24 August 2023
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AG Integrate Consultant Blog – How Freelancing Helped me to Transition Between Legal Sectors

To The Point

AG Integrate's Health & Digital Sector Lead Vic Clark interviews Daniel Hannah, one of our outstanding Consultants who has delivered an excellent service to some of our Firm's brilliant Clients. Learn how Daniel used the interim way of working in the legal world to gain experience very quickly across a variety of sectors, upskilling each time with the help and guidance of his dedicated AG Integrate Consultant Fulfilment team!

What drew you to working as an AG Integrate Consultant?

After dedicating half a decade to the traditional private practice career path, I became curious about the emerging "new law" career paths that were garnering growing popularity and recognition within the legal community. After researching further, I was inspired by the opportunities and undeterred by the perceived downsides. I decided to give it a try, realising I had nothing to lose, and I have never looked back.

Legal consulting is not for everyone. However, for those who are well suited, it is hugely compelling.  Being entrepreneurial in nature, I am happy to shift the dial further towards risk/reward and have greater autonomy over my schedule and the assignments I work on. I also enjoy variety and meeting new people, which consulting undoubtedly delivers. The clients, sectors, projects, locations and colleagues are ever changing, which keeps you on your toes and makes the job more exciting.

The improved work-life balance and greater flexibility is simply not possible within traditional career paths. To date, I have generally worked 3-4 days per week fully remote (with the occasional site visit, which I enjoy). This allows me to pursue my own interests and ventures in my down time. In my experience, clients are very flexible when it comes to working hours. Want to take 3, 6, 12 months off in between assignments to travel? No problem. The vibe within the industry is refreshing and modern. I have never felt judged, or a less desirable candidate, for working a number of days that suits me or for taking a month or two out to travel. Of course, some clients will have very specific business needs, such as: working during certain periods/days/hours and having consultants on site. However, it is entirely up to consultants whether they want to take on an assignment or wait for one that better suits their needs. 

AG Integrate are experts at matching consultants and clients that have similar requirements, so I have never felt at all misaligned with a prospective client.

There are an increasing number of law firms operating in the consultancy sector nowadays.

I am on various firms’ “benches”, as all consultants should be able to ensure a constant flow of work and proper competition amongst firms. Firms actively encourage joining multiple benches. To date, all my assignments have been placed by AGI due to Addleshaw Goddard’s strong reputation in the market and AGI doing an excellent job. I have found AGI to be transparent about the market; quick off the mark to source me high quality assignments that are well suited to me; and collectively they are a very friendly and down to earth team, who build strong relationships with consultants and clients. 

Your assignments have covered a range of sectors, how have you found the transition between these?

I have been fortunate to work within a broad range of sectors during my first three assignments. These have included Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, Telecoms, Technology and Transport. I am fairly open minded and am not wedded to any particular sector and so tend to go with the flow. That said, given my interest in and knowledge for cars, it is an ambition of mine to work with an automotive client on one of my next assignments. The possibilities are limitless. As a legal consultant, you have the freedom to hold out for a specific sector or assignment that aligns with your preferences.

It can be challenging being parachuted in to help clients in unfamiliar sectors. You also have to navigate IT systems, teams and processes, all of which are new to you. Often you are required to hit the ground running. You learn to be more adaptable and in tune with the nuances of practice across sectors and between different clients. The cross-pollination of experience across diverse sectors and clients fosters creativity, which has empowered me to deliver additional value for clients by identifying opportunities to improve.

For lawyers that are transitioning from private practice, as I did, both working inhouse and freelancing requires a shift in mindset. Without a private practice specialism to lean on and limited time, you often learn on the job at pace and push yourself out of your comfort zone to give clients the support they need. However, that is not to say that you are expected to become the oracle of a new sector overnight. When a particularly unfamiliar and complex contract hits my desk, I often remind myself that ultimately “a contract is a contract”. The core principles are the same and provide the foundation for you to then build in sector specific analysis and protections. 

Ample support and resources are available from the AG team if you encounter a gap in your knowledge.

What have been your AG Integrate career highlights so far?

I have been fortunate to work with great clients on a broad variety of complex, interesting and high-profile matters. From working on the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project; the UK’s largest self-driving grocery home delivery trial; to advising on corporate collaborations with Hollywood celebrities; and rolling out the national supply of the flu vaccine to 254 pharmacies across the UK under tight timescales, truly no day is the same.

What do you love to do outside of work? Tell us more about you!

Given my personal preference for variety and pace in my work, my personal life follows a similar pattern. Having a much better work-life balance and working fewer days per week has allowed me to fully pursue my hobbies and ambitions outside of the law. I recently started my own business developing residential and commercial properties. You may be surprised to learn that cars and motorsport occupy a large proportion of my free time. At the weekend you might find me trackside at a Formula 1 Grand Prix or driving my car around a racetrack (then rebuilding it when I have pushed it too far). I squeeze in mountain biking and skiing when I get the chance and have regular outdoor adventures with my dog Max.

Next Steps

At AG Integrate, we are here to create opportunities for outstanding lawyers and provide our esteemed Clients with effective support and creative solutions. If you are a Client looking for interim support or you are a talented lawyer who would like to know more around interim legal working, please don't hesitate to reach out to Vic Clark!

Key contact

Vic Clark
Vic Clark
AG Integrate Manager

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