An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE of Richmond Green Chambers.


Martin Smith has produced a thoroughly expanded and welcome new edition of this much needed guide to the creation and running of a legal practice which will be of great help to all the support staff who can make or break the success of any legal business.

The third edition has been completely updated relying on the authors extensive administrative experience. Smith has provided here a practical, straightforward and well structured guide on how to set up and run your legal practice including all the common sense points which we all really know about but sometimes forget or put to one side!

The book remains a much loved and invaluable best-seller from the Law Society stable, and relies on the tried and tested methods of its author and it will be of great use to all solicitors seeking to establish and manage their legal practice in England and Wales.

The book has two parts:

Part I deals with setting up your practice, and, in 12 chapters, covers issues such as deciding the legal constitution of your practice, to finance and advertising.

Part II is entitled keeping going: how to manage the small practice with 8 chapters which investigates the ongoing management of your practice including a specific chapter on marketing and how to manage the growth of your firm.

There are 15 appendices which deal with the nitty-gritty of the profession and they are a most welcome reference point of the work. For the third edition, these appendices are now on the CD-ROM including specimen documents for easy and fast customization, and that should save us both time and money.

The work takes account of:

•the impact of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007;

•the introduction of the Solicitors Regulation Authority;

•the implications of the Legal Services Act 2007;

•the newly revised Lexcel practice management standard; and

•contemporary legal and regulatory developments.

Apparently, the Law Society had strong reservations about the success of this book in 1995 when advice from outside reviewers of the project was that trying to produce a single book covering the myriad of tasks that need to be completed in order to set up a new practice was well nigh impossible because too much ground needed to be covered.


So, Martin Smith has taken away the cartoons which appeared in earlier editions and he describes the more serious environment we face as new practices are set up and struggle to cope, with the parting hope that the book will prove as useful as ever to those bold enough to start a new practice. It is and it does- those constructive observations from 1995 are now water under the bridge!

ISBN: 978-1-85328-659-9

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