Interview with IV League's CEO

Mike Jones has held senior sales and business development roles in a number of professional services firms and was the first sales director appointed to a law firm.  He is the founder Intrinsic Values, a business that advises law firms on business development through consulting, training and coaching.  His latest venture, IV League Talent Limited, is a twist on the virtual firm concept in that it allows lawyers to freelance as consultants, often remotely and flexibly, within a traditional (as opposed to virtual) “host” firm.   You can read an interview with an IV League consultant lawyer here.

 

mtl:  How did the idea for IV League come about? 

 

Mike:  I was the sales director of a City law firm and one of my former colleagues there became frustrated with being a partner.  He was interested in joining a virtual firm and was impressed by the flexibility, the support infrastructure and the earning potential that it offered, but didn’t feel that he would be able to transfer his major institutional clients to it. 

 

Instead of making a lateral move, which would involve similar partnership issues, this lawyer went on to join a City firm on a freelance basis. We were confident that other lawyers would be interested in a similar set-up and after testing the market, found that law firms were too – their reaction has been better than anticipated. 

 

IV League essentially assists with establishing similar arrangements in that it enables lawyers to freelance with the benefit and support of a strong brand and assistance from support departments of the host firm if needed. 

 

We are in our first year of promoting the business and the numbers are ahead of what we expected for this point.  At the moment we have 29 lawyers on our books.  Once we reach 100, our next step is to expand internationally and at that point I will also consider moving into other professions. 

 

mtl:  How does the arrangement work on a practical level? 

 

Mike:  The law firm bills the client directly and once the fees are collected, they pay the lawyer around 70% and IV League about 5% of that amount, keeping the remaining 25%.  At the moment nobody else is offering this type of structure.  

 

The law firm in effect gets lateral hires without the financial risk of recruitment costs or a salary to pay when the lawyer isn’t bringing in work and the lawyer is able to work flexibly without also having to manage a business. 

 

A lawyer might prefer to work remotely or might enjoy integrating more with the firm by using a hot-desk in the office and can choose whether to work for one or more firms.   Lawyers are able to access their host firms’ training and support structures. 

 

mtl:  What sort of CVs are you looking for? 

 

Mike:  The lawyers that we place generally already have a following and the more senior they are the more attractive they are to a firm.  They don’t have to be entirely self-sufficient but they would be bringing some degree of work with them to the firm.  I meet with lawyers who are interested in the model and would then prepare a short-list of firms that could be a good match for them. 

 

If you are interested in the IV League model then you can contact Mike by calling 020 7129 1403 or emailing mike.jones@ivleague.co.uk