How consulting works.

We operate a number of engagement models for lawyers wanting to join Peerpoint. The models available to you will vary depending on the region you are located in as well as other factors. Our recruitment team will discuss the options with you in more detail.

Below, we have outlined the requirements for each of the regions we operate in and provided some initial guidance. You will also find the most frequently asked questions we hear from candidates further down this page.

Being a self-directed lawyer

We ensure you have all the support and resources you need to develop your career, and make a positive impact and meanigful contribution for our clients.

Being a self-directed lawyer Please select a region:

Being a self-directed lawyer

United Kingdom

Peerpoint consultants in the UK must be self-employed. Before starting an assignment you will need to set up your own Personal Services Company (PSC). You can set up a PSC yourself, but we recommend appointing an accountant to help you do so in a tax-efficient way.

There are a number of steps to consider after you have set up your PSC. You'll appoint yourself as director or shareholder of your PSC and register it with Companies House. You'll also need to register for corporation tax. Your PSC will need to be registered for corporation tax with HMRC, submit annual accounts and file an annual return. As director, you'll also have to complete a self-assessment every year. You may wish to establish your PSC as a limited liability company. This protects your personal assets.

As your PSC is your employer (not Peerpoint or Allen & Overy), and must operate a payroll. This will usually be through the PAYE scheme. Your PSC will also need to register for VAT if its turnover exceeds, or is predicted to exceed, the threshold in a given year. This doesn't affect what you're paid by your PSC. Business and personal finances have to be kept separate, so your company will need its own bank account. Your pay reflects the assumption that you'll pay tax and NICs at the same rate as our employees. We recommend seeking advice on IR35.

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For further detail, download our guide:

Being a self-directed lawyer

Hong Kong

Peerpoint consultants in Hong Kong must be self-employed. Before starting an assignment, you will need to set up your own Personal Services Company (PSC). You can set up and manage your PSC yourself; however, most consultants prefer to appoint someone to assist them. There are many companies who can assist in the establishment of your company and the on-going requirements, such as business registration.

There are a number of steps to consider after you have set up your PSC. You will need to incorporate your own limited company, of which you will appoint yourself as director and shareholder. The most straightforward and cheapest option is to buy an existing company. As a lawyer, you will be aware that, in the eyes of the law, the company has a life of its own. For example, it will actually be the company that enters into contracts and not you. In most cases, it will also be the company that is responsible for its debts, should there be any. You will have ‘limited liability', which means, in practice, that your personal assets are protected.

Your accountant or tax adviser will advise you on running your company in the most tax efficient manner for your circumstances. It is a legal requirement to have both a registered office (which cannot be a PO Box) and a Company Secretary. Whilst it is possible to fulfil the Company Secretary role yourself, the companies who can assist in the setting up of PSCs also offer company secretarial services and the provision of a registered address.

Your PSC will be required to produce audited accounts. If it makes a profit, it will be liable for profits tax. The companies which assist in the creation of the PSC will be able to recommend Certified Public Accountants to help you with this. They can also help you set up a business bank account, which you will need.

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For further detail, download our guide:

Being a self-directed lawyer

Australia

In Australia we have two engagement models for lawyers wanting to join Peerpoint. These models include self-employment via an Incorporated Legal Practice (ILP) and casual employment.

As a self-employed consultant, you would need to set up, own and run your own ILP. An ILP is a company incorporated with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission and will have met various requirements of the law society in your jurisdiction. You would have full control over all aspects of running and managing your business as well as having the flexibility to direct your career and the choice of engagements you accept. Self-employment is also a good option for those who are established in their careers and keen to develop a portfolio career.

Under the casual employment model, you would be engaged directly by A&O on a casual employment contract. A&O pays you a day rate for each day worked including superannuation. The advantages of this model include speed of set up, fewer upfront costs and less administration for you. Casual employment is a great option for those who are new to consulting.

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For further detail, download our guide:

Being a self-directed lawyer

Singapore

There are a number of steps and requirements to become a self-employed consultant in Singapore and we can discuss these with you in detail. Please contact Carolyn Aldous, Managing Director, at carolyn.aldous@allenovery.com or Stephanie Szeto, Senior Business Manager, at stephanie.szeto@allenovery.com to find out more.

Frequently asked questions

What is Peerpoint?

Peerpoint by Allen & Overy is the global platform for self-directed consultant lawyers who want to develop their careers through access to the best work, clients, experts and resources.

Why should I join Peerpoint?

Peerpoint will give you control over how, when and where you work. The Peerpoint team works closely with you to understand your goals and ambitions, and what you want to achieve with each role.

What does it take to become a Peerpoint consultant?

You should be an ambitious lawyer, keen to develop your career outside the traditional partner or general counsel route. You might want more control, challenge, variety or balance – but whatever your motivation for becoming a consultant, you do not want to compromise on the quality of your work or ambitions. You are highly skilled, with magic circle or top-tier law firm pedigree and at least two years’ post-qualification experience (ideally with some time spent working in-house).

What kind of work will I do?

As a Peerpoint consultant you may take on assignments with A&O or with clients. The client development team at Peerpoint will discuss the types of roles you are looking for and carefully match you to suitable opportunities. Client assignments span senior manager cover, stepping into a team to cover projects, working on major transactions or regulatory change projects and implementation. These range between two to six months or longer in duration and tend to require working a minimum of four days a week. After each assignment, it is up to you how much time you take off between assignments. Working within A&O may involve supporting teams when needed or joining them for fixed periods to work on a specific deal. When we invite you to join the panel we are confident of the demand in your area, however we cannot guarantee work.

How much will I be paid?

During the interview process we will discuss with you current market rates and how much you can expect to be paid. For each assignment the client team will discuss and agree with you a daily or hourly rate depending on the type of assignment that reflects your experience, skills and market. As part of our ongoing support, our team discusses how to progress your career and reviews rates as both your experience and the market evolve. For each assignment, your personal company invoices Peerpoint for the work you have completed. You will usually complete a time sheet on the assignment to confirm with the client the days or hours you have worked that month.

When working with clients you will usually receive a day rate for the days you work and, when working with A&O, you will receive an hourly rate for the hours you spend working on the assignment.

What sort of support will I receive from Allen & Overy and Peerpoint?

As soon as you join our panel, you’ll be able to access Allen & Overy know-how and be invited to consultant networking and training events. Once you have an assignment confirmed, you will have access to PLC, Lexis Library & PSL and Westlaw UK. Whatever your skills or specialism, there is a wealth of resources on hand to ensure you are always fully equipped to do your best work.

On every assignment you are fully supported by Allen & Overy’s network. We prepare and brief you for interviews and ensure you have all you need to be up and running on day one of an assignment. We schedule regular check-ins with you and with the client to ensure everything is running smoothly, and you’ll have a direct line to an Allen & Overy sponsoring and technical partner for help or advice throughout.

Peerpoint are always on hand, whether you want to discuss your next opportunity or how best you can progress and develop. Whatever you need, our bespoke support will ensure you’re never going it alone.

Does Peerpoint or Allen & Overy employ me?

Most Peerpoint consultants are self-employed; however the employment status of a consultant will depend on a number of factors such as the engagement model(s) being operated in the region where you are located. Our team will discuss the options with you in more detail and you can also find some general guidance above.

As a consultant, am I covered by Allen & Overy’s professional indemnity insurance?

As a Peerpoint consultant working for Allen & Overy or a client, you are covered by Allen & Overy’s professional indemnity (PI) policy. Although you will be insured for the advice you give when working within Allen & Overy or for our clients, we advise you to consider taking out a personal PI insurance policy, particularly if you intend to work for other parties or on your own account.

Do I have to work exclusively with Peerpoint?

It may not always be possible to provide you with consistent work, and we understand that you may find other sources of income. We don’t demand that you work exclusively with us; all we ask is that you keep us up to date with your availability.

Can I return to full-time employment in the future?

At Peerpoint we support you in the development of your personal career pathway. Whether being a consultant is a long-term plan or something you would like to do for a short period of time, we’re behind you. We understand that everyone’s career is different and that consultancy may be a long-term or shorter term part of your career. While you are a consultant you are on the Peerpoint panel, whether you are working on an assignment with us or not. If you choose to take on a permanent role we fully support you and are here if you choose to return to consulting.

What do I need to consider before becoming a consultant?

Think about what you are trying to achieve in your career. Is it more variety in terms of clients or matters? Is it to gain new experience and develop your skill-set? Would you like more control, or a greater balance between work and personal projects? Consulting can enable you to achieve such goals and identifying your motivations for considering this career path will help you determine whether Peerpoint is right for you.

As a consultant there is no guarantee of work. There may be time during the year when you are not working and not being paid. It is worth planning how much you will need to receive over the course of the year and managing how you will support yourself during any downtime. Again, an accountant or financial planner will be able to advise you on how best to plan for this.

Do I need to set up a PSC or ILP before I apply?

No. We talk to lawyers at every step of their consulting journey. Whether you are already a consultant or considering consulting in the future, you can speak to us, in confidence. During the process of joining the Peerpoint panel we provide you with all the information you need. You don’t have to set up a PSC/ILP or a bank account before you meet us. We can guide you through those steps when the time is right.

Can I talk to someone before applying?

Of course. Our recruitment teams can talk to you in confidence at any point in your journey. Contact Marie Kirby in London, Nikki Pantges in Australia, Georgeanna Mok in Hong Kong and either Nikki or Georgeanna for Singapore.