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How I Started My Own Law Firm with Excello Law: 458 Law

Nathan Lapsley

Seeking More Value and Growth Opportunities

Nathan, who lives in Coventry with his wife Lucy and two daughters, had a solid background in corporate law with ten years at Wright Hassall LLP advising and supporting various stakeholders on lots of different types of transactions for private companies. However, he felt he needed a change and had a desire to build something and tread a different path than the traditional route to equity partner.

“I reached a point where I had a strong client base and referral network, and I enjoy originating new deals and building new relationships. In my personal life, my young daughter had some health issues and Lucy was pregnant again. I was working extremely long hours and there came a point where there was a huge disconnect between the inputs I was making and the outputs that were generated for the family. Ultimately, the rewards for the work that I was doing didn’t match my expectations. That was something that I needed to change.”

Exploring Options and Finding the Right Fit

Nathan considered various options, such as becoming an in-house counsel for a US acquiror that had approached him, pursuing partnership at Wright Hassall, or accepting a partnership role at a national firm in Birmingham, but none of them felt like the right fit. Nathan was also approached by a very successful professional to create their own firm. However, he soon realised that setting up his own practice wouldn’t be feasible due to the nature of his work and the demands of his clients.

“The realities were that with the nature of work that I do, I need to scale up on transactions and pull in a lot of different expertise. My clients often demand specialist advice from other legal disciplines outside of corporate and I wanted to be able to provide them with that without having to constantly make referrals outside of the firm or make a huge investment in human capital ”.

Excello Law: Empowering Legal Entrepreneurs

Nathan understood that turning his vision into reality required a supportive ecosystem that provided access to specialist lawyers, fostered excellence, and facilitated growth. Nathan came across Excello Law on LinkedIn after reading an article about Lowry Legal, a specialist firm of family lawyers that operates within Excello Law.

“I was intrigued by Lowry Legal and had a meeting with George and Jo at Excello Law. Meeting George Bisnought was liberating. He said, ‘We want you to join, tell me what you want to make it work, and we will see what we can do.’ They came to me with a brilliant offering, and from there, 458 Law was born”.

Building an Exceptional Firm: 458 Law

Nathan’s overarching goal was to be able to provide his clients with the best possible service. Corporate lawyer James Smith joined Nathan’s team at 458 Law, along with tax lawyer Sam Moore. He then looked within Excello to collaborate with other lawyers where his clients’ instructions demanded a team of mixed specialisms.

“Jo Losty helped to connect me with specialists in Excello where the projects we were working on required advice that sat outside the core 458 deal team’s area of expertise. For example, we have worked on transactions that have required support across acquisition finance, share incentives, real estate, employment, disputes, restructuring and insolvency, commercial and IP and we have been able to scale up teams or pass work to colleagues so the client has a frictionless turn key service.”

Excello Law’s Support

Excello Law provided Nathan with the necessary infrastructure, branding package, office network, and compliance management, allowing him to focus on servicing his clients and expanding his practice. “Building my brand as a trading name of Excello Law within a regulated environment not only allowed me to maintain control but also provided the comfort of insurance and compliance being taken care of. Additionally, the wider lawyer network offered scalability opportunities for my practice. Excello Law has provided me with the infrastructure and support I needed to grow my firm to where it is today,” Nathan gratefully acknowledges.

Future Aspirations and Impact

The journey of building 458 Law has been challenging, but at the same time liberating for Nathan. Nathan reflects on the early days, saying, “the main challenge was juggling family – I had a 2 year old and a newborn at home – with exceptional client delivery and business development, but I found myself completely dedicated and focused to make it work.”

Drawing from his own experience, Nathan confidently believes that other ambitious individuals can achieve similar success. He passionately declares, “Really, it’s not rocket science – network, create content, be very good at what you do, provide exceptional client service and people will follow you. I always say lawyers are too risk averse, but there are lots of practitioners – young and old – that can do exactly what I’ve done. From my perspective, the network and core infrastructure that Excello provides me with allows me to focus on closing projects for clients, building out an A+ team and generating deal flow – just as I would do at any traditional law firm but with a greater degree of autonomy, control and upside.”

Looking towards the future, Nathan is excited about how he can develop the business and the people  that work in it.

The Transformative Power of Ambition and Collaboration

Nathan Lapsley’s inspiring journey showcases the transformative power of ambition, collaboration, and innovative legal solutions. If you are interested in building your own law firm, contact us today for a confidential conversation.

458 Law is a specialist corporate law firm that partners with start-ups, venture backed companies, aggregators, corporates, investors and sellers looking to buy, build, plan and exit, with a particular focus on e-commerce and Amazon FBA.