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Why Work with (or for) Cracknell Law?

Why Work with (or for) Cracknell Law?

Our Head of Corporate, James Wilkinson, recently joined us. Let him describe, in his own words, why he chose Cracknell Law.


I had been looking to make a move for almost a year. My background is Corporate and Commercial law in London and I took a recent detour to focus on developing some really interesting legal tech but I missed practice. In particular, I was missing the long-term relationships that I had built with some of my former clients. I should add that I have also spent time working with a number of start-up businesses and have thoroughly enjoyed the excitement and anticipation of seeing something grow out of a great idea, the right group of people, some careful planning and lots of sweat.


So I knew I wanted to get back to practice but realised that I was looking for something a bit different; I had evolved a pretty specific list of requirements, the abridged version being:


  1. Get more involved with early and growth stage businesses – I’ve been there, I know what it’s like and think there is a lot I can offer to help. Seeing a new business move into growth mode and beyond is something I find particularly rewarding and offers a tangibility that I thrive on.
  2. Build relationships – the nature of Corporate law can be that you just get parachuted in when there is a major capital event, but I wanted the opportunity to get to know clients and their businesses over a period of time, which I believe means I can do a better job when that capital event occurs.
  3. Turn off the clock – time recording is still important (at the very least so we know that we are using resources intelligently) but I wanted clients to feel free to get in touch without fearing that my finger is constantly hovering over a timer. I think the clock can be a massive barrier to building relationships.
  4. Flexibility – both in the way I work (I have children and really want to see them) and in wanting the space to be able to listen to clients and deliver legal services in manner that suits them.


In short, I was looking for a different way of engaging legal services. One that was based on partnerships and long-term, human relationships.


After much searching I came across Cracknell Law and quickly knew it was the right place for me. Having previously worked in quite large firms, I had never imagined that I would join a niche practice like Cracknell Law, but it soon became clear that the size meant that decisions could be made quickly, the firm could be responsive to alternative ways of undertaking the business of law and that the lack of legacy systems and ways of doing things offered an upside to clients both in terms of cost and work output. But the thing that really stood out for me was the focus on a retainer model (but, of course, still being able to deliver one-off pieces of work). The retainer concept allows clients to use the firm like a part-time in-house counsel, with fixed costs and a lawyer who knows the business and its stakeholders much more intimately than a lawyer working more transactionally. As a Corporate lawyer, that means clients never have to fear to cost of getting in touch and I can work with a business for a period of time before an investment round or exit event, ensuring that the business is in the best shape possible and that I can handle the future transactions in a more tailored fashion while taking up less management time.


It struck me that Cracknell Law is exactly the sort of firm I would want to use if I was looking for high quality, cost-effective legal services. So I’m delighted to be leading the firm’s Corporate team and can’t wait to start working with its clients. Do get in touch if you would like to discuss this post, or working with or for Cracknell Law.