How legal consulting with Peerpoint 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 meaningful contribution for our clients.

Being a self-directed lawyer Please select a region:

Being a self-directed lawyer

United Kingdom

In the UK we have two engagement models: an employed model and a personal services company (PSC) model. The model used for any engagement you undertake via Peerpoint will be determined by the end client. You do not need to set up a PSC to join Peerpoint, but all engagements within A&O Shearman will require a PSC and our team will discuss this with you if you are exploring opportunities within the firm. For external clients, the majority of our assignments are on the basis of an employed model.

Where an assignment requires the set up of a PSC, you may want to consider the below.

  • Seek independent advice on IR35. It is important that you understand the tax and financial implications of the IR35 legislation.
  • While you can set up and manage a PSC yourself, we recommend appointing an accountant to help establish and run it.

Discover our recruitment process and our latest legal consulting opportunities in the UK here.

Being a self-directed lawyer

Hong Kong SAR

Peerpoint legal 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 legal 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.

Discover our latest legal consulting opportunities here.

Being a self-directed lawyer


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 Shearman on a casual employment contract. A&O Shearman 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.

Discover our latest legal consulting opportunities here.

Being a self-directed lawyer


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 the team to find out more here.

You can also discover our latest legal consulting opportunities in Singapore here.

Being a self-directed lawyer

United Arab Emirates

There are a number of steps and requirements to become a legal consultant in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. To discuss these with you in detail and to find out more, please contact the team here.

You can also discover our latest legal consulting opportunities in the UAE here.

Being a self-directed lawyer

United States

In the United States Peerpoint attorneys are employed by A&O Shearman on an ‘at will’ basis while on assignment. You will be paid either an hourly or a day rate, less applicable taxes and deductions.

For the duration of an assignment, all Peerpoint attorneys are covered by A&O Shearman’s professional indemnity insurance policy. You may also be eligible for additional benefits including:

  • Healthcare: voluntary participation in our healthcare plan.
  • Mental wellbeing: a comprehensive work-life assistance program and subscriptions to wellness apps.
  • Reimbursement of professional fees, such as bar registrations.
  • Training and resources: Access to legal resources and training to enable your continued professional development.

To find out more about joining Peerpoint, please contact the team here.

You can also discover our latest opportunities here.

Frequently asked questions

What is Peerpoint?

Peerpoint is a global legal consulting platform for lawyers who are seeking a self-directed legal career. Consulting with Peerpoint means having the backing of A&O Shearman and, with it, access to the highest quality of work, clients, resources and support.

What are the benefits of legal consulting?

The benefits of legal consulting are wide ranging. You might want more control over your time, to be able to balance professional and personal ambitions such as family responsibilities, a business idea, studies or hobbies. Legal consulting gives you the flexibility to remain in the workforce without putting the rest of life on hold.

You might want more choice and control over, or variety in, your work. Legal consulting enables informed decision-making about the future direction of your career, offering you the opportunity to work with different clients, sectors, and teams (including within A&O Shearman in some cases). It also offers flexibility and options, including the right to accept or decline potential placements or assignments.

What is the benefit of joining Peerpoint instead of working independently or through another platform?

Being a Peerpoint legal consultant means you have the backing of a globally renowned law firm with knowledge and training resources, up-to-date understanding of market developments, longstanding client relationships with strong businesses and therefore access to interesting and career progressing opportunities.

When you join our panel, you’ll receive the full support of our dedicated Peerpoint consultant management team which includes: specialized CV/marketing document training, exclusive events designed to meet your training and networking needs and a consultant development programme focussed on transition management, mindset and business planning. You will also have access to a suite of A&O Shearman resources including:

  • A&O Shearman client publications and materials: All consultants can request access to our global e-library which stores a large number of material and publications;
  • A&O Shearman seminars: All consultants can access seminars via the dedicated webinar website;
  • Further training: Our consultants are invited to attend some of A&O Shearman’s legal training and also have access to A&O Shearman's IT training courses;
  • Networks and communities: The Alumni Network welcomes consultants, whether or not alumnus of the firm; The A&O Shearman mentoring programme invites members to participate as a mentor or a mentee – or both; A&O Shearman has an excellent pro bono offering and our consultants are welcome to get involved; A&O Shearman also has a number of internal groups and networks which our consultants are welcome to join;
  • Xexec: A global initiative that offers a range of discounts from electronics to travel.

Finally, when you are on a Peerpoint assignment, you will also have access to:

  • An A&O Shearman partner or senior lawyer contact;
  • A&O Shearman knowledge lawyers;
  • A&O Shearman research and library resources.

Do I have enough experience to become a legal consultant with Peerpoint?

There is still a lot of misunderstanding about how experienced you have to be to become a legal consultant. It is often perceived as the domain of partners or the very experienced, but there is in fact significant demand for those in the earlier stages of their career.

In the UK, APAC and UAE, we typically require our lawyers to have at least two to four years’ post-qualification experience within a law firm ranked as top-tier for their area of specialism, to ensure they have sufficient training to hit the ground running and work with limited supervision. In the U.S. we would look for at least four years’ experience following graduation from law school.

The frequency with which we see roles at the senior end of the market (for example Partner, General Counsel or Head of Legal roles) is more limited and we do not tend to have much demand to grow our panel at this level.

What do I need to consider before becoming a legal 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? Legal 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.

A key thing to bear in mind is that, as a legal consultant, there is no guarantee of work. There may be time during the year when you are not working and, therefore, not being paid. It is therefore worth considering your personal financial situation, planning how much income you will need to receive over the course of the year and how you will support yourself during any downtime. An accountant or financial planner will be able to advise you on how best to plan for this.

While we cannot guarantee work for legal consultants on the Peerpoint panel, we are fully invested in supporting you to achieve your goals and, of course, you may wish to find additional ways to secure work.

What areas of legal expertise are in demand for legal consultants?

The demand varies according to our clients’ needs, but the areas that Peerpoint resource for are typically: capital markets (particularly derivatives and debt capital markets), financial services regulation, banking and finance (typically general lending and leveraged finance), banking disputes and investigations, corporate M&A and commercial law (including data privacy) and employment.

We will only invite lawyers to join our panel when we feel confident that there will be a sufficient volume of suitable roles for their area of expertise and level of experience.

Will my post qualification experience level continue if I become a legal consultant?

Your post qualification experience (PQE) level is determined by the amount of experience you have gained rather than the number of years since qualification, so it will depend on how much of the year you are working and if the roles are in a similar area of expertise.

What type of work does a legal consultant do?

As a Peerpoint legal consultant, you may take on assignments with A&O Shearman or with clients. Our team will discuss the types of roles you are looking for and carefully match you to suitable opportunities. Client assignments can range from stepping into a team to work on major transactions, regulatory change projects or to assist with ‘business as usual’ during peak periods of busyness. You may also have the opportunity to work within A&O Shearman on an ad-hoc basis, supporting teams when needed or joining them for fixed periods to work on a deal.

How long are legal consultant assignments?

Assignments are usually at least six months in duration, though can occasionally be shorter than this, and tend to require working a minimum of four days per week.

Does Peerpoint or A&O Shearman employ me?

The employment status of a consultant will depend on a number of factors, but the main one is the operating model(s) in place in the region where you are located. Our team will discuss the options and possible arrangements in more detail during the recruitment process. In the meantime you can read an outline of the regional models we offer here:

How are rates determined?

Rates vary depending on the assignment you are considering and are influenced by a number of different factors. During the interview process we will discuss with you current market rates and give some guidance around how much you can expect to be paid. Once on the Peerpoint panel, for each assignment the client team discusses with you, you will discuss and agree a rate which is appropriate for that particular opportunity, taking into account your experience, skills, the client and their requirements and current market conditions. This may take the form of a daily rate, hourly rate or monthly salary depending on how the assignment is structured.

As a legal consultant, would I be covered by A&O Shearman’s professional indemnity insurance?

As a Peerpoint consultant working for A&O Shearman or a client, you are covered by A&O Shearman’s professional indemnity policy. Although you will be insured for the advice you give when working within A&O Shearman or for our clients via Peerpoint, you should consider whether you need to take out a personal professional indemnity insurance policy, particularly if you intend to work for other parties or on your own account.

What is the process for joining Peerpoint?

The recruitment process to join our panel is thorough so that we can find the right clients and assignments for you, and it also enables you to decide if we are the right fit for you.

It typically involves the following five steps:

  1. Application
  2. Peerpoint interview
  3. A&O Shearman partner interview
  4. Technical assessment (for certain practice areas)
  5. Personal referencing

We will work with you to understand your timeframes and progress your application as swiftly as possible.

Further information and how to apply can be found on our recruitment page here.

Do I need to resign before starting the recruitment process with Peerpoint?

You do not have to resign before starting the recruitment process, but at some point, you would need to take a leap of faith due to the short notice we get for interim roles. Given the typical length of notice periods in the legal market, it is not usually possible for someone to wait until they get a role through us before they resign. This is one of the main reasons why it is so important to fully research the market and ensure you are comfortable with the level of demand for your skillset when you start to explore legal consulting.

Do I need to set up a Personal Services Company (PSC) or Incorporated Legal Practice (ILP) before I apply?

No. We talk to lawyers at every step of their legal consulting journey. You don’t have to set up a PSC or ILP or a bank account before you meet us. During the process of joining the Peerpoint panel we provide you with all the information you need and will discuss the appropriate timings with you.

Can I continue to do other work while not on an assignment with Peerpoint?

While you are between assignments, you are free to take on other work. We do ask that you keep us updated on your other work, activity whilst on assignment for conflicts purposes and availability so that we know when you are available for roles through Peerpoint.

Can I be a legal consultant and work remotely?

Each client will have their own policy but we are finding that many of them are opting for a hybrid model and consultants are typically expected to conform to this in the same way as permanent employees.

We encourage people to be transparent during the recruitment process as to what their working pattern requirements/preferences are so that we can advise them on how achievable we think this would be with our clients.

Will becoming a legal consultant impact affect my ability to obtain permanent roles in future?

Certainly not. On the contrary, time in consulting can be especially beneficial for lawyers who have set their sights on a certain type of permanent role in the future, and want to gain new skills as a way of moving closer towards that goal.

Deciding to consult may be right for you now, but it doesn’t need to be thought of as a permanent move. At Peerpoint, we encourage lawyers to be upfront about what their ultimate goals are - by having a clear vision about what you want to achieve, you can get the most out of legal consulting, with our support.

Because of the high-quality nature of the work on offer with Peerpoint, it can only strengthen a CV for whatever opportunities the future may hold.

We do expect our consultants to commit to the duration of an assignment they take on but if, following the conclusion of an interim role, you choose to take on a permanent role as a next step, we fully support you and are here if you choose to return to legal consulting.