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Lawyer Stories

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas qualified in 1991 and practiced latterly as a partner at a top 100 UK law firm’s Leeds office where he was asked to build the Insolvency offering in Leeds from a standing start.

This was done successfully achieving at its peak two partners, one consultant and three assistants. Although he was enjoying his work and his time at the firm, Steve reached a stage where he wanted to look for a new challenge and a new way of developing his practice – one where the decisions of how this would be developed would rely solely on him. Once he discovered Excello, it was just a matter of making the jump.

A seamless transition

Steve joined the firm in 2014 with one other lawyer. Since then, they have grown their team to three lawyers and a paralegal, all of whom work together in the Leeds office. Steve also makes use of Excello’s other offices, as he has clients all over the country, and its back-office service which assists in all aspects of running an office, from software invoicing to filing documents, making remote work, especially due to lockdown, an easy transition.

“At Excello Law, you have the back-office support you would expect at a much larger firm, which helps you to focus completely on your clients. My work life balance has also been better because I’ve now the freedom to decide how I prioritise my time. In a traditional practice, my time would have been prioritised by others, whereas I now have the autonomy to prioritise my time for clients”.

A collaborative approach

At Excello, Steve is able to tap into the broad network of specialist lawyers to strengthen his cases. “In Insolvency Law, you often need the skillset of other lawyers for your own cases and that is one of the key benefits of the firm. You are able to draw on the wider network of expertise, who you know think and work like you, and that’s important for clients.”

Making the jump

“One of the main issues for lawyers who may be reluctant to join models like Excello Law has been the assumption that they will no longer have an office and will have to work on their own.  But here, you have people to rely on. Lawyers working in traditional firms have now been working from home for the past year and are realising they can work in this way, and this will likely be a big draw to firms like Excello. Here you have the best of both worlds: an office if you want one or the possibility to work from home, or wherever, depending on your choice.”

Steve has found the type of lawyer who joins Excello Law is no longer just the senior and partner level lawyers. Associate level lawyers, who have worked for a number of years and don’t want the constraints of a partnership and having their freedom restricted in how they work, are now also looking beyond the traditional law firm model.

Regardless of where they are in their career, Steve has one simple piece of advice for those looking to take the jump:

“Anyone who joins Excello Law has to be confident in their own ability. If you think you’re good enough to make this work, then clients will also believe in you and your ability to do the job. Most lawyers love the law but the “office politics” wear them down. At Excello you do not have that burden so you can get on doing what you enjoy and what you have trained and studied hard for.”

“In larger and traditional law firms, you are restricted in how you develop your practice because it has to be tied to your firm’s ethos. At Excello Law, you have the freedom to decide how you work.”