In a bid to support the region’s small and start-up businesses and help them to grow, North East-based national law firm, Muckle LLP, has launched an innovative service offering clients a dedicated lawyer for a discounted fixed fee.
Muckle LLP’s new Mi Business service is believed to be a first in the region and offers a legal retainer specifically designed for businesses with under £2 million turnover and 30 employees. It provides small businesses the opportunity to pay for their necessary legal fees on a monthly Direct Debit while budgeting for and benefiting from 12 months’ legal support.
Last year, a YouGov survey looking at legal costs found that small to medium sized UK businesses (SMEs) experience eight legal issues per year on average. The survey also revealed that only 8 per cent of SMEs felt legal fees were good value for money.
Louise Duffy, head of banking and finance at Muckle LLP, says: “We understand managing a new or growing business and its legal needs can be difficult. That’s why we designed Mi Business, to help smaller sized companies access legal advice early and prepare for issues that might become contentious later on.
“Businesses will ultimately save time and money. It’s much cheaper than hiring a lawyer on a reactive basis and, because we already know the business, we can support them much more efficiently.”
One of the first businesses to benefit from the scheme is Faction Health and Safety Group, a Newcastle-based consultancy currently working with Muckle LLP’s Jill Dovey, associate solicitor.
The group has since launched its RAMs app, providing customers with a simple to follow and reliable system for creating their own risk assessments, method statements and COSHH assessments. Faction’s service arm – beAccredited – has also been launched, which focuses on taking the hassle out of the health and safety accreditation process for its customers.
Joe Kelly, business development director at Faction, says: “Working with Muckle has benefited us massively, from setting up our initial shareholder agreement to the terms and conditions for our various arms of the business, they have been fantastic. It’s given us real peace of mind knowing we have expert legal advice we can turn to whenever we need it and has already proved to be incredibly useful for us with a few unexpected issues.
“Being able to spread the payment monthly has also allowed us to reinvest capital into the business rather than outlaying a large initial sum which has helped us in our growth.”
As part of the legal package, start-up and small businesses receive the services of a dedicated lawyer to help manage their needs, connect them with other influential business contacts and help them to grow.
The two 12-month Mi Business packages cost £165 and £300 per month, payable by Direct Debit or up front, and include a host of added benefits, such as free company secretarial support.