisory outsourcing business. Matthew has an unrivalled pedigree in innovative legal outsourcing. Having spent 11 years as a commercial property lawyer with Linklaters and Eversheds, he moved to Mumbai in 2005 to create one of the very first legal outsourcing businesses. He then joined Integreon Managed Solutions to set up its legal outsourcing business. Over five years he led the growth of Integreon’s legal outsourcing business to 600 lawyers across eight locations in the US, UK, India and the Philippines serving many of the world’s leading corporations. Having worked in the UK, Mumbai and latterly New York, Matthew will be based in London. He will work with and report to Riverview Law’s Chief Executive Officer, Karl Chapman. The Riverview Law Legal Advisory Outsourcing model enables large organisations to outsource appropriate parts of their in-house legal function at a fixed price. Operationally and financially it provides a compelling alternative to current panel arrangements, as well as the current trend towards increasing the size of the in-house function. Matthew says: “My experience has been that General Counsel are crying out for innovation from their legal services providers to handle both day to day and more complex matters. There are lots of players in the market who make noise about driving beneficial change in legal services but very few are actually delivering it. That’s why I am excited to join Riverview Law. Their service delivery model – combining people, technology, and process with comprehensive management reporting and effective customer experiences – demonstrates they are serious about changing the way businesses use, measure and buy a wide range of legal services.” Karl Chapman says: “We’re thrilled that Matthew is joining us. He is a true pioneer in delivering innovative legal services for large corporations across the globe, and is the ideal person to lead our efforts in this area. We believe that Legal Advisory Outsourcing is the next evolution in the legal services market and will eventually diminish the role and use of panels. It offers the certainty of price, service standards and high quality, allied to a single strong relationship, that general counsel now need more than ever.”
Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has appointed Paul Bird as Finance Director (FD). Paul joins from Pearson Education. Previously he was FD and company secretary at Education Development International (EDI) and led the sale of EDI to Pearson in June 2011. During his 23-year career, Paul has developed a strong track record in high growth, organic and acquisition-led businesses. Prior to EDI, Paul held similar roles for an international AIM-quoted software business and also spent six years at Echo Managed Services – part of FTSE 250 South Staffs plc – as Finance and Commercial Director. Paul, who takes up his post on 6th August, will report into Riverview Law’s COO Adam Shutkever and divide his time between Riverview’s London and Wirral bases. Adam Shutkever, the COO of Riverview Law, says: “Paul has exactly the kind of profile we need as we look to accelerate our growth. From the very first meeting Paul understood our fixed-price business model and the significant legal services market opportunity that exists. His experience in tendering for and handling large contracts will be extremely valuable.” Paul Bird says: “You can’t fail to have noticed Riverview Law since its launch in February. I have no doubt that it will change the way businesses use, buy and measure legal services – it has a very real and compelling proposition. Riverview Law has got the right approach and infrastructure and has attracted the right people so it was definitely something I wanted to be part of.”
Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services businesses, is hosting Mitch Kowalski, lawyer, speaker, innovative thinker and author of the provocative, American Bar Association best seller: Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century, on a visit to England in October. The visit will commence on Tuesday 9th October in London and last all of that week. His schedule will be announced in August and will include the UK launch of his critically acclaimed book, a public lecture and a series of invitation-only private events. Mitch Kowalski says: ““The innovations occurring in the UK are fascinating and it won’t be long before they find their way to other jurisdictions; I’m most grateful to Riverview Law for this opportunity. I’m also really looking forward to meeting other market commentators and players, so I can gain an even greater understanding of the UK legal scene – while also sharing and exploring ideas.” Karl Chapman, Chief Executive of Riverview Law, says: “Mitch has some key messages about trends in the market generally and, specifically, for organisations about how they select legal partners, conduct Requests for Proposals, and drive the behaviours they want from legal businesses. We were keen to bring Mitch to the UK so he could share his thinking with a wider audience.”
Riverview Law, the fixed-priced legal services business, has added five more members, including two QCs, to its divorce and family team. Christopher Pocock QC of 1 King’s Bench Walk joins Riverview Chambers. He is joined by Jonathan Walker-Kane of Broadway House Chambers in Leeds, Byron James of 14 Gray’s Inn Square and Zoe Lane-Smith of Guildford Chambers. Leslie Samuels QC, already a member of the employment team at Riverview Chambers, also joins the divorce and family team. Christopher Pocock specialises in divorce, matrimonial finance and property, financial disputes between unmarried couples, and inheritance and family provision. He achieved silk in 2009. Leeds-based Jonathan Walker-Kane was called to the Bar in 1994 and practises across all areas of family law. Byron James is direct access trained and brings a wealth of experience in matrimonial finance, financial claims in respect of children and international and domestic children issues, amongst other matters. Zoe Lane-Smith is highly experienced in matrimonial finance, co-habitation disputes, residence/contract disputes, and in representing parents, guardians and local authorities in care proceedings. Chris Baylis, CEO of Riverview Chambers and head of the divorce and family team, says: “These appointments undoubtedly demonstrate our credentials in divorce and family law. I expect us to quickly establish ourselves as one of the leading sets in this area. The divorce and family team at Riverview Law already has some of the UK’s leading divorce and family lawyers, including Deborah Bangay QC, Katharine Davidson QC and Nicola Saxton. The team recently launched a groundbreaking divorce service for high net-worth couples that combines fixed- price packages with direct access to the country’s leading divorce lawyers. Adam Shutkever, Chief Operating Officer at Riverview Law, says: “We’ve already seen an incredible interest in our services, particularly since we launched our fixed-priced divorce packages. It’s clear that our transparent approach to legal services has struck a chord with the profession and customers alike. We’re very proud to welcome lawyers of such calibre to our expanding Riverview Law team.”
Riverview Law, the fixed priced legal services business, has opened its first international office in New York, paving the way for international businesses and law firms to have better access to the English legal system. The US office will offer the same transparent, fixed price service to international clients across all areas of English business law that Riverview Law has pioneered in the UK. Adam Shutkever, Chief Operating Officer at Riverview Law, says: “The volume of cross-border activity, along with the impact of extraterritorial legislation such as the Bribery Act and Enterprise Act, means that many international corporations and professionals have a regular need for advice and representation in the English system, yet are often frustrated by the inefficiency of having to appoint, separately, both solicitors and barristers. “At Riverview Law we have removed these inefficiencies. Our teams are led by world-class barristers, with full support from experienced solicitors. At the heart of our offer is making sure that the client receives the right support, from the right team, at the right time and all with complete price certainty.” Legal advice to Riverview Law clients is delivered by Riverview Solicitors and Riverview Chambers and has some of the UK’s leading lawyers, including 14 QCs. Many of the Riverview Law team have long-standing relationships with US clients: Richard Lissack QC, Head of the Riverview Law International Team, is admitted to the Bar of New York as an FLC, and as Counsel is currently instructed as the first ever US/UK jointly appointed monitor in respect of Innospec. While Andrew Spink QC, who is also Chairman of the North American Committee of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR), recently acted in two seminal cases arising out of the developing UK Pensions Regulator Financial Support Direction (FSD) “long arm” jurisdiction, including for the American holding company of Lehman Brothers (LBHI) and a number of its subsidiaries. The office will be headed by Andy Daws, who as Vice-President North America for Riverview Law, will be a key point of contact for US clients and be responsible for developing and managing relationships with US-based law firms and corporations. Andy joined Riverview Law from AdviserPlus Business Solutions, where he spent five years as Client Director. Previously he worked in the Legal and Regulatory division of Thomson Reuters. He says: “The interest we have received since arriving in America has been incredible. There is a real appetite to eliminate the duplication of effort and open-ended nature of costs often associated with the English legal system, which is something we’re able to do without compromising on quality. In the current economic climate, our proposition represents a rare win-win for General Counsel and law firms here who are seeking assurance on both cost and quality.”
Riverview Law, the fixed priced legal services business, has appointed Steve Jones from Argent Chambers as Business Development Manager. Steve will report into Riverview Law Operations Director, Jeremy Hopkins. During his career, Steve has clerked at 2 Paper Buildings and 8 King’s Bench Walk, before joining Argent Chambers in 2010 where he was instrumental in pioneering its direct access model. Steve says: “As soon as I heard about Riverview Law I was interested – they champion all the things I believe in. I completely disagree with the notion that litigation can’t be carried out on a fixed fee basis. I’ve always believed in finding new ways to deliver legal services.” Richard Lissack QC, Head of the Business Team at Riverview Chambers, says: “Following on from Jeremy Hopkins’ recent appointment, this is another strong sign of Riverview’s intention to attract the very best talent throughout the entire business. I’m sure Steve will be a great asset to the Riverview business as it continues to grow.” Adam Shutkever, Chief Operating Officer at Riverview Law says: “Having top quality operational and commercial skills is just as important to us as having first class lawyers and at Riverview we’re attracting both. We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest shown in Riverview Law, both from the profession and from business and we’re delighted to have someone with Steve’s relevant experience on board.” Riverview Law recently launched a groundbreaking divorce service for high net-worth couples that combines fixed-price packages with direct access to the country’s leading divorce barristers and will shortly be launching a range of fixed priced packages for businesses.
UK’s leading divorce lawyers guarantee their fees for divorcing couples with assets in excess of £500,000 Riverview Law, the fixed-price legal services business, has today launched a groundbreaking divorce service for high net-worth couples that combines fixed-price packages with direct access to the country’s leading divorce barristers. It is the first time a UK legal business has published and guaranteed the cost of divorce for couples with assets worth in excess of £500,000. The approach gives much-needed certainty and peace of mind for divorcing couples. It ensures that both sides can afford access to the best lawyers so that the costs of divorce do not eat up a couple’s assets. By appointing a barrister-led team to conduct the case from the outset, clients reduce any duplication of effort and cost involved with the traditional model and have direct access to barristers who operate at the sharp end of divorce disputes. Riverview Law provides access to some of the most well-known divorce lawyers in the country, including Deborah Bangay QC, who has previously acted for Elena Golubovich in her high-profile divorce from a Russian financier, and Karen Parlour, ex-wife of former footballer Ray Parlour; Katharine Davidson QC, who acted for city broker Richard Grey in successfully challenging his alimony payments because his ex-wife was co-habiting with another man; and Nicola Saxton, who acted as the junior barrister for millionaire businessman Eric Keith Richardson in taking his son to court to win new terms for a multi-million pound divorce settlement with his by then deceased wife. To minimise costs as a divorce progresses and to provide certainty and transparency to clients, the service is offered in four stages, with prices depending on whether a QC or junior barrister is instructed. The fixed fee for the initial conference – where the merits of the case are examined and a strategy developed – starts at £1,000 for a junior barrister. The first court appointment to decide how the case will proceed starts at £5,000. The financial dispute resolution hearing starts at £17,500. A bespoke fixed fee will then be quoted if the case goes to a full-blown trial. Pre-divorce advice is also offered, such as a pre-nuptial or mid-nuptial agreement, and starts at £2,500. Adam Shutkever, COO of Riverview Law, says: “We recognise that divorce is as much an emotional process as a financial one, and we want to bring reasonableness and fairness to all parties. “Lawyers tell clients that it is impossible to know the cost of divorce, but we believe it can be done with complete transparency and predictability. Fixed fees are at the core of the Riverview Law ethos and by building our model from the client’s perspective, rather than the lawyer’s, we can deliver a quality service at an upfront price.” Chris Baylis, CEO of Riverview Chambers and head of the divorce team, adds: “By forming teams led by top divorce barristers, Riverview Law allows clients to go straight to the source. We adopt a pragmatic and commercial approach to each case and form the best team, including solicitors where appropriate, to match our clients’ requirements. “We’ve already received an incredible response for this service and expect to bring more of the UK’s top divorce barristers into our team over the coming weeks.”
Riverview Law, the fixed priced legal services business, has appointed Jeremy Hopkins of 3 Verulam Buildings as Director of Operations. Currently practice manager at 3 Verulam Buildings, the Chambers of Ali Malek QC, Jeremy has been working in the legal sector for over 20 years in senior practice management roles for a number of sets, including XXIV Old Buildings, St John’s Chambers and 12 King’s Bench Walk. During this time Jeremy has also established a reputation as an expert legal commentator through Twitter and his acclaimed Clerkingwell blog. Jeremy says: “Riverview Law is unashamedly forward thinking, which struck a chord with me. We share the same passions about the law and customer service and I believe I can play a big part in the strategy Riverview Law is pursuing. I’ve been impressed by their professionalism and their detailed plans.” Jeremy will be responsible for the smooth day-to-day running of Riverview Chambers, including workflow and quality control processes, plus pricing strategies. He will use his considerable contacts within both the profession and the corporate world to help drive the development of the business. Richard Lissack QC, Head of the Business Team at Riverview Chambers, says: “This is a first-rate appointment. Jeremy is highly capable and very well regarded in the profession and this is a strong sign of Riverview’s intention to attract the very best talent throughout the entire business. I’m looking forward immensely to working with him.” This is the first in a series of appointments Riverview Law will make over the coming months. Adam Shutkever, Chief Operating Officer at Riverview Law says: “We’ve already recruited a first class team of lawyers and with Jeremy we are adding top quality operational and commercial skills. We’re delighted Jeremy is on board and we look forward to strengthening our team further.” Riverview Law provides fixed priced access to a high-quality team of lawyers, including some of the UK’s leading QCs.
- Supported by business leaders, Riverview Law will change the way businesses buy and use legal services
- Fixed fees, annual contracts, flexible monthly payments and a money-back guarantee
Supported by some of the UK’s leading lawyers Riverview Law, which is a trading name of LawVest Limited, blows the cobwebs off the traditional client/lawyer relationship by banishing the traditional ‘ticking clock’ hourly charging model typically favoured by law firms. Riverview Law offers businesses an unprecedented mix of fixed fees, unlimited access to legal advice, annual contracts, flexible monthly payments and is backed by a no quibble refund policy. The launch has received high-profile support from business leaders. Ajaz Ahmed, founder of Freeserve, says: “Lawyers talk about fixed priced law but they only ever deliver expensive fixed prices. They don’t understand that businesses want affordable law and affordable fixed pricing is the way the market is heading. Finally, Riverview Law is bringing some good news for British businesses.” Professor Stephen Mayson, Director of think tank the Legal Services Institute, adds: “For too long law firms have had their heads in the sand about the changes being driven by the Legal Services Act. With the arrival of Co-operative Legal Services into the consumer market, many firms falsely believe that their work with businesses isn’t under threat, but they’re wrong. Businesses should soon start to benefit from the revolution taking place in the legal services market.” To introduce companies to the service, Riverview Law also provides organisations with free unlimited access to its online Legal Library containing hundreds of documents, forms, records, contracts and other templates, plus plain English information and guides. Additionally, businesses can test the quality of the legal team by making a complimentary advice call to one of the Riverview lawyers. Adam Shutkever, Chief Operating Officer of Riverview Law, says: “Businesses know they’re running a risk by doing it themselves but don’t pick up the phone to a lawyer because they’re worried about the cost. What does this say about the way legal advice is currently provided? That’s why we, with our focus on what the customer wants, set up Riverview Law and why all our services are fixed price, quoted in advance. When businesses call or see our lawyers they don’t have to worry about the cost, it’s all in the fixed price.”