09/07/2008 - 22:00

Jagger lays down law on balance

09/07/2008 - 22:00

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

Working in the legal profession can be an unforgiving lifestyle for those at the top, especially when it comes to spending time with family, but it's a reality Ken Jagger has turned into a business opportunity.

Working in the legal profession can be an unforgiving lifestyle for those at the top, especially when it comes to spending time with family, but it's a reality Ken Jagger has turned into a business opportunity.

The former Freehills partner has set up a new firm, Balance Legal, which he believes will offer better work/life balance for staff, and more affordable services for clients.

Based in Subiaco, the firm opened for business last week with four directors - including former Freehills associates Haaron Bokhari and Wade Taseff - with a fifth lawyer to join the fold shortly.

Mr Jagger said he made the decision to leave Freehills one year ago, and began floating the idea for a new firm with corporates and other lawyers, to a positive reception.

"For many lawyers, the big firm model isn't delivering everything they're looking for, particularly for senior associates," he said.

"There aren't as many partnerships available as there used to be, and they're not as attractive as they once were either - there are some fairly onerous requirements. Couple that with the desire of both female and male lawyers to spend more time with their children, and you have many senior lawyers looking at other options."

Mr Jagger said the traditional alternative to working for a big firm - being based in-house with a client - had also become more challenging, with greater expectations on lawyers to provide more value with fewer resources.

He said Balance Legal would operate under a different commercial model to its larger counterparts, with staff working offsite at times under a 'hot-desk' arrangement.

"We're simply not looking for the same margins that the big firms are looking for. We'll be able to put our staff in the marketplace at more reasonable rates, so they can be used for longer periods," Mr Jagger said.

The firm will take on clients in the mining, oil and gas, general commercial and property sectors initially, although it plans to recruit other senior associates with differing expertise.

"The grand ambition is to have a very large law firm. If we have a lot of lawyers, we'll be able to be more flexible, because we'll have more resources," Mr Jagger said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options