Frequently asked questions
Why is Dean Fendi Legal a “Legal Consultancy” and not a “Law Firm”?
The short answer is that our Consultants are not acting as solicitors when providing services through Dean Fendi. Law firms comprise solicitors who are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and when we provide services to our business clients we are not regulated or authorised by the SRA.
The longer answer requires a bit of background. In the UK, there are certain activities which are “reserved” to solicitors (and in some cases other authorised, regulated persons like barristers or licensed conveyancers). These are:
- the exercise of a right of audience (i.e. the right to act as an advocate in court);
- the conduct of litigation;
- probate activities;
- notarising; and
- the administration of oaths.
We do not conduct any of these reserved activities. We provide legal advice in non-contentious commercial, intellectual property and IT matters, which is not an activity reserved to solicitors.
Before joining Dean Fendi, this is what each of our consultants did for a living as solicitors. Now, as legal consultants, we conduct the same activity, using the same skills and knowledge, but without being authorised or regulated as solicitors or as a law firm.
Since it does not make any difference to our work, you may well ask why we don’t just practice as a law firm. The answer is that, like many of our clients, Dean Fendi operates in as lean and agile a manner as possible. Practising as a regulated law firm requires the annual payment of various contributions (including a proportion of the relevant practice’s turnover) to the Law Society and/or the Solicitors Regulation Authority. It also increases insurance costs by a significant factor (regardless of whether or not you conduct the reserved activities set out above) and requires management time to be dedicated to prescribed regulatory administration. All in all, our view is that we can run leaner as a legal consultancy. Further, by keeping our running and administrative costs down, we are able to pass on the benefit of savings to our clients and provide our services at a much more competitive rate than solicitors providing the same services.
However, from a client’s perspective, using an unregulated consultancy as opposed to a firm of solicitors is not all upside. While our view is that the cost benefit to the client outweighs the downsides of using a legal consultancy, we want our clients to be fully informed of the position to make up their own minds. Here are the key distinctions:
- Solicitors are required to maintain mandatory levels of professional indemnity insurance cover (at least £2,000,000 per claim). Dean Fendi only maintains professional indemnity cover of £1,000,000 per claim (although we are willing to take out additional cover in relation to specific transactions or projects).
- Solicitors are subject to rules issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority relating to the conduct of their business (and in particular imposing ethical standards and a duty to act in the client’s best interests). We are not subject to those rules. In our view, this makes very little difference to the client, as it is clearly in our best interests to act honestly whether or not we are subject to written rules requiring us to do so.
- Solicitors’ advice can be “privileged”. What this means is that correspondence between a client and solicitor can, if made confidentially and for the purposes of legal advice, be withheld from a court or third party in connection with legal proceedings. Advice from non- regulated advisors is not “privileged”, which means that our advice may be disclosable in evidence in the context of a legal claim. In this sense, our advice is treated in the same manner as advice from your accountants, management consultants, HR consultants or anyone else who is not a regulated legal advisor such as a solicitor or barrister. Because we do not advise on contentious matters (and are not in the habit of sending emails advising our clients to do anything illegal) our view is that our correspondence with our clients does
Do you have professional indemnity insurance?
Yes, we have professional indemnity cover of £1,000,000 per claim. If we are advising you in relation to a particularly high-value or high-risk transaction, then we are more than happy to discuss increasing our professional indemnity cover as necessary.
We assist small to medium businesses, start-ups and also larger businesses who need business to business advice
SPEAK TO US TODAY OR CONTACT US ONLINE AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN ASSIST YOU
020 7060 6305
Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square,
London W1J 6BD
Who We Are
What We Do
Dean Fendi Limited is registered in the United Kingdom under company number 10266351. We are a legal consultancy, not a law firm, and are not authorised or regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – see our FAQ for more information.
© 2018 Dean Fendi. All rights reserved. Dean Fendi Limited trading as Dean Fendi Legal.