Teamwork in a fee share model – Peter Dempsey and Welmoed Rutgers

October 7, 2021

There is sometimes a misconception that a fee share model is for solo lawyers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. gunnercooke has a strong internal network and thrives off collaboration and cross referrals.

Peter Dempsey is one of the firm’s Private Client Partners, specialising in cross-border legal and tax advice. Peter’s team includes both a paralegal and a solicitor, Welmoed Rutgers, who joined gunnercooke alongside Peter, having worked together for 11 years.

Peter and Welmoed share their insights and experiences on teamworking in a fee share model and the advantages of being able to choose your own colleagues.

“We have definitely benefitted from gunnercooke’s internal network and support services. We try to be good neighbours and regularly refer work to other lawyers in the firm and likewise, receive work from others, or collaborate with a larger team. Our lawyers cover such a wide range of areas, it’s ideal for filling the gaps of expertise we may not have ourselves. The hit rate for finding something is very high – there is always someone who can help us. Even where we cannot get involved in a matter (for example due to workload), we try to offer views to colleagues, and we find that others in the firm have the same attitude – it is very collegiate.

“The advantage of working in a model like this is that you can choose who you work with, whether that’s your own team or collaboratively with other teams. You can pick and choose the best experts to help service your clients, and recruit or refer talented ex-colleagues from previous firms. There is a high level of competence at the firm, both in terms of the lawyers and the support team, so you can always trust in the quality of our services. The culture is what sets gunnercooke apart from both traditional firms and other firms in this model. Everyone works really hard and has a fantastic attitude. When you are surrounded by likeminded people, everyone wants to share and work together to be successful in their own business.

“We’ve been working remotely for a long time in this model and the key is to communicate as much as possible. We are on the phone as much as possible and email is also important in this industry to keep a record of work. We’ve found the transition to homeworking in lockdown much easier than others due to this.

“It can be scary making the leap to a fee share model, but the fear won’t last for long. There is a great deal of traffic and work to jump on internally and establish a track record quickly. Some people like to work alone, and the model suits them too – everyone has their own approach – but for us, we find that working together is the key to true success in this sort of environment. The firm offers the infrastructure and everything you need to set up your own practice. But for those who want or need it, the number of other experienced lawyers means you can dip into a wide pool of expertise at any time. You choose your own colleagues, that’s the beauty of it.”

Find out more about joining gunnercooke here.